LONDON – Brendan Rodgers feared he was having a heart attack after being sacked as Liverpool manager in 2015, he told the BBC on Friday.
The 44-year-old Northern Irishman feared the worst when he was taken ill in Dubai and thought he was suffering a cardiac arrest, just like the one that cost his mother Christina her life aged just 53.
“There was an incident when I left Liverpool and I went to Dubai a fortnight later,” said Rodgers.
“I lay in fear one day thinking I was having a heart attack – maybe my mum’s condition affected me because she died of one.
“I was rushed to hospital and basically it was a reaction my body and chest was having in starting to condition itself, in terms of not having that pressure.”
Rodgers, who came close to delivering Liverpool their first Premier League title in the 2013/14 campaign before he lost his job in October 2015, said the scare made him reassess how best to handle the pressures of being a manager.
“That made me sit up and ask myself, ‘How do you manage pressure, how to regulate it’,” said Rodgers, who guided Celtic to a treble last season.
“I needed to go and address it. I didn’t I think at the time (of managing Liverpool) there was any more or less pressure, because you are so ingrained in it.”
Rodgers, whose father died of cancer aged just 59, said it had changed his mindset.
“I felt during that seven-month period (break he took), I needed to reflect and then make sure in my next job that I could learn from the experience.
“You have got to have your health, happiness and energy back in order to succeed.”
Rodgers’ Celtic side host bottom-placed Kilmarnock on Saturday where they could equal a century-old record of 62 games – set by another Celtic side – without defeat.