FILE - Dominic Matteo during a Premier League game between Stoke City and Hull City in 2008. Photo: Carl Recine/Action Images

LIVERPOOL - Former Liverpool defender Dominic Matteo has undergone brain surgery after the 45-year-old became seriously ill earlier this week, the Premier League club said on Saturday.

"Matteo underwent an operation on a brain tumour on Monday and is being treated in hospital after coming out of intensive care," Liverpool said in a statement on their website.

"We wish Dom a full and speedy recovery and will offer any support we can to his wife and family."

Former Scotland international Matteo, who played 155 times for Liverpool in eight years at the club, left for Leeds United in 2000 before spells at Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City.

The latter part of his career was increasingly affected by injuries, which led to his retirement in 2009 at the age of 35. According to reports, he struggled with gambling addictions and was declared bankrupt in 2015.

In his book released in 2011, he repeatedly referenced being involved in a culture of heavy drinking