Darren Eadie plans mental health clinic for footballers

Darren Eadie
Image caption Darren Eadie hopes his experience with depression can help other footballers

A former Norwich City footballer who battled with depression wants to set up a clinic in Norfolk to help players deal with mental health issues.

Darren Eadie said he wanted to create a centre on the coast where players can speak with "like-minded people who have been through it themselves".

"I know there are a lot of people who have suffered in the past and suffering right at the minute," he said.

He is hoping to get support from the Professional Footballers' Association.

"[Football] is a highly pressured environment, not just for the 90 minutes on a Saturday but throughout the week - you're constantly scrutinised by the press and fans," Eadie said.

'Macho environment'

"There's not many environments you can be in where you get that much stick week in, week out.

"You're under constant pressure to be role models for people."

Eadie said the "macho environment" of football changing rooms makes it difficult for players.

"It's not one of the places you would often get players admitting to those kind of situations," he said.

But he hopes providing a specialised clinic in a serene Norfolk setting will give players and their families vital support.

"You'd rather speak to someone who is in our kind of environment who has played the game rather than ringing up someone from a national charity and speaking to them," he said.

"It's about making it comfortable for them."

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