Saturday 14 December 2019

Former Man City star Michael Johnson having treatment after suffering mental illness

MICHAEL Johnson revealed today that he has suffered from mental illness "for a number of years" after news emerged that the promising midfielder had been released by Manchester City.

The 24-year-old was once tipped as a future England international, but had disappeared off the radar City after his progress was stalled by injury.

The player had not pulled on the City shirt since Oct 2009 and a loan spell at Leicester last season was cut short.

In a short interview, he told the Manchester Evening News: "I have been attending the Priory Clinic for a number of years now with regard to my mental health and would be grateful if I could now be left alone to live the rest of my life."

Johnson, a former Everton youth team player, broke into the City first team at the age of 18 in 2006.

His stellar performances saw him linked with a big-money move to Liverpool but injuries, including a ruptured cruciate ligament, prevented him building on the promising start to his career.

He was twice arrested for drink-driving last year, leading to a three-year driving ban and fines totalling £5,500, and in recent times there were rumours he lacked the dedication required of a top-flight footballer.

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

The Left Wing: John Cooney on Ulster's European run and bouncing back from World Cup disappointment

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport