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It was tough to talk at the time.

10 October 2019

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One in four people are thought to experience a mental health problem each year and Michael Appleton says he is pleased that the level of awareness and understanding around mental health issues is higher than ever.

As players, managers, officials and supporters come together on World Mental Health Day, The Imps’ manager spoke of a tough personal period in his life when his playing career was cut short through injury at West Brom.

“I think to have your career taken away from you at any time is disappointing. But when you find yourself at a Premier League club and you first leave a club the size of Manchester United like I did as a kid, at that point the only way was down (the league) and then have to fight my way back like I did at West Brom to then have to give ten years of your career up (through injury), lose two years after that and have three operations on my knee it takes its toll on you.”

He admits it was tough to talk to others about his issues at the time and although his route to better mental health following a period of struggle was brought on by a different focus. Michael is pleased that people are now aware of the importance of good mental health and how more people are open and willing to talk about things as they may not have the opportunity to refocus their mind in the way that he had.

“There was definitely a period when I really struggled with it, there’s no hiding from it. Especially today, and over the past couple of years how the whole mental issues have come to the fore, I can relate to it as I was probably too proud at the time to say anything that I was struggling and you try and find something which helps you cope with it.

“But, I was really lucky that I had an opportunity to stay coaching at West Brom and the other thing I had was the Gym. It was my get away from everything, the problems I had injury wise might have taken away from my lower body what I could physically do but I focussed on being as physically strong as I could for a couple of years.”


Every year, 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem. So that’s why we’re asking you to wear an On Your Side badge with pride, with proceeds of badge sales going toward Mind’s life-changing services.

You can buy yours Mind Imps Badge directly from Mind by CLICKING HERE

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