Dele Alli’s hippy crack shame: Football star, 26, is surrounded by laughing gas canisters with a balloon in his mouth as friends party with £215 tequila, Jamaican tonic wine and high-strength chewing tobacco
- Alli has struggled on the pitch since leaving Tottenham Hotspur in January 2022
Former England footballer Dele Alli has been pictured with a balloon in his mouth surrounded by laughing gas canisters.
A picture posted up on social media claiming to be in Salford shows the 26-year-old at a table laden with giant bottles of nitrous oxide, also known as ‘hippy crack’.
The table is littered with a variety of other party-related items, including £215.00 Clase Azul tequila, Magnum – a 16.5% alcohol tonic wine from Jamaica – and Siberia ‘extremely strong’ snus, a form of chewing tobacco.
Also visible is a bottle of orange fizzy Lucozade, a can of fizzy drink, a bottle of 7 Up and a packet of Evian water alongside a pack of playing cards.
While possession of laughing gas is not currently illegal, Home Secretary Suella Braverman wants to introduce new laws banning it entirely for all but legitimate uses, which include whipping cream.
Dele Allii is seen with a balloon in his mouth in a photo that circulated on social media. The table is littered with a variety of other party-related items, including £215.00 tequila from Selfridges, Magnum Jamaican tonic wine, and Siberia ‘extremely strong’ snus – a form of chewing tobacco
Alli was hailed as one of England’s most promising footballers but has struggled on the pitch since leaving Tottenham in January last year
Levelling Up secretary Michael Gove has also been a high-profile critic of the drug and announced plans to tackle anti-social behaviour and littering from people using it.
Five tonnes of laughing gas cannisters were collected after the Notting Hill Carnival last year.
Kensington and Chelsea council said the excessive number of metal cases had made what is already Europe’s largest street clean-up more difficult because they had to be collected separately as there is a risk they could explode if compacted.
There have been numerous warnings about the health impacts of the drug, especially given a new trend for extra large containers.
What’s on the table? From a bottle of Jamaican tonic wine to £215.00 tequila
Clase Azul tequila – The premium spirit is made from hand-selected agave that has matured for at least 9 years. Each bottle comes in a highly decorated decanter. Cost: £215.
Magnum – A 16.5% alcohol tonic wine from Jamaica. The sweet flavoured drink resembles cough syrup and delivers a hefty dose of caffeine. Cost: £3.
Siberia ‘extremely strong’ snus: A form of chewing tobacco that is said to be five times stronger than other brands. Cost: £7.
Kerry Donaldson, a receptionist, recently revealed she had been paralysed and left needing round-the-clock care after repeated binges on balloons damaged her spinal chord.
Alli was hailed as one of England’s most promising footballers but has struggled on the pitch since leaving Tottenham in January last year.
He’s previously been on loan at Turkish side Besiktas from Everton, but this is expected to be cut short after the midfielder developed a hip injury.
Alli would have been unable to play again this season for the Toffees anyway due to not being registered in their Premier League squad, but images released may cause concern for fans hoping to see him return to action sooner rather than later.
He hasn’t appeared on the pitch since the end of February against Antalyaspor.
Alli isn’t the first footballer to have been spotted apparently inhaling laughing gas.
Last month, Manchester United player Brandon Williams was seen inhaling on a balloon near the club’s training grounds.
The 22-year-old full-back, who has failed to break into the club’s first team this season, was filmed appearing to breathe in the laughing gas as a passenger in a moving Mercedes Brabus supercar.
In the video published by The Sun he seems to pass a canister of the high to a rear passenger in the car while he is videoed from another vehicle.
Earlier this month, Cardiff City striker Connor Wickham was also seen inhaling from a balloon, while in 2013 England star Kyle Walker issued a grovelling apology after being caught taking the drug at a Sheffield nightclub.
Dele Alli, who was capped 37 times by England, will assess his future in the summer once he has overcome his current injury. His Everton contract still has another year to go, lasting until June 2024.
The former Tottenham favourite has endured a tough time in Turkey, appearing in 13 games and scoring two goals in the league.
