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Mind Game: McGlone reveals how football helps mental health

OPEN-MINDED: Willie McGlone says it's important to talk (Photo: Ben Banks)

 

By JOSH KANE

 

WILLIE McGLONE has lit up Newmains this season.

But the fire alarm engineer wants to extinguish any stigmas associated with mental health in football.

The flying winger believes the game can have a vital role in keeping the right mindset and believes alerting people to any difficulties is crucial.

He should know after suffering during a spell when he didn’t play then seeing a close friend hit trouble.

McGlone, 21, first revealed brief details of what he had been through when United teamed up with home shirt sponsor Breathing Space as part of World Mental Health Day.

His frank words struck a chord then – and now he’s pleading with anyone battling their demons to talk about them and not suffer in silence.

The club’s joint top scorer this term reckons staying positive can be tough but admits football reignited his LIFE.

He said: “For me, when you play football it takes you away from the full world.

“It’s your own happy place and it keeps your mind occupied so I really enjoy the release.

“I gave up football for two years and I wasn’t happy. I got back into it and the boys, especially the ones we have got at Newmains just now, create such a good atmosphere.

“It genuinely creates such a positive frame of mind and gives you a release from stress at work as well.

“You meet so many different characters and personalities and that allows you to bounce off and relate to different people

“If you surround yourself with good people that can have a positive impact on your day-to-day life.”

Following his World Mental Health Day message McGlone selflessly tweeted urging anyone anywhere to contact him if they wanted someone to open up to.

The former traffic manager has seen closer to home the devastation which can follow when someone is unable to speak up.

McGlone – reluctant to go into the exact nature of his pal’s plight – added: “It was a big shock when we found out and it hit a lot of our friends pretty hard.

“None of us really understood things until then because he never moaned about anything and was always smiling so it was quite big surprise and a huge eye opener to all of us.

“It was totally out of the blue for everyone. I think activities and keeping yourself occupied are vital.

“That could be the gym, going out with your friends for a bite to eat or talking nonsense to each other.

“It really does help a lot and I have learned that. We are all together and no-one should suffer in silence on their own.”

For anyone going through a difficult time Breathing Space are ready to help. Click here for more details.

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