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Player to Player with Chris Kirkland

Footy Talks with Steven Caldwell

20-05-2020 • 55 mins

Everyone knew he was a world-class goalkeeper, and most people knew he’d suffered a succession of career-hampering injuries; but for a long time, not even Chris Kirkland’s close friends and family knew about the severe depression he was battling on a daily basis.

In this special episode of Player to Player, Stevie sits down with his former Wigan teammate to discover how events conspired to leave Kirkland contemplating suicide on a preseason rooftop, only for him to seek out help and bravely fight back from the brink.

Episode Notes: With the unwavering support of his father - who suffered a significant health scare when Kirkland was only 9 years old - how the future England Goalkeeper originally saw himself as an outfield player, and only found himself between the posts by accident.

Developing his playing style and professionalism under the tutelage of Coventry legend Steve 'Oggy' Ogrizovic, before earning a high profile and big money move to Liverpool.

Thriving on Merseyside with the support of Gerard Houllier, before serious injuries and new manager Rafa Benitez ground that progression to a halt.

A promising start on loan at West Brom was again cut short by injury, and after finding his feet at Wigan, Kirkland’s hopes were again dashed when he fell out of favour with Roberto Martinez.

Leaving Wigan, Kirkland signed for Sheffield Wednesday and the lengthy travel involved suddenly found him out of his routine and increasingly isolated - marking the beginning of a serious battle with depression.

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