Former Birmingham City, Sheffield United and Portsmouth winger David Cotterill has opened up about his battle depression and anxiety, confirmed by BBC Sport.
About David Cotterill –
He was born in Wales, Cardiff and Cotterill began his football career at Bristol City before signing for Premier League Wigan Athletic where he spent two seasons before signing for Sheffield United, initially on loan and then later on a permanent deal. From Sheffield United, the winger moved to Swansea City in his native Wales, before spending a spell on loan at Portsmouth and then signing for Barnsley.
It was from Barnsley that Cotterill signed for near neighbours Doncaster Rovers, where he spent two seasons before joining Birmingham City. He spent the second half of the 2016–17 season on loan to Bristol City. Cotterill’s contract with Birmingham was cancelled by mutual consent in December 2017, and he joined ATK of the Indian Super League.
David Cotterill has represented Wales at full international level more than 20 times, and managing to score twice.
About David Cotterill’s battle with depression and anxiety –
The experienced midfielder has been at his lowest points in a battle he has fought with depression since his teens, moments that have proven far harder for him to forget than they are to talk about.
David Cotterill explained: “When you’re around others the conversations are flowing and you tend to not have time to think about it, you’re looking forward to going out to train”
“But there would be times when I finished training and I couldn’t wait to go and lie in bed. I’d be there for hours.”
“Particularly in the off-season, I’d just spend three or four days at a time not even eating, just thinking the worst things you can imagine and not actually sleeping at all. You’d stay there because you didn’t want to face the world.”
“I had an Aston Martin, the big house, anything a person could want – but you can’t help what’s in the brain,” he claims.
“It’s the most powerful tool you have and what you feel can block out everything you have. And when you’re fighting that battle every day, it takes its toll.”