ACE BILLY BAT­TLES BACK TO BEAT HIS DEMONS

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO PLAY-OFF PREVIEW - By Char­lie Peat

AC­CRING­TON Stan­ley’s Billy Kee has opened up about his bat­tle with de­pres­sion which al­most saw him quit foot­ball.

The 15-goal striker re­vealed he went back to work­ing on a build­ing site as he strug­gled with men­tal health is­sues at the end of last year.

“It’s re­ally hard and it’s some­thing I will al­ways have,” said the 26-year-old tal­is­man.

“I have never shied away from my prob­lems and I will talk to any­one about it.

“It was re­ally bad de­pres­sion last year and I have had to bounce back, get my­self to­gether and get my­self right, and the gaffer (John Cole­man) and Jimmy (Bell – as­sis­tant man­ager) have been bril­liant at sup­port­ing me.

“It’s hard as peo­ple do not re­alise. They look at you and think you have a good job, a lovely fam­ily but it doesn’t change the way you feel.

“I was com­ing into the club ev­ery day and want­ing to cry and not play foot­ball. That’s wrong as it’s the best job in the world.”

The for­ward had been scor­ing at a con­sis­tent rate for Stan­ley but re­alised in Oc­to­ber he needed some time away.

“I went to work on a build­ing site for two or three weeks and it was a very dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence and it helped me.

“It was a dif­fer­ent life. I had to get up at 7am and fin­ish at 5pm and it was hard. It al­lowed me to stand back and look at my life and the op­tions I had avail­able.

“I re­alised that foot­ball, and the sup­port you get, could help me and the gaffer and Jimmy were there for me.

“I re­alised I can come into work ev­ery day, have ban­ter with my mates, have a good laugh and am get­ting paid good wages for do­ing some­thing I love. I had to re­alise that I was a lucky boy.”

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