Former Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday player Dean Windass has admitted he recently attempted suicide after battling with depression following the end of his playing career.
Windass, who fired hometown club Hull into the Premier League with a stunning winner in the 2008 play-off final, ended his playing days last year at the age of 42.
He has also worked as a television pundit but the well-travelled striker has revealed to The People the extent of his problems.
He told the newspaper: “I have cried every day for the last two years since retiring. People outside football think we have it all. But I was in a hole that I honestly didn’t know how to get out of.
“Just over a week ago I hit rock-bottom and decided to end it all.
“I first took an overdose and when that didn’t work tried to hang myself. I felt so alone and believed I had nothing to live for.
“I need to sort myself out which is why I’m speaking out now.
He added: “People have this image of me as this big strong man who can take anything life throws at him. But I’m not ashamed to say I wanted to end it after a string of setbacks.”
“I knew I’d been a fool but I couldn’t shake off the depression at feeling what a failure I’d become.”
Windass, whose previous teams include Aberdeen, Bradford, Middlesbrough and Sheffield United (20 games) and Sheffield Wednesday (two games), called on the Professional Footballers’ Association to do everything in their power to help people with similar problems in the future
“We’re not the brightest but you play football all your life,” he said.
“There are hundreds of footballers in the same boat (after retirement). There is nothing to get up for in the morning.
“The Professional Footballers’ Association or the governing body need to help us.”