Former Peterborough United player Bobby Copping launches new mental health foundation

  • Hear what Bobby has to say about the new Foundation.

Former Peterborough United defender Bobby Copping, who is originally from Dereham in Norfolk, has announced the details of his new mental health foundation.

The 19-year-old recently went through his own mental and physical battle after taking a header in training that changed his life.

After hitting the ball he momentarily lost the majority of his vision, the entire left-hand side of his body went numb and he suffered a mini seizure. He spent four days in hospital.

Five months later, the same thing happened again. This time it was during the warm-up of his comeback game for Peterborough United's under 23s.

Bobby was diagnosed with trauma triggering episodes and was forced retire from the game at just 19 years old. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Bobby was diagnosed with trauma triggering episodes and was forced retire from the game at just 19 years old.

To this day, he's still experiencing memory loss, headaches and car sickness, but doctors are hopeful that by withdrawing himself from the sport, he will still be able to lead a full and healthy life.

Bobby says it's his own experience that has driven him to want to help others.

Bobby has worked alongside Kayleigh Stent to create the Foundation. Stent is Peterborough United's Player Care Manager. Credit: Bobby Copping Foundation

The service will provide counselling and support seminars that will be delivered to athletes, parents, carers and supporters to help them "go into their sport with their eyes wide open".

Bobby says it was important to him to include support for families as well as players, because often families are just as impacted:

"Obviously with my retirement, my family put in just as much effort as I did in my career so I've got all the support in the world, but who's then supporting my family, because they feel just as bad as I do. So we wanna bring in that kind of support network where families can turn to us and speak to us about how to deal with their child's setback."

Creating workshops and talks will be part of the Foundation. Some of the topics will include: dealing with setbacks, looking at what to do when things don't work out the way you think they will, how families can support their loved ones, and more.

It comes as a parliamentary inquiry into the link between sport and long-term brain injury is being launched. 

Duncan Forbes and Martin Peters both died in 2019, while Steve Thompson (bottom) was recently diagnosed with early onset dementia. Credit: PA

The inquiry comes just weeks after former Northampton Saints rugby player Steve Thompson revealed he's taking legal action after being diagnosed with early onset dementia, while in 2019, Norwich City legends Duncan Forbes and Martin Peters both died following lengthy battles with the condition.

MPs will listen to scientific evidence and hear from players and governing bodies. 

You can read more about that here.

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