- Video report by ITV News Central's Rob Jones
Former England goalkeeper Chris Kirkland has warned that more and more footballers will suffer from mental health problems in the coming years due to the increasing pressure and financial investment in the sport.
He battled depression and anxiety for five years, and was left dreading going to training before retiring last year.
Kirkland is now urging all professional clubs to provide players with full-time mental health care.
The Leicestershire-born goalkeeper was drafted by Coventry City and sold to Liverpool as the most expensive British number one ever.
He went on to play in a Champions League winning campaign for Liverpool, pick up an England cap and represent West Bromwich Albion, Leicester City and Wigan Athletic – before a move to Sheffield Wednesday in 2012 changed the way he thought about the game.
- Chris Kirkland urges footballers to seek help if they're feeling under pressure
Kirkland says he was at his lowest ebb coming towards the end of his time at Sheffield Wednesday.
In 2015 Kirkland signed for Preston, far closer to his home.
He played one season with the club, and one very short summer at Bury, before he pleaded with then manager David Flitcroft to release him.
Kirkland is one of the relative few to have come out and spoken about his battle with depression at the end of his career.
He recently spoke at the Professional Football Association’s first mental health and wellbeing conference at St George’s Park.
The message was clear, and the warning stark:
Kirkland is now determined to ensure that the problems caused by the pressure, exposure and expectation that comes with being footballer are not ignored.