Clarke Carlise... “I didn’t talk to anyone”

Here’s a snippet of our interview with Clarke which appears in our next membership magazine, out later this month. You can read more – and get a new edition of the magazine four times a year by signing up for membership today.

 Clarke Carlisle smiling

On the benefits of helping others…

The more I go out and help other people, the more I am helped myself. When I talk to players, or get involved with Mind’s work or NHS events, it’s almost like an affirmation for me. It gives me that knowledge that there are other people feeling the same way as me and who are walking the same walk as you. You help each other, and I really feel that kind of service can have enormous benefits.

On appearing on Question Time…

It was excellent and it was nervewracking. I was so far removed from my comfort zone, and the first time I did it I had the dry mouth, the sweaty palms, I was so nervous. But the second time I felt liberated – I thought: ‘I don’t have any affiliation to any party. I don’t have to convey some kind of message I don’t really believe in. As long as I’m honest and forthright then people can disagree with me but they can’t really call me to task.”

On the slow progress of promoting mental health in football…

The process can be slow. One factor is ownership and responsibility. The FA says it’s the responsibility of the clubs, the clubs say it’s the responsibility of the union, and the conversation goes round and round. That’s why I think we have to take funding for mental health support at source, from TV rights, because it provides a sense of collective responsibility.

On the changing face of football...

Football has changed dramatically. The scientific and holistic approach is ever growing, and football is moving with it. When I started to play football, pre-season training was a chance for players to lose the weight they had put on over the summer. Today, players do pre-pre-season training at home, then arrive for pre-season training which will take them to the optimum level to start the season. My hope is that the approach to mental health will continue on that upward curve and football can continue to move on from here.

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