The professional footballers union - the PFA - claim that almost a quarter of current and former players they've surveyed during the coronavirus pandemic are depressed or considering self harm.

Now six former players, including Hull City legend Dean Windass and former Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland, have got together to try to tackle one of football's biggest taboos.

They've enjoyed some epic highs, from scoring Wembley winners to playing for their country. But in recent times, these six former footballers have endured some difficult lows.

Between them they've played more than 2,500 professional matches for some of the biggest clubs in the country. But they've now formed their own team - WATCH - which stands for walking and talking charity hikes.

And next year will climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money and awareness for mental health charities and the NHS.

Teaming up to fight mental health

Barnsley born Mark Crossley has shown his love of walking. Another Cloughie protege, Barnsley norm Mark Crossley spent 11 years at Nottingham Forest, famously saving a penalty from Gary Linekar in the 1991 FA Cup final at Wembley. He ended his career at Chesterfield, where he also spent time as a coach.

Whereas Dean Windass from Hull is encouraging people to stay positive.Windass scored arguably the most significant goal in Hull City’s history. His strike at Wembley in 2008 secured a 1-0 win over Bristol City in the Championship playoff final and promotion to the top flight of English football for the first time in the clubs history.

Jon Parkin made his debut for hometown club Barnsley, before a nomadic career taking in the likes of Hull, Stoke, Preston and Cardiff, before finishing his career at York. He currently presents a popular football themed podcast called Under the Cosh

Kirkland was once the most expensive goalkeeper in the country when he moved from Coventry to Liverpool in 2001. He earned one England cap and played 85 matches for Sheffield Wednesday.

Nigel Jemson made his name at Nottingham Forest under the guidance of the infamous Brian Clough. He scored the winning goal at Wembley as Forest won the League Cup in 1990 and then twice for Rotherham in their Football League trophy success in 1996. He also played in the Premier League for Sheffield Wednesday.

Steve Howey is best known for the 11 years he spent at Newcastle, making his name as part of Kevin Keegan’s “entertainers”. He played four matches for England and was part of Terry Venables’ squad for Euro 96.

Calendar's sports correspondent Chris Dawkes has compiled this special report.