Clarke Carlisle has spelt it out: retiring from sport can be a traumatic loss

Press/Media: Expert Comment


Article featured in The Guardian, 05/02/15


It is important for people to understand that depression is not always visible, and the athlete or person may never admit to how they feel. Moreover, it can come on gradually or can be with the individual for many years. The athletes themselves may deal with these symptoms without fully recognising them, until a trigger causes the symptoms to surface on a more powerful and negative scale.

Period5 Feb 2015

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleClarke Carlisle has spelt it out: retiring from sport can be a traumatic loss
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletThe Guardian
    Media typeWeb
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    DescriptionThe former footballer Clarke Carlisle has revealed that he had been trying to take his own life when he was hit by a lorry in December.

    Carlisle, who retired as a player in 2013 and had been chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association, told the Sun newspaper that he had faced an 18-month battle with depression since leaving the game.

    Sadly, many other sportspeople have faced the same difficulties, either during or at the end of their careers. Two years ago Carlisle himself presented a BBC TV programme about depression within his sport, titled Football’s Suicide Secret, which was commissioned in the aftermath of footballer Gary Speed’s suicide. The Olympic champion athlete Kelly Holmes discussed her self-harming, and her contemplation of suicide, many years ago. And John Kirwan, the famous All Black rugby player spoke publicly about his depression and has set up mental health awareness campaigns in New Zealand.
    Producer/AuthorLouise Ellis
    PersonsLouise Ellis