Secret Footballer – Depression in the Premier League


CNN asked “The Secret Footballer” to write a column about his experience of depression in football.

Up until that point, I had been in search of some perspective to life, a meaning, if you like, and I felt that it wasn’t far away.

I still continued to look for these little insights into life while having to live a very sterile existence as a footballer. You can be the most successful footballer who ever graced the pitch but you’re never any closer to finding a meaning than somebody who has only played a handful of pub games. It doesn’t matter how many medals you win.

– After a while, the things that made me a great footballer hampered my life progress and I came to resent every one of them and, in turn, it led me down a very dark path.

– I can’t even remember if I had any thoughts about life, it was just an emptiness, a hopeless void that was only punctuated at certain points of the day by playing a game that I had come to hate. For me, that is the “spiral” effect that you sometimes hear sufferers of depression talk about.

– And with that, I walked out of the training ground and went home. I surfaced from my bedroom three days later. The crazy thing is that, when I went back to training, nobody said a word. Not the players, not the coaches and not the manager.

– But when he (my son) asks me about football and what really happens in this game of ours, I remain fiercely protective of him. It’s for his own good, he’s simply too young to understand.

Continue reading Down the rabbit hole: Depression in the Premier League.

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