Former NFL Champion Ryan D Leaf Pays Touching Tribute to the Inspiring Matthew Perry
Ryan Leaf, former NFL quarterback gave a beautiful tribute to Matthew Perry, who passed away at the young age of 54. He shared poignant words about the late Perry, and how his work on Friends impacted him when he was going through a rough patch. Leaf, whose own NFL career faced premature termination due to factors including drug abuse, revealed the supportive role Perry played in his journey to recovery.
Leaf conveyed his gratitude and admiration for Perry in a video shared on X/Twitter. The NFL alum discussed how Perry, who had himself undergone addiction issues gave him a helping hand when he was going through mental health and substance troubles. Leaf shared the emotional moment on his podcast, describing how Perry held him when he arrived in Los Angeles.
The former quarterback disclosed, "I got out of prison and when I got to Los Angeles, Matt put his arm around me immediately. He carried me for like, the first six months probably in Los Angeles, trying to learn how to be a sober person really in a public platform."
I’ve waited to speak about this. It’s hard to. When there are those who actually have had a hand in saving your life what can you really say…Thank you Matt, my family thanks you, and I hope you now have found that peace! #soberlife pic.twitter.com/MK515hFAuB— Ryan D Leaf (@RyanDLeaf) November 1, 2023
Leaf's tribute also acknowledged Perry's impact on him and how his passing away was tormenting news, "I don't know if I'm here right now, being able to do stuff like this - or anything - if it weren't for him, and him sharing his story and making me understand that you can be a guy in the public eye that everyone knows and still be sober, be humble and be about helping other people."
He concluded by saying, "There's a lot of people that I owe for the life I now have, get to live ... and he's certainly at the top of that. Matt, we'll miss you. I'll miss you. I hope you are finally at peace because I just don't know if you ever truly were."
Leaf's tribute stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Perry, whose impact reached far beyond the screen and resonated in the lives of those he touched. On the other hand director Jim Burrows, who directed numerous episodes of the iconic sitcom, shared in a recent interview with Today that he immediately reached out to the female cast members, "I had texted the girls the day we found out. They were destroyed. It’s a brother dying," when they came across the mind-numbing news.
The beloved Friends actor had opened up about his own struggles with addiction in his book, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. Perry, who had managed to overcome his drug addiction following a near-death experience, had decided to turn his own recovery experience into an opportunity to help others walking similar paths. In an interview with Q with Tom Power podcast, he asserted, "The best thing about me, bar none, is if somebody comes up to me and says: ‘I can’t stop drinking. Can you help me?’ I can say yes and follow up and do it," he said.
And Ryan's revelation about Perry coming to his aid proves just that.
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