PFA's Taylor urges players to seek help
Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor has urged players to ask for help with any personal problems that concern them. It has emerged that in the wake of Wales manager Gary Speed's death at the weekend five players contacted the Sporting Chance clinic.
"It is fair to say Gary's death has prompted them to ask for help," said the clinic's chief executive Peter Kay.
Taylor said the PFA, in conjunction with associated partners, regularly helped out its members but the greatest hurdle was often making the first step. "We have players all the time who come to us needing help. It is part of our job," he said.
"The delicate thing is making sure everyone is aware and they can have confidence with the confidentiality element. It does need them to have the courage to ask for help and when they do that it makes it easier to break through the barrier."
Taylor said the death of Speed, whom sources have confirmed was found hanged at his home in Cheshire, had brought into focus the fact that people involved in football were not immune from facing every-day pressures.
"It has brought into people's minds the problems footballers deal with," he added. "I want people to know there is a support and counselling system there because we want to do all we can to prevent things like this happening again.
"We have have a very close liaison with – and subsidise – the Sporting Chance clinic and we also have trained PFA counsellors.
"Only this season we brought out a booklet on mental health issues and different problems. We have been working for some time on issues of depression and mental health and other, addictive, problems. This is not something which is happening just now, it is something we have been addressing."
Celtic manager Neil Lennon, meanwhile, has added his tribute to Speed, a regular opponent in his Premier League playing days. Lennon, who met Speed on a course recently, said: "All the tributes coming his way are genuine. He was a fantastic pro and a fantastic player. I sometimes think that gets overlooked because of the longevity he had in his career. People always ask me who was your toughest opponent, and when I played in the Premier League, Gary would've been in the top two or three.
"It's very sad and I think the whole football world is in complete shock, and we send all our condolences from our club to the family. It's a tragic loss to his family and to football."
Wales international midfielder Joe Ledley and defender Adam Matthews are currently in the Celtic squad.
Latest in Sport
The Prince of Wales Stakes today is regarded by many as the No1 race of the Royal Ascot meeting and ...
by Gareth Purnell
19 June 2013 02:01 AM
Today’s St James Palace looks a cracker and there has been sustained money for Dawn Approach since t...
by Gareth Purnell
18 June 2013 02:01 AM
Newcastle don’t need a football director – they need a new medical team after finishing bottom of the injury league
Newcastle United have shocked their fans by appointing Joe Kinnear as director of football but new f...
by Alex Miller
17 June 2013 04:39 PM
ACT Brumbies v British and Irish Lions - player ratings
Liverpool close in on £6m Spanish winger Luis Alberto
In pictures: Royal Ascot 2013 - Opening day
Exclusive: Cristiano Ronaldo advised to stay at Real Madrid for further 18 months before making possible switch to Manchester United
Italy Under-21s 2 Spain Under-21s 4 match report: Thiago Alcantara's hat-trick seals European Championship for Spanish youngsters
- 1 Diary of Second World War German teenager reveals young lives untroubled by Nazi Holocaust in wartime Berlin
- 3 Uri Geller psychic spy? The spoon-bender's secret life as a Mossad and CIA agent revealed
- 4 Viral video straps colt .45 handgun to a home-use drone
- 5 Vice pulls 'breathtakingly tasteless' fashion shoot glorifying the suicides of famous female authors from Sylvia Plath to Virginia Woolf