GARY SPEED DEATH: Depression Advice Sent To 4,000 Footballers In Wake Of Suicide

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) is to send out a 36-page guidebook on handling depression to all 4,000 members in the aftermath of Gary Speed’s suicide. Chief executive Gordon Taylor has taken swift action after losing a player he regards as ‘one of football’s finest’; although there has been no confirmation Speed was afflicted with the illness.

The guidebook, which includes case studies by Andy Cole, Neil Lennon, Stan Collymore, Paul Gascoigne and PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle, is also being made available to 50,000 ex-professionals.

The PFA have also provided details of hotlines for players who believe they need help, as part of a long-term commitment to curing mental illness. The guidebook highlights situations that could affect a player. Gordon Taylor will distribute the booklet to 4,000 PFA members

Taylor said: ‘If nothing else I hope this tragedy can encourage people who need help to not hesitate to ask for it. ‘I want them to know there is a support system in place to understand their concerns and address them.’

The 36-page document has been produced by the PFA and designed to beat one of football’s last taboos.

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