Sport Soccer

Saturday 17 March 2018

'It's strange because there are days I feel like a normal person' - Harry Arter

Ireland midfielder Harry Arter won't be fit to face Wales
Ireland midfielder Harry Arter won't be fit to face Wales

After the most traumatic of years, Ireland midfielder Harry Arter is finally starting to find a consistent level of happiness once again.

This Saturday will be the first anniversary of the death of his daughter Renee, who passed away during birth.

In a compelling interview with the Guardian, Arter admits he has been through every emotion during the past 12 months but has finally reached a stage where having Renee on his mind now "fills him with happiness instead of depression".

“Every day I think of her,” Arter told the Guardian. “And it’s strange because there are days when I feel like a normal person, or how someone who hasn’t lost a baby would feel. But then it will just hit you, driving along and suddenly you see something that triggers your mind. It’s such a weird feeling and one that I don’t mind any more. Even when I’m sad I enjoy that feeling.”

Ireland midfielder Arter was due to travel to France as part of Martin O'Neill's Euro 2016 squad but pulled out after picking up a thigh injury during the pre-tournament training camp in Cork.

Looking back, Arter admits he was not in a good place during the final couple of months of the Premier League season and in the build up to the Euros.

“I wasn’t in a good place around that time. Physically I wasn’t great – I think stress takes a lot out of your body and I was always picking up little injuries – while mentally I was completely in the wrong place," added Arter.

"I was very angry towards people, which I now think was the sense of loss taking over. I was lashing out and the closest people were those at work. I never got angry with Rachel. I was probably storing up so much at home because I was looking after Rachel, that I didn’t grieve in my own way.

“I can reflect on this now because I feel like I’m in a much better head space than I was then, but at that time I honestly didn’t think anything was wrong with me. I just thought it was everyone else. All it took was one person to say something to me and I was ready to kill the world.

“I probably should have been a little bit more professional and decided I needed a little bit of time off to get my head straight. But I never asked for a day. I got upset, I did shed tears, but probably nowhere near as many as I should have and all of that came out in the wrong way some three or four months afterwards."

You can read the full interview here

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