Sheffield Wednesday’s Sam Hutchinson did a very brave thing last week and it didn’t involve a full pelt sliding tackle.
Sam talked in an interview with a national newspaper, about his battle with depression after he was forced to retire at the age of 21 with a knee injury.
It was brave of him because there seems to be a culture of hiding your vulnerabilities in football and as we’ve seen in some players it can have a hugely detrimental effect.
You don’t have to look too hard to find examples of professional footballers who have suffered through depression and dealt with it through addiction, self-destruction and in some cases suicidal tendencies.
For Sam to bear his soul and tell the world what he’s been through is a rare and much needed message for fans as well as fellow footballers.
You can be the life and soul of the party but just because people talk a lot it doesn’t mean that they are revealing a great deal.
After a life-changing event, like Sam’s retirement, where your planned future isn’t an option anymore it’s not just that you can’t see the wood for the trees but it feels like you’re being cornered by the forest.
I’m not ashamed to say that after a life-changing event of my own I had counselling but it’s not something I’ve talked about even to my nearest and dearest.
Hutchinson describes not speaking to his family for over a year and although I didn’t fall out with my family I found it difficult to find the language to express to them what was in my head because at times I didn’t understand it myself.
Sam’s positive story is a good one for everybody.
Sometimes the mind needs an MOT and talking about how you feel should be encouraged, even in the macho world of football.