How Marvin’s battle with de­pres­sion has brought recognition of the is­sue from Brew­ers boss


Burton Mail - - News - By BETH PRIDDING bethany.pridding@reach­ @beth­prid­ding

A BUR­TON Al­bion foot­ball star has spo­ken openly about his bat­tles with de­pres­sion, in the hope of help­ing oth­ers who are go­ing through sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances.

Marvin Sordell has said that he has faced many prob­lems in the foot­ball world and, at his low­est point, even tried to take his own life.

Now, his manager, Nigel Clough, has said that he hopes other plays will be able to iden­tify with Marvin and his strug­gles and will know to get help when they need it.

The striker, who has played in the Pre­mier League for Bolton Wan­der­ers and Burn­ley, told the Guardian how writ­ing a book and po­ems have helped him to deal with his men­tal health is­sues, which in Au­gust 2013 be­came so dif­fi­cult he tried to kill him­self. The 27-year-old said: “On one oc­ca­sion, I tried to over­dose on tablets. I took all these tablets and went to sleep. It didn’t work, thank­fully. When I woke up I was shocked, an­noyed. Some peo­ple would say, in that sit­u­a­tion, they feel born again. I just thought, ‘what now?’

I was so drained. Peo­ple think I should be fine. I’d played at the Olympics and the Euro­pean Un­der21 Cham­pi­onship, played in the Pre­mier League, on good money. But it didn’t feel like that.

“I went to train­ing the day af­ter. I didn’t tell any­one. The first time any­body re­ally un­der­stood was when I sent my book to my friends, my mum, my sis­ter and my wife.

“The only per­son who knew I was strug­gling was my wife. But when she read the book she said: ‘I didn’t know it was that bad.’”

Nigel Clough said Marvin is sup­ported by the club and hopes other foot­ballers will re­late to his story.

He said: “I’ve not ex­pe­ri­enced it, but there must be an el­e­ment of that where they think, ‘I’m feel­ing like this and no­body else is.’ And all of a sud­den, they find out that there are other foot­ballers who do.

“Peo­ple think you’re earn­ing an aw­ful lot of money, you’ve got this, you’ve got that. It’s got ab­so­lutely noth­ing to do with it, your sta­tus or your earn­ings or any­thing like that. If you feel like that, you feel like it.

“But as a club, we are signed up to the men­tal health char­ter, our­selves and the Bur­ton Al­bion Com­mu­nity Trust. So we do ev­ery­thing we can to look af­ter the whole club: the staff, the play­ers, ev­ery­thing that we can.”

Marvin says writ­ing gives him chance to get his feel­ings out there when he is feel­ing low and he par­tic­u­larly likes to write po­ems.

On World Men­tal Health Day 2017, he tweeted one of his first po­ems called De­nis Prose and was met with praise for his writ­ing.

He said: “I wanted to make de­pres­sion real so peo­ple can un­der­stand how you are fight­ing for con­trol over your­self.

“De­pres­sion con­sumes you and some­times you sub­mit to it. Lots of emo­tions snow­balled and be­came one big thing inside me.

“It felt like I was be­ing over­taken by an­other en­tity. It was then that I wrote De­nis Prose.

“The poem fol­lows my jour­ney from the train­ing ground to my home. I wanted to per­son­ify the

emo­tion while the car rep­re­sents my body. Inside the car we have my­self and a pas­sen­ger, De­nis Prose, rep­re­sent­ing two sides of my con­scious­ness.

“The jour­ney starts on a sunny day but it be­comes dark and rainy. There is a shift in emo­tion and a strug­gle for power. De­nis Prose takes charge.”

In 2017, there were 5,821 cases of peo­ple taking their own lives across the UK, and the num­ber had de­creased for the third year in a row.

While the de­crease has mainly oc­curred in men, they still ac­count for three quar­ters of all cases.

If you need help, these are the or­gan­i­sa­tions to con­tact: Sa­mar­i­tans (116 123) sa­mar­i­ CALM (0800 58 58 58) – a helpline for men who are down or have hit a wall for any rea­son.

Child­line (0800 1111). PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) – a vol­un­tary or­gan­i­sa­tion sup­port­ing teenagers and young adults who are feel­ing sui­ci­dal

De­pres­sion Al­liance de­pres­sion­al­


Bur­ton Al­bion’s Marvin Sordell, left, has spo­ken frankly about his men­tal health is­sues. Be­low, from left, Marvin in ac­tion for the Brew­ers, his manager Nigel Clough, and play­ing in the Pre­mier League for Burn­ley

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