Sunday 24 September 2017

Royle family actor releases scathing statement questioning Clarke Carlisle's 'suicide bid'

Ralph Little says he has no sympathy for former player

Clarke Carlisle and (inset) Ralph Little
Clarke Carlisle and (inset) Ralph Little

Royle family actor Ralph Little has released a scathing statement criticising Clarke Carlisle, saying he has no sympathy for the former Professional Footballers' Association chairman while also questioning the validity of his attempted suicide story.

In an interview in today's Sun, Carlisle claimed he tried to take his own life just three days before Christmas when he jumped in front of a lorry. Carlisle was charged with an alleged drink driving offence just days before his suicide bid and now Little has come out and questioned his story.

Little tweeted today: "Oh dear. Looks like Clarke Carlisle's going to get away with it - AGAIN. #Teflon #nonstick.

"Seems people want context about previous tweet. So let me say, I know the full story and it's not what's portrayed in the media. That's all.

"On reflection some of you are right - that tweet requires context. So bear with - driving. Bout 20 mins.

"Ok, back now so here goes, but this will be be over a few so hear them out before steaming in, and I'll try and explain...

"It's coming, it's coming."

Clarke himself got involved when he tweeted from his wife's account.

"@RalfLittle Hi Ralf, it's Clarke here. I have seen you once in 10 years,and that was to apologise for my repulsive behaviour as a young man.

"@RalfLittle I know you have you're right to your opinion, but I've got to say, I sincerely hope that you're not the same person you were 10.

"@RalfLittle years ago, as I very much am not. I hope you are well, happy and enjoying your excellent career. I pray depression never bites x."

Carlisle told the Sun today: "I had to die. This wasn't escaping or running away. This was the perfect answer. It made everyone happy and it ticked every box. I took two steps into the road and then jumped into the truck, like a full shoulder charge. I can remember that impact. Bang. Then lights out. I don't know how long had passed. It must have been a few minutes."

But Little went on to release a longer statement about his history with Carlisle involving "money, lies and on one notable occasion being interrogated by the police".

Read more: 'I had to die, I jumped into the truck, like a full shoulder charge' - former footballer Clarke Carlisle reveals he tried to take his own life

Here is Little's full statement.

"First and foremost, and I should know this by now, twitter is not the place for this sort of thing, as it takes more than 140 characters to talk about anything seriously. So already I wish I hadn’t said anything, not because I regret the comment, but because the choice of forum was wrong and frankly understandable if people are riled up.

"Next thing is, I don’t suddenly want to air a list of grievances that sound sensationalist and do some tabloid’s job for them. Clarke and I have history, that involves money, lies, on one notable occasion me being interrogated by the police over something I knew nothing about… and all sorts of other stuff.

"Now, when it comes to mental illness, I understand it, I’ve lived around it, I’ve supported it, I fight against the stigmatization of it and so on. I think it’s a very real issue with a long road to go to combat it.

"So that said, on to this case… It’s extremely difficult to watch someone repeatedly ruin other people’s lives, then explain it in such a way that makes them immune to criticism. And it keeps happening. It’s now reached a point where, as this proves, it’s like emotional touch paper.

"And sure, I’m not a professional expert on mental health, and no doubt, neither are you. But I know more about this particular case than you do just because you read about it in the Sun, or saw a documentary.

"There comes a point where it’s just frustrating to witness someone constantly hammering the pattern of destruction for those around – and I was once one of those around - only to see the destructive force make a moving and sincere apology… then do it again.

(On reflection, that’s the nature of addiction/illness, and I know that all too well, but as I say, a rash tweet and it’s not the place for it. )

"I should also say that during the course of this twitter… whatever it is, Clarke has been in touch with a retrospective apology over things that went on a long time ago, and I think that has to be respected by all, myself included.

"Anyway... You have to be in a dark place to attempt suicide, and only a fool would suggest otherwise. However, I do find myself thinking that when you’ve been driving drunk five (is it?) times, risking lives of countless other people, and even in your darkest hour still manage to involve a lorry driver who could have died himself, and now has to live with that trauma and memory every day fro the REST of his life… Personally my stores of empathy start to dry up after a while.

"Am I really that out of order for suggesting that’s not on? Do we repeatedly overlook reckless destruction of other lives because someone apologizes, again and again, and says it’s an illness? Isn't there a point where we can go, "enough is enough"?

"I hate drink driving, I really do. I know victims of it, who have died, been paralysed, or lost loved ones, and I’ve watched this man get caught doing it several times then publicly forgiven, lauded, and handed a bloody good career! I’m sorry but that annoys me!

"And I think that’s my overriding feeling. I don’t feel sad for Clarke any more, I was drained of that some time ago. Instead I feel sad, and maybe a little angry, for Gemma, and the kids, and the lorry driver, and the people who dived out of the way of the car all those years ago, and all the other people who have been f****d over and over and over… you know who you are.

"Of course I wish Clarke a strong recovery – and not just from the crash. It would be a better world if he and all other sufferers of such an insidious disease could find a way to fight the good fight. But when he does end up facing the drink driving charges, this time around, I hope, not least out of respect for the hundreds of drink driving victims who tweet me every year, they throw the book at him.

"I don’t think that makes me a c**t, or gobshite, or a w****r, or any other delightful name some of you came up with, but hey it’s a free country.

"Though, as a final thought, I would say again, I’m a fool for forgetting that twitter is not, and never will be, the place for a comment like that. It’s too reductive and simplistic, and yes, without context, I can see it would seem insensitive and crass. Not my intention.

"I’m going to bed."

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