Depression & Modern Football

This morning’s news of the death of Gary Speed at just forty-two years of age is too recent and too raw to pass comment upon in any detail and this particular piece is not here to speculate on the reasons why the Wales manager took, as has been suspected, the┬ádecision to take his own life, but to look at recent comments made by Stan Collymore and The Secret Footballer on the subject of depression in football. Times at which the sort of news that we have heard today are reported count amongst the genuinely horrifying, numbing moments in life. These are the moments in life which should remind us of our own mortality and our own humanity, and they should also remind us of the fact that this is merely a game, a source of entertainment. The vast majority of what you will read below was written yesterday, and we have thought long and hard before making the decision to publish it. Our thoughts, of course, are with his family at this difficult time. Some phrases seep their way into the public consciousness as if by osmosis. Sometimes they are phrases which encapsulate something that we have been struggling to find the words for, and sometimes they are little more than media-friendly soundbites that don’t actually mean anything. The phrase “man up” falls somewhere between these two stools. Ben...

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