The distressing side of being a former footballer and familiar face and to lose it all, has been highlighted by the announcement by Clarke Carlisle in an interview with The Sun newspaper, that he was attempting to take his own life when involved in a road accident last December. The ex- Professional Footballers' Association chairman and former Burnley centre-half, has made it known that he had become so depressed after his playing days were finally over, amid experiencing problems of a financial nature and the cancellation of a pundit role on television, that he decided that suicide was his preferred option at the time.

The car that 35-year-old Carlisle was driving was hit by a lorry just before Christmas in North Yorkshire, leaving the eloquent ex-player seriously injured with internal bleeding, a broken rib and a shattered left knee. Such was the concern about his condition that he was airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary. Once his mental state was known, he became an in-patient to a psychiatric unit in Harrogate.

He commented on the incident as being "my lowest point". Indeed, the 35-year-old only left care on 30th January, following six weeks in hospital. He had reflected on his predicament during his period of recuperation, allowing him to get things into a better perspective.

A potential drink-driving charge still hangs over him, as he failed to provide a sample two days before his suicide bid, after being pulled over by police.

Carlisle was chairman of the PFA from 2010 to 2013 and remains an active member of the management committee. An intelligent and well-spoken man, he became the first footballer to ever appear on Question Time. His playing career began at Blackpool and ended at Northampton, after sixteen years as a professional across nine clubs, including 500 appearances in total.

He has previously spoken about the potential for depression and suicide that exists in professional sport, including presenting a documentary on the topic that was aired on BBC Three. Depression in sportspeople has occurred in the past of course, as Dame Kelly Holmes no less has talked of her own issues before achieving Olympic success.

Carlisle's own depressed state seems to have steadily worsened after he departed from Burnley FC, back in 2012. His wife, Gemma was aware of his state and concurred with her husband's decision to make his issues publically known now, to highlight the issues to a wider audience and reduce the stigma associated with the condition.