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FANS of the two Sheffield clubs have been left stunned by the news former player Dean Windass recently tried to kill himself.

The striker, who fired hometown club Hull into the Premier League with a stunning winner in the 2008 play-off final, has revealed he attempted suicide earlier this month after battling with alcohol and depression following his retirement two years ago.

In a loan stint at Hillsborough in 2001, Windass started two matches while he later went on to make 22 appearances across two spells for United, scoring six times.

Joseramirez posted on thestar.co.uk: “What a shame. Great character, great professional and despite what you may see on the pitch, a very nice man. Surely there’s a job for a man like that in football.

“Might I suggest many clubs in the area could use Deano in a consutlancy capacity mentoring young (and probably not so young players). He’d certainly help to keep their feet on the ground.”

Blade4life1982 has also paid tribute to Windass, who also plied his trade for Hull, Bradford, Middlesbrough and Aberdeen in illustrious 19-year playing career, saying: “Credit where credit is due to Deano. It takes a man to admit it and I have loads of respect for the guy. Get well soon pal.”

Feet like Lightning, echoed his sentiments, saying: “A real character; hope he’ll be right as rain soon.”

SuffolkBlade added: “Footballers aren’t the only one’s who suffer from this - it’s a major problem for society - always has been. There are thousands retiring from work every year, in some cases they’ve been doing the same job for 60 plus years. Other’s lose their jobs or have to retire early through illness. Let’s not forget these ordinary folk - this isn’t a new phenomenon that only affects footballers.

“Hopefully the good thing that will come from these high profile cases is that everyone will wake up to the dangers of mental health problems and we’ll get to deal with it across the board. Best wishes to Dean and his loved ones.”

Other sports stars have sent their support on Twitter.

Former Rotherham United striker Ian Thomas-Moore tweeted: “Sad reading that about Dean Windass in the paper today. This depression illness must be a nightmare. Get well soon Deano.”

Andrew Flintoff said: “Windass’s story is a tough read. Hopefully now he can get the help he needs.”