Danny Rose has revealed that he has been diagnosed with depression after a season of professional misfortune and personal devastation.
The Tottenham defender spent 10 months out with a knee injury only to sabotage his own return by publicly criticising Spurs’ club policies and then agitating for a move away last summer.
Indeed, the whole 2017/18 campaign was something of a write-off, with Ben Davies’ able deputising at left-back and yet another knee injury suffered in January combining to limit Rose to just 10 league appearances over the course.
However, he still managed to wangle a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup, a turn of luck that Rose describes as “his salvation”.
In an astonishingly frank and open chat with Miguel Delaney of the Independent at England’s open media day earlier this week, the 27-year-old detailed the mental health rigours he’s been enduring.
It’s no secret that I’ve been through a testing time at Tottenham this season, which led to me seeing a psychologist, and I was diagnosed with depression, which nobody knows about, and I had to get away from Tottenham.
You are the only people who know about a lot of this stuff – I haven’t told my mum or my dad, and they are probably going to be really angry reading this, but I’ve kept it to myself until now.
I’m lucky that England gave me that opportunity to get away, refresh my mind and I’ll always be grateful to them.
Rose also revealed that he took medication for months as he muddled through his rehab, something only his agent knew about.
I was getting very angry, very easily. I didn’t want to go into football, I didn’t want to do my rehab, I was snapping when I got home, friends were asking me to do things and I wouldn’t want to go out, and I would come home and go straight to bed.
It all stemmed from my injury in January last year, when I was advised I didn’t need an operation. I don’t know how many tablets I took to try and get fit for Tottenham, how many injections trying to get fit.
“I was on medication for a few months […] I’m off the medication now, I’m good now and looking forward to how far we can go in Russia.
And, away from football, Rose was also having to deal with tragedy and turmoil on the family front, including his uncle’s suicide, his mum being racially abused in her hometown of Doncaster, and his brother being shot at inside the family home.
Nobody knows this, either, but my uncle hung himself in the middle of my rehab, and that triggered it [depression] as well. It was really hard, and being referred to a doctor and psychologist helped me massively to cope.
Stuff like that was happening throughout my rehab and it was a testing time. A gun was fired at my house, yeah.
So like I said, England has been my salvation, one million per cent, and I can’t thank the manager and the medical staff enough.
Brave stuff, and spoken about so openly and free of stigma. Rose may not know it, but he may just be paving the way for more people in his profession to share their burdens and address their mental health.
The interview, as well as being almost shockingly candid by footballing standards, also serves as a stirring recognition of the general atmosphere Southgate and his team (and his players) seems to have ushered in during his brief time as England manager – acceptance, tolerance, togetherness and accessibility seemingly being the cornerstones.
Long may it continue. It’s high time football stopped seeing itself as something separate and remote from the rest of human existence and allowed the admission that all of us are as fallible and vulnerable as each other – regardless of status, fame or the size of our pay packets.