How Sheffield Wednesday’s Sam Hutchinson helped struggling fan shoot for the stars

Sheffield Wednesday’s Sam Hutchinson has been vocal about mental health for some time now, and a chat with one young Wednesdayite has helped her build the confidence to shoot for the stars…

Monday, 1st June 2020, 12:00 pm
Updated Monday, 1st June 2020, 4:28 pm

Emmie Bathgate, a season ticket holder on Hillsborough’s Kop, had been going through a tough time prior to a meeting with ‘Hutch’ last year, but now, a few months on, she finds herself in the running for the crown of Miss South Yorkshire.

Hutchinson hasn’t had the easiest career. The tough-tackling midfielder made a remarkable comeback into professional football after taking the decision to retire at the age of just 21 amid injury problems and issues with his mental health, going on to forge an impressive career for himself with Wednesday and become in advocate in the fight against mental health disorders.

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Natalie Stevenson, the mother of the 16-year-old, says that Hutchinson gave her the confidence to believe in herself, and she’s further than she could’ve imagined a year ago after reaching the finals.

Stevenson told the Star, “After Emmie chatted with Sam about his struggles, she felt that even her heroes struggle with the same feelings that she does… Knowing that she wasn’t the only one to feel that she wasn’t worth anything, made her see things differently.

“Sam said that she couldn’t go anywhere, as she needed to stay around and watch us get to the Premier League! He helped Emmie realise that it helps to talk, and to understand that she wasn’t alone.

“Emmie is now in a stronger and more stable place. She’s missing the football, like us all, but she is eager to share her story and will chat to anyone about mental health and how talking about it can help, just like Sam did for her.”

Emmie Bathgate, 16, was helped by Sheffield Wednesday's Sam Hutchinson.

Bathgate, like so many football fans, will be happy at the prospect of a Championship return on June 20th after the English Football League set it as a provisional date for restart, and she’ll be donning her SWFC colours in one of the upcoming rounds of the Miss South Yorkshire competition as it links to her ‘personality and hobbies’.

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