Tuesday 21 May 2019

'I could hardly lift my hands' - Davy Fitzgerald's depression after sleep disorder

Illness: Davy Fitzgerald revealed his health battle in a new book. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Illness: Davy Fitzgerald revealed his health battle in a new book. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Davy Fitzgerald has revealed his battle with depression after being diagnosed with a serious sleep disorder just weeks after becoming Wexford hurling manager in 2016.

Fitzgerald's ongoing heart problems are well-known but he outlined how treatment for the disorder required the wearing of mask connected to a small mobile ventilator when sleeping, an ordeal which left him "shattered".

In exclusive extracts from his autobiography 'At All Costs', written by the Irish Independent's Vincent Hogan, the former Clare star describes how this illness left his energy "on the floor".

"I felt incredibly down and remember sitting up in bed one night and bursting into tears.

"All I could think was, 'Where the f**k is all this heading?'" Fitzgerald said.

"It felt as if I'd made a terrible mistake. There were days I'd feel so jaded I could hardly lift my hands.

"I was arriving to Wexford training just feigning enthusiasm. I had absolutely zero energy.

"Worse, I had zero morale. Here I was at 45, feeling as if my body was slowly but surely giving up on me.

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"I felt in turmoil, forcing myself into the car for the three-hour drive to training. Taking these deep breaths then on arrival, just to summon some kind of artificial energy."

Fitzgerald managed the Clare senior hurling team between 2011 and 2016 and is currently in charge of Wexford.

The two-time All-Ireland winner also revealed how he felt betrayed by former Banner team-mates Brian Lohan and Jamesie O'Connor - claiming they had been "so openly unsupportive" of him during his reign as Clare boss.

His relationship with Lohan deteriorated following a feisty Fitzgibbon Cup match in 2014 when his Limerick IT side shocked Lohan's UL and he detailed a phone call he made to "put an end" to their problems.

"It was at that point he made a comment to me I have no intention of ever repeating. Let's just say the comment was poor, that's as far as I'll go.

"The following year UL beat us in the Fitzgibbon semi-final and I just stood there at the end, waiting to see if he'd come over but - again - the day passed without a handshake."

Read more: 'I remember bursting into tears' - Davy Fitzgerald reveals how serious health issues sent him into a 'depression'

Irish Independent

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