'Hard to watch': Fans 'gutted' over sad Mitchell Johnson breakdown

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Michell Johnson, pictured here on SAS Australia.
Michell Johnson broke down in tears after quitting SAS Australia. Image: Channel 7

Viewers were left gutted on Tuesday night when Aussie cricket legend Mitchell Johnson quit SAS Australia before breaking down in tears.

Johnson came undone when he and his fellow contestants had to carry a 100kg log over rough terrain to a designated finishing point.

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The 38-year-old stopped several times before handing in his numbers to Chief Instructor Ant Middleton, quitting the competition.

Johnson was in tears during the challenge and then broke down while talking to his wife on the phone.

“I just couldn’t do it,” he told wife Jessica on the phone.

“I just thought mentally it would be a bit easier.”

Before leaving the show he said: “I can’t make excuses, it is just not good enough.

“It is disappointing obviously and an emotional feeling for me because I always have high expectations of myself…(but) I couldn’t push any further.”

Middleton consoled Johnson and said he was gutted to see him leave.

“I thought you would have been at the front smashing the rest,” Middleton said.

“It is a head game…It doesn’t matter how physically fit you are…if your mind gives up the rest of your body will follow.”

Mitchell Johnson, pictured here with wife Jessica and daughter Rubika after his final Test match for Australia.
Mitchell Johnson with wife Jessica and daughter Rubika after his final Test match in 2015. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Fans flocked to social media, sending their condolences to Johnson.

Among them were fellow contestant, comedian Merrick Watts.

“The closest I came to shedding tears on SAS was just now watching Mitchell Johnson,” Watts wrote on Twitter

“He is a great man. A strong team player with good ethics.

“That really changed me after that. He only made me stronger and for that I’m grateful to him.”

Mitchell Johnson reveals battle with depression

On Monday night’s episode, Johnson opened up about his struggles since retirement and revealed his battle with depression.

“I’ve found it tougher since retiring from cricket. All of a sudden, you’re not doing as much. You sort of lose your purpose a little bit,” he said.

“I struggle with, probably, confidence at times. I’m in that transition now where I’ve been out of playing cricket for about two years.”

Johnson, who retired from professional cricket in 2018, said his battle with depression stems form before his playing days finished.

“I found out I’ve got depression … but I think the depression was something I’ve had even from a younger age,” he admitted.

“It (cricket) sort of blocked things out in a way. It sort of hid the depression, but there was a lot of times where you would go back to your room, you’re away from family and you start to dwell on things.

“Through my cricket career, I actually just dealt with it.

“It’s just about me now actually moving forward and taking it upon myself to be active with certain things, to keep my mind going.”

Johnson is among the top five Australian wicket-takers of all time in Tests, one-day internationals and T20s.

His 313 Test wickets are only bettered by Nathan Lyon (339), Dennis Lillee (355), Glenn McGrath (563) and Shane Warne (708).

Readers seeking support and information about mental health issues can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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