Alli pictured on holiday with his girlfriend, model Cindy Kimberly
In January 2022, receptionist Kerry Donaldson was hospitalised and given the ‘depressing’ news that her laughing gas habit had led to a disc bulge in her lower back – leaving her unable to walk
There had been reports that Besiktas manager Senol Gunes was frustrated with Alli’s application.
Other snippets of misinformation seem to have been creeping out of the Super Lig club, with Gunes previously claiming that Alli had gone AWOL from training.
What is laughing gas and is it illegal?
Nitrous Oxide, has been nicknamed ‘laughing gas’ due to the euphoric and relaxed feeling people who inhale it can sometimes feel.
The substance – also known as ‘hippy crack’ – is normally bought in pressured canisters, commonly transferred to a container, e.g. a balloon, from which the gas is inhaled.
Although possession of laughing gas is not illegal, you can be prosecuted for supplying it to people wanting to exploit its psychoactive effects.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman is seeking to ban the recreational use of laughing gas, potentially by putting it in the same bracket as cannabis.
That came despite the player being given permission to attend a doctor’s appointment on that day.
Asked about Alli, who was previously named PFA Young Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons in 2015-16 and 2016-17, Everton boss Sean Dyche confirmed the player had flown home due to his injury.
The England international has proven popular off the pitch in recent times, recently meeting Kim Kardashian and her son Saint last month.
Alli’s career peaked in 2018 where as a key player for Tottenham he was taken to the 2018 World Cup, scoring in a quarter-final against Sweden to help England reach the last four – their joint best performance at the tournament since 1966.
However, a hamstring injury suffered against Fulham at Craven Cottage in 2019 appeared to severely hamper his long term game and he gradually fell out of favour at international level as well as at Spurs under Jose Mourinho and then Antonio Conte.
While he was given a free transfer to Everton last season, he failed to reclaim his spark at Goodison Park under Frank Lampard before his summer loan move to Turkey.
It has resulted in much speculation over whether Alli can get back to his best form, given he is out of favour at Everton.
However, his former MK Dons boss Karl Robinson claims Alli is misunderstood and can restore his former game.
Alli is currently playing in Turkey, where he has endured a torrid season
Five tonnes of laughing gas cannisters were collected after the Notting Hill Carnival last year
Robinson managed Alli before he sealed a dream £5million move to Tottenham in 2015.
Robinson, 42, said: ‘At the beginning of his career he made many mistakes on and off the pitch probably, but on the pitch that one moment of magic was what made the headlines.’
The 42-year-old former Oxford United boss said: ‘If you look at the data he’s one of the hardest-working, highest distance-covered players playing. I think that his persona can sometimes look flippant. He can look labored, but he always had that.
‘I remember pinning him up against the wall at times. I remember him being dragged in a dressing room once by a senior player because he had this look on his face which was a smirk – I lost it with him and a senior player lost it with him as well.’
‘As the negativity spirals on top of him – has he done things off the pitch that have supported him on the pitch? I’d have to say no at stages.
A spokesperson for Alli has been contacted by MailOnline for comment.
At his peak Dele was a star player for Tottenham and England, pictured above scoring against Sweden in a 2018 World Cup quarter-final
Why laughing gas is far from a joke: Linked to dozens of deaths and cases of paralysis, concerns mount about the risks the craze for nitrous oxide is posing to the health of a generation, writes TOM RAWSTORNE
The extent of the ‘hippy crack’ problem first became apparent last summer in the wake of the Notting Hill carnival.
As extraordinary photos of the clear-up revealed, amongst the 300 tonnes of rubbish dumped by revellers were skip-fulls of industrial-grade canisters of nitrous oxide.
Designed for caterers to quickly and easily whip cream, they are instead now commonly used to get ‘high’.
The craze for filling up balloons with nitrous oxide, then breathing it in, has been around for some years.
The instant effect can be a buzz, including feelings of euphoria, calmness and fits of giggles – hence the drug’s nickname of ‘laughing gas’ and ‘hippy crack’.
But while nitrous oxide, which has the chemical formula N2O, had been viewed as a relatively harmless substance, concerns have mounted about the risks it poses to the health of a generation.
As extraordinary photos of the clear-up revealed, amongst the 300 tonnes of rubbish dumped by revellers were skip-fulls of industrial-grade canisters of nitrous oxide
Worried neurologists have warned they are seeing an increasing number of young people suffering from spinal cord and nerve damage.
