Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin reveals struggles and says 'talking saved my life'

ITV Granada Reports' correspondent Rachel Townsend has been chatting to footballer Kevin Ellison about the loneliness professional sports people can face.

Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has revealed he "endured some of the most difficult times" of his career and life this season.

The footballer said "talking saved my life" after he struggled with injuries in the 2021-22 campaign and his club narrowly avoided relegation.

He shared the news on social media, urging young people not to suppress emotions.

On Instagram he wrote:

"On a personal note I have had to dig deep within myself at times this season and have endured some of the most difficult times of my career and my life to date.

"The love and support helped carry me through.

"One thing I learned this season is that everyone in whatever walk of life is fighting battles you know nothing about, and there is no shame in finding someone to talk to and being open and honest with yourself about how you really feel.

"To all the young kings suppressing emotion I advise you to talk, to a friend, family member or someone that will listen, talking saved my life.

"It will make you realise things are never as bad as they seem, and you'll discover that the paradox of true strength is being able to face your weaknesses."

Calvert-Lewin with Everton boss Frank Lampard. Credit: PA

The England International missed a chunk of the season due to injury and was restricted to just 17 top-flight appearances for the Toffees.

The 25-year-old returned for the run-in and scored a vital winner - his fifth goal of the campaign - in the 3-2 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday 22 May, which secured survival for Frank Lampard's side.

"Finishing the season on a high meant everything to me, enjoy the break Toffee fans you deserve it," continued his post. "May the pressure continue to be a privilege."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...