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Gary Speed - Rest in peace


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Liverpool v The Toon called off for Princess fuckin Di, and this goes ahead with all the Welsh players in both these teams. It's not right.

 

I'd guess/hope they've asked all the players involved and they've said they think its right to play as they have good reason not to. Totally agree about princess Di, it was an absolute joke that it was even thought to cancel any sporting events nevermind do it, who the fuck were these players who couldn't play football because a woman who is no relation or connected to them in anyway has died, it was farcical.

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Stunned. Still can't quite believe it. Dan Walker @ the BBC just tweeted this:

 

"Gary was full of life yesterday talking about his kids, bright future with Wales, twitter, golf. Can't get my head round it. So sad."

 

Really doesn't all seem to make sense right now...

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With this and Stan Collymore's recent twitter posting (as well as incidents like Robert Enke), I hope this leads to some more awareness and help towards people in the game who are suffering from depression.

 

I hope NUFC put together a fitting tribute for a true pro and great bloke next week.

 

read this just yesterday

 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2011/nov/25/the-secret-footballer

 

The Secret Footballer: Sometimes there's darkness behind the limelight

 

Mental illness is another of football's taboos, but attitudes are starting to change and it is not before time

 

The ability of football to turn life on its head with only a single blast of the referee's whistle makes it almost too easy to get carried away with the game at times. One minute everything is going well and seconds later things have never looked so bleak; sometimes that pressure is simply too much. Last week the attempt by the Bundesliga referee Babak Rafati to kill himself had pundits and commentators alike preferring to "put football into perspective" rather than ask the awkward questions that nobody wants to answer.

Many top sports people know only too well what Rafati is going through. On Friday, Stan Collymore, the former Liverpool striker, used his Twitter account to tell the world that his latest bout of depression was one of the most severe yet, prompting him to reveal that he hasn't seen daylight for four days. I certainly understand the feeling of wanting to shut yourself away from the world and when I was first diagnosed with depression in 2002 it was even more of a stigma than it is today.

Since football exploded as a global business some 20 years ago the pressure on everybody involved has become a poisoned chalice. On the one hand the rewards are vast but on the other failure, or even mediocrity, can become the barometer against which all aspects of life are measured, albeit for a minority.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying for one minute that everyone involved with the game is in a state of irreparable depression, but I do think that the majority of us feel a degree of pressure, from the thought of what the headline writers have in store for us to the fans that start work on Monday morning unsure if they'll have enough money to put fuel in their car, never mind afford another £40 ticket come Saturday.

When I started playing there was no media training or sports psychology to help you along the way; pressure was just something you had to deal with. Some players remain so anxious that they are physically sick before games, and one of my friends from the continent took to having oxygen such was his fear of underperforming.

On many occasions, I have seen players affected by what somebody has said about them on a message board or in a newspaper. Even if there are 99 positive comments, they will put all their efforts into searching for the one negative remark and, subsequently, put all their energy into worrying about it.

A player, of course, knows only too well if he has played poorly, and yet the fear of seeing a below-par performance pulled apart by a journalist remains a huge obstacle for some. I must confess that in days gone by I have refused interviews with some reporters when I've felt that the rating out of 10 given to me in their match report the previous week did not reflect my true contribution. As I wrote that sentence I could see how pathetic it might sound but imagine having your performance in the workplace publicly graded every week.

These examples of insecurity are in no way confined to the players. Whenever a manager mentions in an interview that he never reads the papers, then you know for certain that the first thing he does on a Monday morning is go through every match report with a highlighter pen.

Adding pressure to your own game is sometimes unavoidable and can manifest itself in poor performances, the culmination of which can lead to a dark and depressing cul-de-sac. Tragically, there are examples of players who have reached this tipping point. In 2009 Robert Enke, the German goalkeeper, killed himself after struggling to come to terms with the death of his daughter, his illness not helped by an inability to deal with the scrutiny of his performances and anything less than his own high standards.

Unfortunately, mental illness among the wealthy, and in particular those in sport that are perceived by the public to be doing the job they love, remains a tough concept for some to get their head around. The word "depression" is suffering from a tired image and doesn't seem to have penetrated the public divide in perhaps the same way that, for example, post-traumatic stress disorder has.

Yet, strangely for a game dominated by pent-up testosterone, the acknowledgment and treatment of depression is getting better. Managers understand, perhaps more than ever, that the talent of a modern-day footballer will tend to put them in a position of wealth and fame at a very young age, bringing vulnerability as well as huge rewards.

The media coverage of football has also changed, leading to a relentless quest for content that has driven an interest in the personal lives of many players. Because of this, I feel there is a real opportunity for our governing bodies to lay down a marker for what players can expect from the media and the terraces and what is an invasion of human rights.

Some have asked why a banker, which Rafati is, would ever want to be a part of any of this. The added pressure of refereeing top-flight football is in evidence almost every day of the week but, while banking is certainly a way to make a good living, it is, first and foremost, a job. Football is a passion and in an ideal world something to live for not to die as a result of.

The world, of course, is far from ideal and that makes it easy for all of us to point the finger at times. Sometimes I'll see fans screaming at players of their own team with such anger that for a moment I lose all identification with them; the butterfly effect is the player that hurriedly makes his way to the coach as hundreds of kids wait for autographs.

In my own way, I have learnt to cope with the side-effects of this game but only because I believe, in fact I know, that if some of those involved with football have arrived at a moment in their lives where they feel that standing in front of a train or slitting their wrists in a hotel room is the only way out, then it isn't just a game any more, is it?

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How old are his boys? So so sad. Poor kids. I can't begin to imagine how difficult it will be for them. He must have been in an absolutely terrible state away from the public eye for him to resort to the 'last resort'.

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Interesting read. I read a review about a new biography that came out recently about that young German keeper, Enke?, who committed suicide a few years back. Written by a journalist friend of his I think. The review talked about all the pressure placed on players and the need for enormous levels of self-confidence, and the expectation that they were then somehow meant to be immune to issues of self-doubt. But I guess the toll it must take on some individual's psyche just becomes too much at some point. I don't know.

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Was shell shocked about this, absolutely. At first I heard I just thought it was his health and was really surprised. Then on hearing it was suicide, thats just sad. Really feel for his family and close friends. RIP.

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Stunned. Still can't quite believe it. Dan Walker @ the BBC just tweeted this:

 

"Gary was full of life yesterday talking about his kids, bright future with Wales, twitter, golf. Can't get my head round it. So sad."

 

Really doesn't all seem to make sense right now...

 

It's sounds like he suffered from a proper depressive disorder. Without belittling Collymore who is happy to talk about depression on his Twitter and get on with his life at the same time it sounds like Speed has just got to a point where he's thought fuck it, I'm out.

 

It can come straight out of the blue.

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Stunned. Still can't quite believe it. Dan Walker @ the BBC just tweeted this:

 

"Gary was full of life yesterday talking about his kids, bright future with Wales, twitter, golf. Can't get my head round it. So sad."

 

Really doesn't all seem to make sense right now...

 

It's sounds like he suffered from a proper depressive disorder. Without belittling Collymore who is happy to talk about depression on his Twitter and get on with his life at the same time it sounds like Speed has just got to a point where he's thought fuck it, I'm out.

 

It can come straight out of the blue.

 

It seems so strange seeing as Dan Walker is saying how he was fine yesterday. I guess he did a good job of hiding it all.

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