Gove vows ban on ‘Hippy Crack’ nitrous oxide and more ‘visible’ policing in anti-social behaviour ‘hotspots’
In the worst cases, those affected have suffered life-changing impacts including paralysis. This is because heavy, regular use of the drug may result in a deficiency of vitamin B12 and a form of anaemia. Severe vitamin B deficiency can cause serious nerve damage.
A small but growing number of fatalities have also been directly attributed to the drug, with nitrous oxide named on 42 death certificates from 2010 to 2019.
If nitrous oxide is inhaled through the mouth from a pressurised canister or in a confined space, it can also cause sudden death through lack of oxygen.
Last year the family of Kayleigh Burns told how the 16-year-old had died after inhaling gas at a house party.
An asthmatic, she was taken to hospital after collapsing. While the precise cause of Kayleigh’s death has not yet been revealed, her relatives joined a growing chorus of those calling for the drug to be banned or restricted. ‘It’s all fun and games while you are taking it but the long-term effect on your body can be very dangerous,’ adds Kerry-Anne Donaldson.
The 25-year-old receptionist from London is in a wheelchair as a result of spinal damage caused by nitrous oxide which she started inhaling in 2017.
Last year the family of Kayleigh Burns (pictured) told how the 16-year-old had died after inhaling gas at a house party
Police officers carry canisters of nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas, confiscated from revellers planning to use it as a drug
In the past decade, its popularity as a recreational drug has rapidly grown and half-a-million young people now use it regularly
‘I stopped doing it two years ago. But in those two years my body was breaking down because of all the balloons I did. Now I don’t even remember how it feels not to have pain, it is way more dangerous than people think.’
Discovered in 1772, the anaesthetic and pain-relieving properties of nitrous oxide have been used in human and veterinary medicine for 150-plus years.
Another use is as an aerosol spray propellant for caterers to make whipped cream.
READ MORE: ‘Hippy crack’ nitrous oxide ‘will be banned next week’ as Government launch new ‘hotspot’ policing crackdown on anti-social behaviour
Pictured: Revellers suck on balloons at a music festival, a common way people inhale nitrous oxide
But in the past decade, its popularity as a recreational drug has rapidly grown and half-a-million young people now use it regularly. To counter this, the production, sale or supply of nitrous oxide for its psychoactive effects was made illegal in 2016.
Today, sites offer nitrous oxide for sale (for example, a box of ten ‘creamer’ cartridges each with 8 grams of nitrous oxide for £7), telling buyers it is for ‘food production only’ and asking them to confirm they are over 18.
Part of the concern is around the way users access the drug. In the past, most would buy it in small, single-shot metal canisters before transferring its contents into a balloon from which the gas is inhaled.
But in recent months, experts say many have switched to super-sized tubes able to deliver 80 times the usual amount. Prices for these canisters, containing between 600 and 650 grams, start at £29.99 and they can be easily purchased online.
‘These new large canisters are a real worry,’ says Stephen Ream, director of Re-Solv, a charity for solvent abuse advice and support. ‘One young man we have been supporting was using ten a day. When you are doing the little ones, you know how many you are getting through, but when you use a big one, you lose track.’
The bigger canisters also bring the risk of serious ‘cold’ burn injuries. Users often hold the canisters between their thighs when they fill balloons.
As the canister is discharged it becomes freezing cold, meaning that it can cause a burn similar to frostbite on bare skin.
More serious still are the warnings from medics such as Dr David Nicholl, 57, a consultant neurologist in hospitals across Birmingham for 20 years.
Shortly before the Covid pandemic in 2020, he began seeing patients every couple of months with tingling in the hands or legs and difficulty in walking due to neurological harm. Now he says an ‘epidemic’ of such patients is being admitted every week.
‘Some people die,’ Dr Nicholl adds. ‘I haven’t experienced that but in the last 18 months four or five have been left unable to walk. It’s just tragic and totally avoidable. These are users who think everything is a bit of a laugh and have no idea they could end up not being able to walk for the rest of their life.’
The message is clear: the laughing gas epidemic is no laughing matter at all.
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