Tottenham defender revealed depression before the World Cup
Last Updated: 10/10/18 11:31pm
Danny Rose revealing his mental health issues can help other players, but speaking about it should be the norm, Chris Kirkland told The Debate.
Before the summer’s World Cup, Tottenham defender Rose revealed he dealt with a period of depression in 2017 after suffering a serious knee injury and the death of his uncle.
It is rare for a high-profile footballer still playing to speak out on their mental health issues, but former goalkeeper Chris Kirkland – who himself has struggled – hopes Rose’s comments can help other players.
When asked if he thought Rose was brave to comment on his depression, Kirkland told The Debate: “Yeah I do, but that should be normal. Just because he’s a footballer, he shouldn’t not be able to do that.
“That should just be normal now and, hopefully, it will give other players the confidence to do that because there are many, many players who are struggling and won’t come out.
“But hopefully if one more does come out from that, that’s what we’re doing it for.”
The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) chairman Ben Purkiss also featured on The Debate panel and while he believes the PFA are doing good work regarding mental health, he says there is always room for improvement.
“I think Michael Bennett, who is head of the wellbeing department, is trying really hard to push the issue,” he said.
“I chair a management committee which is made up of players from throughout the leagues. Tom Heaton, Lee Grant and Asmir Begovic are the Premier League representatives, Steph Houghton from the women’s game, Matt Bloomfield and Mat Sadler from lower down, and all these players realise that dressing rooms are affected by these issues.
“That’s something we’re bringing to the table and making an absolute priority for the PFA. There is good work going on but there is always opportunity to improve and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Watch the video above to see the discussion in full and watch The Debate’s World Mental Health Day special on demand.