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Man United star James urges more people to open up on mental health issues

The Welsh attacker has battled issues of his own and is using his experiences to help others in similar situations.

Daniel James (file pic).
Daniel James (file pic).

MAN UNITED STAR Daniel James has urged people to speak out on mental health issues and acknowledged his own difficulties in the past.

The 22-year-old lost his father suddenly just prior to making a £15 million (€17.7m) move from Swansea City to the Red Devils in the summer.

James has joined forces with Peter Hill’s Place2Place organisation, which is a club set up in Wigan to help people with mental health issues.

The Wales international spoke about how he was affected by the tragic loss of his dad.

“When something like [a family death] happens, it’s always best to speak out and I think when I have, and I’ve spoken to people in similar situations, it’s helped me so much,” he told BBC North West.

“Getting the message out there to speak out is huge and I think you can be the brightest person in the room but people never know what’s going on really inside and the hardest thing obviously is to speak out.

I think Peter and me, myself, is trying to encourage people to be able to speak out and speak to others and don’t be afraid to do that.”

James added that football and the move to United helped him overcome the personal tragedy he suffered.

“It didn’t really hit me until about three months and I think that being at United, and that he knew that I was going to United, was obviously a massive thing for me,” he said.

“I think from then on, I just wanted to make him proud and play for an amazing club, someone I’ve always wished to play for, and for him to look down at me say I’m proud of you.

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“And I think that’s helped me so much, just always stay positive. Sometimes, there’s obviously times where you can’t.”

Additional reporting by Omni

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Paul Fennessy

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