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Dublin: 8°C Thursday 24 September 2020

Former footballer Clarke Carlisle speaks out over suicide attempt

The 35-year-old hopes to help others suffering from depression after revealing he attempted to take his own life in December.

Clarke Carlisle is a former PFA chairman.
Clarke Carlisle is a former PFA chairman.

FORMER PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLERS’ Association chairman Clarke Carlisle is hoping to help others suffering from depression after revealing the injuries he recently sustained were the result of a suicide attempt.

Carlisle, who had spells with the likes of QPR, Leeds United and Burnley, spent six weeks in hospital having been hit by a lorry on the A64 near Bishopthorpe, York, on 22 December.

The 35-year-old was seriously hurt in the incident, which came days after he had been charged with drink driving and informed he was set to lose his role as a TV pundit.

In an exclusive interview with The Sun, Carlisle, who has openly discussed suffering from depression in the past, revealed he had deliberately stepped in front of the vehicle that struck him and “wanted to die”.

He has since undergone treatment at a psychiatric unit and is now looking forward with renewed optimism.

Carlisle said: “I ventured out of my room [at the psychiatric unit] not as Clarke the ex-footballer, but as Clarke, a mental health patient.

“My road to recovery will be eternal. Today I am excited and I’m confident because I’ve finally been truly diagnosed.”

Discussing the injuries he suffered, Carlisle acknowledged how lucky he had been.

“I got a massive cut across my knee and road burns to my face — but I’m still alive,” he added.

“The laws of physics dictate that I should have died.”


(Image via @StigAbell)

Carlisle’s wife Gemma took to Twitter to explain the couple’s reasons for revealing the details of Clarke’s suicide attempt.

She wrote: “Clarke and I thought very long and hard about this over the last week, and feel that as you all supported us so immensely through this ordeal you deserved the truth.

“We also want to highlight and create understanding for a lot of issues and feel it would be hypocritical of us to saying [sic] nothing.

“I’m hoping we get an honest and fair account that will help others and not one that is sensationalised.”

Gemma Carlisle added: “Suicide & depression is not selfish. It’s a serious illness where your world & reality are warped.

“We send our love & thoughts to the lorry driver & family. It could have been anyone and Clarke is desperately sorry that it was him.”


If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article, please contact one of the following helplines:

  • Samaritans 116123 or email
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634
  • Console 1800 247 247
  • Aware 1890 303 302
  • Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66

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