Sunday 21 July 2019

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

In exclusive extracts from his autobiography 'At All Costs', Davy Fitz opens up on his health problems

14 July 2018; Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald prior to the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Clare and Wexford at Páirc Ui Chaoimh in Cork. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
14 July 2018; Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald prior to the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Clare and Wexford at Páirc Ui Chaoimh in Cork. Photo by Brendan Moran/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. 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."

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

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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."

Read the full extracts in Saturday's Irish Independent newspaper and on Independent.ie

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