Rugby star says teamwork can beat depression

Danny Sculthorpe Credit: Mark Waugh

Former Super League star Danny Sculthorpe, has spoken about his battle with depression and the torment that led him to want to end his life.

Speaking at a conference that brought together health and social care experts from across Greater Manchester, the ex-prop for England explained how his life spiralled out of control after a serious back injury that not only ended his sporting career, but left him bed-bound for months.

At that time, in 2010, the young Dad-of-two had daughter, Ellie, then aged four and Louis, two and he says the worst thing was not be able to provide for them.

Once Danny, now 37, was able to walk again he still faced the effects of depression, to the point where he had enough tablets to ‘kill 100 people’ which he planned to take in his car.

He says it was only when his parents asked him what was wrong and what had changed his personality that he was able to open up.

He says that started the process of healing and he found that talking was as much an anti-depressant as the drugs.

Danny, who played for Widnes, Wigan and Rochdale, now wants experts across Greater Manchester to listen to his experience while they discuss new approaches to a tragedy that is estimated to claim around 270 lives in the region each year.

On a wider level, he sees society as having the ultimate effect on helping to prevent suicide – which claims the lives 13 young men – across the country each day.