LADbible http://www.ladbible.com/assets/images/theme/logo.svg

Stan Collymore is perhaps best known for prompting one of the most infamous football commentary moments ever.

In 1996, Kevin Keegan's Newcastle side arrived at Anfield to take on Liverpool, with both teams looking to close in on Manchester United for the Premier League title. The match is widely regarded as the best in EPL history, with Collymore netting an emphatic winner in the second minute of stoppage time, taking it to 4-3 and causing Sky Sports' Martin Tyler to lose his head.

"Barnes, Rush, Barnes... Still John Barnes... Collymore closing INNNNNNN. LIVERPOOL LEAD IN STOPPAGE TIME."

Though the goal would forever cement the Midlander's name in Premiership folklore, it couldn't prevent the unpreventable: Man Utd would ultimately emerge as league champions.

Credit: PA

In 1999, three years after his theatrics at Anfield, he told a coach at Aston Villa that he was battling depression. He was told that fans wouldn't sympathise with the illness as he was seen as someone doing a job for them, whatever the circumstances.

He eventually went into the Roehampton Priory mental health hospital, and said years later: "I spoke to the club, spoke to the manager and we've kind of made our peace in the intervening years.

"But it's, 'How can someone earning X amount of money a week be depressed?'

"At the time in professional football that was the old prevailing attitude."

Collymore celebrates a goal with John Barnes, Patrick Berger and Jason McAteer. Credit PA

Recently fellow footballers such as Aaron Lennon and Rio Ferdinand were thrust into the public eye as a result of combating mental health issues, proving that material wealth means nothing when it comes to depression or anxiety.

Collymore appeared on This Morning discussing the invisible illness, quoting host Piers Morgan's "man up" comments.

The presenter had taken to Twitter to say that he isn't convinced by 'this new trend of male public soul-bearing', and that males 'should get a grip'. He finished it off by saying: "Life's tough - man up."

When on the show, Collymore compared depression to other, more obvious illnesses, claiming that they're no different.

Credit: ITV/This Morning

"If I stood in front of a group of people, lets call them flat earthists, who would say how can depression exist when you have material wealth, I would say, 'Can I get cancer, can I get aids, can I get ME?'" he said. "The answer is of course I can. It is an illness, it's just an illness you can't see.

"I heard the 'man up' comments from Piers the other day. If I was on a football pitch and had a compound fracture and my bones were crossing each other, you wouldn't be able to say, 'man up and run it off' - it's exactly the same with a mental health issue."

The former England footballer wants men to open up about mental health issues, hoping that more people will go and seek help because of others talking about it.

"This isn't a mood swing; it's a serious mental illness," he said.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and we are running a campaign to help raise money for the mental health charity Mind, called #HappyPlaces. We're asking you to send us your happy place - the place where everything is alright - on Instagram, while making a donation of any size to help Mind - The Mental Health Charity.

'U OK M8?' is an initiative from LADbible in partnership with a range of mental health charities which will feature a series of films and stories to raise awareness of mental health.

If you or anyone you know are struggling with mental health issues, don't suffer in silence. Reach out. It's the brave thing to do.

MIND: 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans: 116 123.

CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.

Mental Health Foundation.

Mark McGowan

Mark is a journalist at LADbible, who joined in 2015 after a year as a freelance writer. In the past he blogged for independent football fan channel Redmen TV, after graduating from Staffordshire University with degrees in journalism and English literature. He has worked on campaigns such as UOKM8? and IIOC.

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock comment cursor facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp