The Independent on Saturday - - FOOTBALL SATURDAY - CRAIG HOPE

CRAIG Bel­lamy says he has been re­ceiv­ing treat­ment for manic de­pres­sion for three years.

The for­mer Wales for­ward has re­vealed he first suf­fered men­tal prob­lems dur­ing his play­ing ca­reer – and in­juries made his con­di­tion so bad he wanted to quit foot­ball.

Bel­lamy said: “For the past three or four years, I’ve been di­ag­nosed with de­pres­sion, manic de­pres­sion. I can’t get away from that. I’ve been med­i­cated for three years.

“I’ve had ridicu­lous highs and mas­sive lows dur­ing my ca­reer. The in­juries were so, so dif­fi­cult to try to over­come. I felt tor­tured.

“This wasn’t what I ex­pected my foot­ball ca­reer to be like. Dur­ing my ca­reer, my de­pres­sion was worse, way worse, the emo­tional side.

“I’d come home and wouldn’t speak for three days. I had a wife and young fam­ily but I lit­er­ally wouldn’t talk. I would shut my­self away in a room and then I would go to bed on my own. That was the only way I could deal with the de­pres­sion.”

Bel­lamy says he even re­jected in­ter­est from Manch­ester United while at New­cas­tle, given his is­sues with in­jury.

“I was strug­gling with ten­donitis in both knees and just wanted my ca­reer to be over,” he said.

“New­cas­tle had in­vested heav­ily in me and I felt I couldn’t jus­tify it. I re­mem­ber Manch­ester United were in­ter­ested in me as well that sum­mer – but I knew I couldn’t go there.

“I knew I was in no po­si­tion to com­pete with the likes of the play­ers they had there. Hav­ing to deal with that was the tough­est time dur­ing my ca­reer.”

Bel­lamy is now a youth coach at An­der­lecht, the club Vin­cent Kom­pany is at. He left his role as Cardiff Un­der-18s coach last year after sev­eral academy play­ers made al­le­ga­tions of bul­ly­ing against him.

When a club in­ves­ti­ga­tion later found play­ers had been sub­jected to “an un­ac­cept­able coach­ing en­vi­ron­ment”, Bel­lamy said: “If I in­ad­ver­tently of­fended any­one then I am truly sorry.” | Daily Mail

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