PFA study shows over fifth of footballers feel depressed

A study from the English Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) has found that over a fifth of footballers have suffered from depression or had thoughts of self harm.

The PFA spoke to 262 of its members during the period of lockdown implemented to fight the coronavirus outbreak and found that 57 (22%) had felt depressed or considered harming themselves. Among current players, that figure was 6%.

However, 72% displayed regular feelings of nervousness or anxiety, while 69% were worried about their career.

"We have got a number of players who are living from pay cheque to pay cheque and this is having a real impact on them emotionally," PFA director of player welfare Michael Bennett said.

"Also health issues -- if we do go back to the season, can it work? Will it work? What about my family? All those sort of 'what if' questions kept coming up.

"From the former players, it was questions about employment. A lot of them are self-employed, coaches, taxi drivers and stuff like that. They were having emotional issues because of the financial impact that they couldn't work."