Opinion Comment

Tuesday 23 January 2018

James Snowcraft: Depression and panic attacks .. what happens to a top professional footballer when he’s told it’s all over

Darren Eadie in action for Leicester City
Darren Eadie in action for Leicester City

ONE minute, Darren Eadie was the Premier League footballer who Martin O'Neill had paid out £3.5m to bring to Leicester City. The next, he was lying in a hospital bed, his arm covering his face, trying to take in a surgeon's words that his career was over.

Later, he would be hit by a depression so deep that it left him driving around the country lanes of his native Norfolk, so traumatised that he had to stop and call his wife out to come and rescue him. The same illness left him unable to go into the sea with his children on holiday, or to complete a birthday meal with his wife when the panic which was regularly seizing him took over once again. But to begin with, it was only the little things that hit Eadie as he went through the motions of packing up his life and career in a bag, at the Leicester City training ground.

"Everybody says you hang your boots up when your career is finished," Eadie says now. "But you actually take them down."

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