Former Hull and Middlesbrough striker Dean Windass has revealed he recently attempted suicide after battling with depression following the end of his playing career.
Windass retired aged 42 and went on to become a television pundit but the much-travelled star struggled to deal with life away from the game that had been his passion for so many years.
After a long and relatively successful career, which also included spells with Aberdeen, Bradford and Sheffield United, Windass was unable to cope without football and twice tried to kill himself.
"I have cried every day for the last two years since retiring. People outside football think we have it all. But I was in a hole that I honestly didn't know how to get out of," Windass told the People newspaper.
"Just over a week ago I hit rock-bottom and decided to end it all. I first took an overdose and when that didn't work tried to hang myself. I felt so alone and believed I had nothing to live for.
"I need to sort myself out which is why I'm speaking out now. People have this image of me as this big strong man who can take anything life throws at him. But I'm not ashamed to say I wanted to end it after a string of setbacks.
"I knew I'd been a fool but I couldn't shake off the depression at feeling what a failure I'd become."
Windass, who scored the goal that clinched promotion to the Premier League for his hometown club Hull in the 2008 Championship play-off final against Bristol City at Wembley, called on the Professional Footballers' Association to do everything in their power to help people with similar problems in the future
"We're not the brightest but you play football all your life," he said.
"There are hundreds of footballers in the same boat (after retirement). There is nothing to get up for in the morning.
"The Professional Footballers' Association or the governing body need to help us."