Former Port Vale goalkeeping coach Chris Kirkland has spoken to the Daily Telegraph about his battle with depression.
The former England keeper was a member of Michael Brown’s coaching staff in 2017 but he told the newspaper that he suffered from anxiety during that period. He told the paper he “became more withdrawn, disliked the travel, would suffer panic attacks and found himself thinking constantly about getting home.”
Kirkland has received specialist counselling to help him overcome his condition and has appealed to other footballers to do the same.
“There are many, many players struggling who don’t come out,” says Kirkland. “I have known players who have said they are injured when they can’t cope mentally. I know of players who have stopped because of mental health and the club say they are injured. Covered it up. Now it’s changing and it should change. They shouldn’t be afraid.”
“Fitness and diet has changed completely – mental health should also change with the times.”