Duncan Bell in action for Bath. Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Bath Rugby 'unaware' of Duncan Bell's depression

The former England prop kept his illness secret for nine years.

BATH RUGBY CLUB have said that they were unaware of the depression suffered by former prop Duncan Bell until the 37-year-old announced his retirement on Monday.

Coach Brad Davis said the first time he became aware of Bell’s problems was when the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) announced his retirement on their website Tuesday.

The RPA statement contained quotes from CEO Damian Hopley in which congratulated Bell on his “extremely brave decision to address the issue of depression as he retires from the game.”

“It came as a real surprise to all of us at the club, “said Davis.

“He’s suffered silently and credit to the man for coping so well and for having the courage to share it with the greater rugby community. It will help other players in his position to get the help that they need.”

It has since emerged that Bell had told just one team mate, front row colleague David Flatman, about the illness he had suffered since the breakdown of his marriage in 2005.

Bell intends to work with the RPA to raise awareness of depression amongst professional athletes when he retires at the end of the year.

Watch as he gives an emotional interview to Bath Rugby TV:

Credit:  Bath Rugby