One particular League Two player reveals to the media that he tried to kill himself when life got really tough for him to handle.
Port Vale midfielder Cristian Montano has chosen to speak out on a harrowing story where he tried to take his own life.
The 28 year old winger was facing a trial accused of rape and being investigated by police after getting caught up in the high-profile match-fixing scandal back in 2013.
Oldham Athletic had sacked him, and it looked as though there were concerns over whether his career and reputation was ruined.
Montano was given a lot of abuse on social media site Twitter and believed the whole world – including his family and friends – were against him.
When his mum and girlfriend decided to let him know that they were heading out for a bit of shopping – it gave Montano the opportunity to try and kill himself, something he had be contemplating for week.
The footballer locked himself in a bathroom and was ready to end it all, taking in with him as many pills he could get hold of, a knife and a bottle of vodka.
He said: “I was in a bad place and had turned to alcohol, drinking heavily.
“I had no income and started to run up debts so budgeted myself to £10 a day. I’d buy a cheap litre of vodka instead of food and was downing it straight out of the bottle.
“I thought it was helping but it was ruining me.
“My moods were all over the place. One minute I’d be aggressive, then I’d be down, then I’d be crying.
“And it was at that point I started thinking, ‘I need to disappear from this world.’”
Right now, he’s thankfully enjoying life again, playing for Port Vale who sit 17th in the League Two table, living with fiancée Jo-Hannah and their four-year-old son Nico as well as having a close bond with his eight-year-son Cristian Junior from a previous relationship.
A police investigation relating to allegations of spot-fixing and money laundering turned his life upside down.
The case against the Colombian winger was eventually dropped while a no verdict was returned against him at the rape trial.
He said: “I was in North London with my mum, girlfriend and Cristian Jnr and woke up to loads of Twitter messages on my phone. I was all over the news.
“I broke down and told mum, ‘My life is over.’
“Everyone was getting the wrong end of the stick and I wanted to tell everyone what actually happened. I said, ‘I was naive – but, promise you, mum, I’ve done nothing wrong.’”
Montano wanted to meet with Lee Johnson, at the time manager of Oldham manager, on the 8th of December 2013 and explain everything that was going on.
However Oldham director Barry Owen also contacted Montano and asked for the address he was staying at.
Before you knew it, officers from the National Crime Agency were at his door and arrested him on suspicion of money laundering and spot fixing and he was locked up.
Montano said: “During the police interview, there was so much I wanted to say but was instructed to say ‘no comment’ throughout by my lawyer.
“When Jo-Hannah was eventually allowed to take me home, she was sobbing and told me I had been sacked by Oldham too.
“They released a statement and I thought, ‘How could they do that without giving me any opportunity to explain what had happened?
“Then so many people took to social media to tell me I had f****d my life and I should never play football again. And if I did return, someone should break my legs.
“I started to get paranoid and even thought my mum and girlfriend were against me.
“I was looking at up to 20 years in prison sentences and felt I had failed my son.”
“My mum and Jo-Hannah headed to the shops.
“I went into the bathroom and started running a bath to make everything look normal.
“I was ready to finish myself off. Then suddenly my mum and partner burst through the door. My mum shook me while Jo-Hannah shouted, ‘What are you doing, Cris?’
“They had sensed something was wrong and fooled me into thinking they were going to the shops. They wanted to see what I was going to do.
“It was at that moment I realised they were here for me. I turned around and said, ‘I’m going to turn my life around. I promise you.’”
The Port Vale player changed it for the better, after the “no verdict” in the rape trial and the spot fixing and money laundering case was dropped, he had a spell back in his native Colombia, returned and joined Bristol Rovers where they got promotion and has been with the Valiants for the past three years.
Montano has appeared on a podcast called Men Unite – where he is joined by his friend Daniel Biddulph along with various guests to speak on mental illness.
He’s launched a clothes brand with three other mates, called Champion Mindset – with five per cent of profits going to mental health charities.
He said: “Mental illness has become even more prevalent because of the coronavirus lockdowns. I was able to overcome my obstacles by talking to people like my girlfriend and mum.
“If anyone is struggling out there, I want them to know they are now alone. We have a Facebook page called Men Unite and also menunited4change on Facebook and Instagram. Come and follow and join us. There is a lot of support.”
If you are affected by any of the issues raised, please call the Samaritans for free on 16123.
2002–2010 – West Ham United
2010–2012 – West Ham United
2011 → Notts County (loan) – 11 apps (4 goals)
2011 → Swindon Town (loan) – 4 apps (1 goal)
2011–2012 → Dagenham & Redbridge (loan) – 10 apps (3 goals)
2012 → Notts County (loan) – 4 apps (0 goals)
2012 → Oxford United (loan) – 9 apps (2 goals)
2012–2013 – Oldham Athletic – 40 apps (3 goals)
2014–2015 – América de Cali – 9 apps (1 goal)
2015–2017 – Bristol Rovers – 53 apps (3 goals)
2017– Port Vale – 101 apps (12 goals)