Ex-QPR and Tottenham winger Andy Sinton praises EFL mental health initiative

Andy Sinton England QPR
Image: Andy Sinton made 12 appearances for England in the early Nineties

Former England winger Andy Sinton hopes football has turned a corner in its effort to deal with problems relating to mental health.

The QPR club ambassador believes players suffering under the strain of mental illness and anxiety were seen to have a weakness during his career.

The EFL partnered with mental health charity MIND on World Mental Health Day to raise awareness of difficulties associated with the condition.

"I found retirement extremely difficult," said Sinton, who won 12 England caps in a career which took in spells at QPR, Sheffield Wednesday and Tottenham.

preview image 0:25
AFC Wimbledon’s Deji Oshilaja says the willingness of high-profile footballers to speak out about their struggles with mental-health issues has given other players the confidence to do the same

"I really missed that structure that being a footballer gives you - being told what to do, and where to be, and at what time.

"I remember my wife asking me one day 'What are you doing today?' and I replied 'I don't know'. Luckily I had strong family support around me.

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Former Liverpool and England goalkeeper Chris Kirkland explains how his battles with managing his mental health started and how it affected him on a daily basis

"It used to be seen as a weakness but nowadays, anything football and society can do to help players cope with mental health related problems has to be of benefit."

It is estimated that one in four people suffer a mental-health-related problem in any given year.

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The EFL's interim chair Debbie Jevans says they're aiming to raise awareness about mental-health issues through their partnership with the charity Mind

The EFL positioned four players on the station concourse - three with obvious injuries and one without. They chose London's King's Cross station to host the event because one in four EFL fans travel to games by rail and one out of every four football fans are also likely to develop mental health issues.

Interim chair of the EFL Debbie Jevans posed for pictures with a shirt carrying the 'squiggle', which serves as the logo for MIND.

The logo is featured on the back of all EFL match shirts this season, alongside the name of the player.

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