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TIL 1010

Darren Eadie & Mental Health Issues.

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The first ever time I got a players name and number on a city shirt, it was Darren Eadie.

I remember him breaking onto the scene and watching in absolute joy at this somewhat diminutive winger (later a striker at times), that would seemingly have given Road Runner a tough challenge in a foot race, look like not only an outstanding young talent but potentially England's answer to the left-side dilemma they'd struggled with for too long.

I was absolutely gutted when he got sold to Leicester, much more so than when we sold Sutton for a record fee, and truthfully, even more gutted when I saw he'd had to retire due to his ongoing knee problems.

It's really hard to truly explain to younger generations of fans the speed and potential Eadie actually had. He may not have had the pure foot skills/dribbling of a Huckerby or Ronaldo, he may not have had the pure finishing of a world class striker, but there was something exhilarating in watching him play at times, and sadly YouTube footage of Eadie during his 17 goal season in 96/97 is seemingly nowhere to be found either.

What's he's done since then in being open and upfront about the mental health issues he's struggled with for so long, is critically underappreciated, and the fact that like many people suffering from depression, anxiety, panic attacks and similar issues, he's put on a brave face, tried to remain professional, all the while being friendly and honest with fans gives him great credit.

I certainly hope that he continues to be able to deal with his issues and that he remains a beacon to not just fans, but others in the sport and in truth in ANY field, in addressing the often horrible reality that mental health problems pose in even simple day to day life, and keeps spreading the message that it's not just ok, but often ESSENTIAL to ask for help, from both friends and professionals regardless of who you are or what you do.

All the best Darren.

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Fair play to Eadie for talking so openly about mental health. ME covers a whole spectrum of illnesses - all of which are hugely debilitating for sufferers and should be treated with the same level of empathy and treatment as physical illnesses.

People need to recognise the severity and seriousness of ME - much respect to Eadie for raising awareness and showing that ME can affect ANYONE.

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