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Chris Kirkland on leaving Sheffield Wednesday

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Screenshot 2020-05-21 at 21.58.57.jpg

 

Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland opens up about the reasoning behind leaving The Owls, which coincided with him being affected really badly by depression..

“It started when I went to Sheffield Wednesday,” said Kirkland. "For 11 years, when I signed for Liverpool and then for Wigan, I was 15 minutes from my house. I had my routine, I could get back, pick my daughter up from school, drop her off in the mornings, get to training, so for 11 years, everything was exactly like that. That was exactly what was happening and then it totally got flipped on its head when I went to Sheffield Wednesday.

 

“I was setting off at half five in the morning to beat the traffic in Manchester like people have to do, I was getting to training at 10 past 7 in the morning and there was no one in the building, I was on my own because there was no one else there. I was panicking when I get back because the route back from Sheffield is bad at the best of times and I was getting home late and I was thinking that I’ve got to get up at five and it just started eating away at me. I was missing my daughter’s plays, something that I had not done for 11 years and it was just eating away at me.

 

“I was going to sign again in 2015 but I just thought if I got back closer to home, I thought it would reverse the cycle but I turned down a new deal at Wednesday. It was hard because I loved the club, it was an amazing club but I knew that I needed to get back home. I signed for Preston but I was too far gone by then. I just couldn’t reverse it, I didn’t want to play football and I signed for Bury again in 2016 and I shouldn’t have signed for them, I knew it wouldn’t last and I just walked off the training pitch and just said that I can’t do this.


Full article by Dom Howson here - https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/sport/football/sheffield-wednesday-kirkland-jemson-crossley-18289359

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I’ve had anxiety issues which were pretty bad 3 years ago so I sympathise with him. He must have had it really bad if commuting from Manchester every day was getting to him that much 

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People should consider these kinds of things when they flippantly talk of "delicate little flowers" and what it might be like playing in front of large crowds of angry supporters when things aren't going well. It would be interesting to know how many players really suffer like this without speaking publicly about it.

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Mental health is a real bstd at times and suffer from it myself. You can feel like you won the world cup 1 minute, then feel like the bottom of your world has fell apart the next 

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13 minutes ago, DJMortimer said:

People should consider these kinds of things when they flippantly talk of "delicate little flowers" and what it might be like playing in front of large crowds of angry supporters when things aren't going well. It would be interesting to know how many players really suffer like this without speaking publicly about it.


Absolutely. 
 

People do forget that footballers are humans just like us at the end of the day, no amount of money can change that. 

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I would have thought that most players would relocate their families after signing a contract for 3 or 4 years. I can understand managers not doing so, as they rarely see out 12 months.

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4 hours ago, steelerian said:

I would have thought that most players would relocate their families after signing a contract for 3 or 4 years. I can understand managers not doing so, as they rarely see out 12 months.

Maybe he put the needs if his family ahead of his own and tried to minimise the disruption to their lives.

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Posted (edited)

Welcome to the real world Chris. 
 

Lots of things he could have done, spoke to people lived in Sheffield, couple of days a week. 
 

Stayed in a hotel in Sheffield for a few nights a week, 

 

Life is complex and messy for a lot of people. Every sympathy about the depression, but the options available to a well paid football to mitigate everything are immense. 
 

Many people often work away midweek only seeing family at weekend. I have friends who are up at 5am for 7am starts. In Leeds, not getting home till 5pm for example. I’ve worked away Monday - Thursday not seeing loved ones during the week. 

Edited by FroggattOwls

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Posted (edited)

Then you’ve got blokes that are working away all week, bumped in a b&b with a work mate all out trying to earn £500/700 a week and don’t get to see their kids/families till the weekend and miss their kids plays, football training you name it.

Edited by SouthStand75

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Trains and taxis 

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Some fantastically narrow minded responses already. Well done guys.

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32 minutes ago, FroggattOwls said:

Stayed in a hotel in Sheffield for a few nights a week

 

9 minutes ago, Colt said:

Trains and taxis 

 


How would that have meant he could pick his kids up from school?

I think you are both missing the point here entirely.


