Football fans and players have reacted furiously after Southern League Premier Division South side Farnborough called the timing of their goalkeeper’s depression and retirement “shocking”.
In a statement, the club announced that Lenny Pidgeley, who has previously played for Watford, Millwall, Bradford, Newport and Hastings, has announced his retirement due to a “significant long term personal medical condition”.
His current side Farnborough were schedule to play in the FA Cup on the same day the club revealed the news.
One part of the statement, which seems to have been deleted, read: “This is the first anyone at the club was aware of the condition and although the timing is shocking we wish Lenny and his family all the best in his retirement.
Since that was published, Pidgeley expressed some of his anger at the club in a tweet.
I’ve never talked about my depression in the last 10 years, a part too my close friends and family but after that club statement seems to be out the bag.
The messages of support already are much appreciated guys 😘
— Lenny Pidgeley (@pidge40) September 12, 2018
The keeper also spoke to BBC Sport and revealed: “In the last couple of weeks I tried to play through it, but it became too much for me. By midweek, when the cup game was, I could barely get out of bed… I was almost at the point of panic attacks.
“When the statement came out, it put me in a dark place. The way the club have conducted themselves is not right.
“They mentioned my illness, which I have never been comfortable talking about. For 10 years I’ve tried to keep it undercover.
“I have never wanted this to come out, never ever.
Farnborough released a further statement: The Club would like to clarify its Statement of Wednesday evening.
Specifically, that our comment about the shocking timing, referred to us being shocked regarding the sad information we received on that afternoon, whilst preparing for our FA Cup Replay.
With no goalkeeper available that night we owed the fans an explanation before kick-off, which due to the timings on the night was drafted in haste and did not convey our true thoughts accurately.
The Club fully backs the support and care required in dealing with all mental health issues and meant no harm to Lenny and sincerely apologise for any hurt. This was not our intention.
The Club will make no further comment.
Lenny saw it and simply wrote…
And why did you announce my retirement? https://t.co/CLUtlBJkGa
— Lenny Pidgeley (@pidge40) September 13, 2018
Understandably, the player has received overwhelming messages and support from fans and players, others took to aim their anger at the non league club – check out that reaction on the next page.
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