Back from the Brink of Addiction

Looking at Franny Coats today it’s hard to comprehend that he was once a man who battled severe addiction for nearly twenty-five years.

He talks about his darkest days, caught in a nightmarish circle of addiction and crime, a life that Franny couldn’t be further from today - with a new role helping others whose battle with drug and alcohol addiction goes on.

“My background was addiction, for nearly twenty-five years. I was in and out of jail and hospital, and, occasionally, I was homeless”, he explained

“It was a vicious circle that just kept turning round and round.”

Things soon changed for Franny after he left the treatment centre, determined to make something of his life - and it was the Rangers Recovery Programme that gave him that opportunity.

“I first came to Rangers Recovery after I left the treatment centre; I was looking for something to do with my time that I was interested in. For me, that was football, and coming to Rangers really broke down a lot of barriers for me as it was something that I had an interest in.

“It was a 12-week course, and things really took off from there. At the end, I went to an interview and got asked to stay on: to become a mentor to the other boys here.

“I’ve been on the course four times now, and it’s really changed things for me.  As a mentor, its great seeing the boys come through- because when I first arrived, I was lost.”

Franny is one of many people to come through the Rangers Recovery programme, which started in 2014, and aims to tackle the problems of alcohol and drug addiction that torment many people.

Glasgow has a significant problem, with more people killed by alcohol here than in any other city in the UK. Rangers wanted to help tackle that problem with a recovery programme - a programme that has helped over 80 men and women with help from the NHS Health Improvement team.

For Franny, the recovery programme helped him immensely, he continued; “Before, I couldn’t have a conversation with someone or stand in front of a camera - so, coming to the course has really helped me with that stuff.

“Being a mentor, I’m getting to meet lots of different people - and seeing those guys move on from that stage in their life really gives you a wee lift.

“You can see the difference - their confidence growing, their esteem growing. Getting their SFA badges, going up to Murray Park - all that’s good.”