There's a bigger picture to mental health/depression that isn't solved by solving just one of the things that add up to a much bigger issue.

Just saying 'get to work on a train' or 'stop in a hotel' is missing the point entirely.

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Mental health is complex

 

I would imagine his anxiety was only exacerbated by the travelling it wasn’t the cause

 

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3 minutes ago, Stoop said:

Mental health is complex

 

I would imagine his anxiety was only exacerbated by the travelling it wasn’t the cause

 

Exactly.

 

If he suffered from anxiety he might not have wanted to leave the house. Then when he set off, he is possibly thinking, 'right, only 5 hours or whatever until I can head back home' then when you leave the training ground and the traffic is horrendous his heart was probably racing. 

 

All to easy to say it's only a bit of travel. 

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5 minutes ago, @owlstalk said:

 

 


How would that have meant he could pick his kids up from school?

I think you are both missing the point here entirely.


There's a bigger picture to mental health/depression that isn't solved by solving just one of the things that add up to a much bigger issue.

Just saying 'get to work on a train' or 'stop in a hotel' is missing the point entirely.

Not at all. 
 

People sacrifice things for work, every sympathy for Chris, but continuing a two hour commute everyday was madness,. Many many people work away Monday - Friday in numerous jobs, missing kids from schools and other day to day things in life. Life’s complex and messy and many normal people make massive sacrifices to provide ffor far far less wages than footballers are paid. 
 

if the commute was the issue, fix it by staying in a hotel. Tackle problems head on. Get other people to pick his kids up from school. Numerous people don’t get this privilege. Life can be very tough. Footballers have the ways and means of mitigating a lot of this that average working people don’t. It was utter madness what Kirkland was doing and I can’t believe no one at the club made suggestions to help etc. 

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42 minutes ago, @owlstalk said:


I don't think this should be seen as some kind of competition as to who can fend off mental health issues the most...

Your right it’s not but for me it just highlights how more prone to issues grown men are when they have been pampered and waited upon into late adulthood as opposed to others that have been experiencing real life since early adulthood 

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Just now, Owl999 said:

Your right it’s not but for me it just highlights how more prone to issues grown men are when they have been pampered and waited upon into late adulthood as opposed to others that have been experiencing real life since early adulthood 


It's nothing to do with being pampered whatsoever.


Depression/Mental Health can affect anyone and everyone. We know this because anyone and everyone gets it regardless of income, race, religion, gender, sexuality, marital status etc

 

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1 minute ago, FroggattOwls said:

Not at all. 
 

People sacrifice things for work, every sympathy for Chris, but continuing a two hour commute everyday was madness,. Many many people work away Monday - Friday in numerous jobs, missing kids from schools and other day to day things in life. Life’s complex and messy and many normal people make massive sacrifices to provide ffor far far less wages than footballers are paid. 
 

if the commute was the issue, fix it by staying in a hotel. Tackle problems head on. Get other people to pick his kids up from school. Numerous people don’t get this privilege. Life can be very tough. Footballers have the ways and means of mitigating a lot of this that average working people don’t. It was utter madness what Kirkland was doing and I can’t believe no one at the club made suggestions to help etc. 

Thing is if you haven’t got existing mental health issues then commuting or not seeing family for a few days etc is treated as a inconvenience but not a major problem, when you’ve got anxiety however the smallest problem can send your head in a right spin, even if you know it’s irrational 

 

4 years ago my wife had a miscarriage and my Nan died. I went from quite happy go lucky and usually being able to deal with setbacks and problems to being a right mess

 

I don’t think people understand fully until you’ve experienced it first hand, I certainly didn’t 

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11 minutes ago, FroggattOwls said:

 

if the commute was the issue, fix it by staying in a hotel. Tackle problems head on. Get other people to pick his kids up from school. 

 

How does that fix him missing his kids etc?

You're just looking at the commute side of his depression

Are you honestly saying that if someone stays in a hotel and gets the train it will fix their depression?

I genuinely (no disrespect meant here whatsoever as we all have different experiences/knowledge in life) think you need to read up on things like depression. 

Just getting trains and stopping in hotels would probably have had zero effect on the bigger picture with Chris (without knowing his personal story 100%)

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