Footballer David Cox makes another shocking admission following the ‘suicide taunt’ he received in a Scottish League Two fixture.
The Albion Rovers attacker claims he was abused by Stenhousemuir player Jonathan Tiffoney about previous attempts at ending his own life.
Cox has battled hard with suicidal thoughts, even more saw now after he retired from football at half time during Thursday night’s game in which he was allegedly taunted by a rival player over mental health issues.
David Cox from @albionrovers after receiving abuse during a match regarding his struggles with mental health.
No one should be subject to this during a match pic.twitter.com/KnNizj46P1
— Stuart Mac (@ottleti) April 29, 2021
The allegations have been denied and are now the subject of an investigation from the Scottish FA.
Cox, 32, has previously opened up on his mental health issues to raise awareness, and is now was adamant that he did the right thing by calling out Tiffoney in an emotional Facebook live video minutes after the incident at Ochilview.
He insists the insults received were the final straw after years of abuse from fellow players and fans who used his mental health issues to goad him into reactions that have led to red cards.
But what took place on Thursday sickened him so much that he hung up his boots, and now the ambassador for mental health charity Back Onside, insists he won’t reverse his decision.
He said: “I am just sick of going through the same s**t every few months, every few weeks.
“As soon as you have a tussle with somebody on the pitch it’s, ‘You should have killed yourself. You should have done it properly.’ I’m just not doing it any more.
“It could be the final straw for somebody, and to be honest, last night I could have just turned my wheel into the centre of the motorway when I was driving home. That’s how I felt.”
Cox welcomes the investigation by the governing body but he’s sceptical about the outcome.
He said: “He (Tiffoney) is not going to admit it, is he?
“I know two boys who were sitting on our bench and heard what he said, and I’ve had messages today from someone else who said they heard it, so he can deny it as much as he wants.
“But that’s what these things always come down to – he said, he said. That’s why I’ve said I’m done with football. I’ve just had enough of it.
“Nothing is ever done about it. Look at the number of times I’ve been open about it and have done stories. Have the SFA ever once been in touch to ask, ‘How can we help or what can we do to prevent it?’ Not once.
“People ask me what I expect this time but I don’t expect anything. If they investigate it, I’ll say my piece but do I think they’ll take action? No, I don’t.
“When I was at Cowdenbeath, for instance, I told them I was really struggling with my mental health and needed time out. The reaction was, ‘But we’ve got a big game this weekend.’
“If I had pulled a hamstring I wouldn’t be fit enough to play and it would be expected that I missed the game. But because you can’t see mental health problems, it’s still treated differently.”
“If they want to investigate, I’ll take in the pictures I’ve got of the injuries to my throat and my arms. I’ll show them photos of me lying in hospital beds and I’ll tell them, ‘This is what you don’t see – this is real mental health.’
“They have to know it’s not just words. People are killing themselves and I’m one of those who has tried to in the past.”
Tiffoney released a statement insisting he was innocent.
— Daily Record Sport (@Record_Sport) April 30, 2021
The culprit said: “Media reports have indicated that I abused David Cox by referencing and attacking his mental health during last night’s football match between Stenhousemuir and Albion Rovers.
“This is simply untrue. Throughout the first half of the game, I was subjected to abuse and disparaging comments from the Albion Rovers dugout. I did not react to these.
“David Cox, who was a substitute and not playing, was booked by the referee for entering the pitch and abusing me. I did not abuse him.
“His abuse of me took place in front of the linesman.
“Had I made the comment, which it has been said that I made, then it is inconceivable that it would have not been heard by the linesman.
“I would never attack another player’s mental health or wellbeing and will fully cooperate with the Scottish FA investigation into this matter.”
Cox adds: “People who know me know I wouldn’t have reacted like that over nothing. I only got booked because I stepped on the pitch after he said what he said.
“It’s happened so often in the past and nothing has been done about it apart from me speaking out to try to help people who have had the same problem.
“I’ve never named names before but I promised myself the next time it happens, I’m done.”
A spokesman for the SPFL said: “The SPFL is aware of the alleged incident from last night’s match between Stenhousemuir and Albion Rovers, and notes that the case has been referred to the Scottish FA compliance officer.
“Given that it is now an active case, it would not be appropriate to comment on the specifics at this stage.
“Needless to say, no player should have to endure abuse on the football pitch, it is completely unacceptable and has no place in the sport.
“Any player who receives abuse from another player should immediately report it to the match referee for inclusion in his report.”
Fans reacted as footballer David Cox makes another shocking admission following the ‘suicide taunt’…
@Scottiie14: No way someone would take the time to make something like that up! I’m fully supporting David Cox on this one 100 percent!
@murphy_gun: It’s pretty obvious that he did say it, he should be the bigger man and come forward.
@chrisw4231: For Cox to say in that interview he’s done with football then obviously something has been said of some despicable nature for him to come to that decision quite quickly. He was very impulsive with his decision. Let’s just hope it doesn’t effect Cox any worse that it has already.
@JedMcKenzie2: Wow shock horror he’s denying it
@ConorMcLeod17: @StenhousemuirFC should be embarrassed of themselves if they don’t sack their captain immediately. Everyday, I come on social media and see another life taken far too soon. More needs done for male suicide and I applaud David Cox’s bravery in speaking out and taking a stand
@ConHammond11: Some people are scumbags, I hope David Cox is ok
@Rebeccafletchy: Solidarity with David Cox. So brave to speak about these issues. Heroic.
@dodecostanza: Powerful, honest and straight to the point from #davidcox
@KrisNotWithaC: Jonathan Tiffoney sounds like a horrible wee cunt.
@Kieran5398: Utterly disgraceful. Jonathan Tiffoney you’re scum.
@TheFoggyVisor: Jonathan Tiffoney Beyond shameful 🤬
@purplefirefly: Jonathan Tiffoney needs to be sacked with immediate effect