‘I searched for the easiest way to commit suicide’: Former Doncaster Rovers star tells of depression battle

A former Doncaster Rovers star has spoken of his lengthy battle with depression – and how he considered suicide.

David Cotterill, who spent three years at the club, has spoken candidly about his struggles – and how playing with Lego helped him in his darkest periods.

Former Doncaster Rovers star David Cotterill has opened up about his battle with depression.

Former Doncaster Rovers star David Cotterill has opened up about his battle with depression.

In the interview with BBC Wales, Cotterill, 30, revealed how he has battled with depression since his teens and how he spent days at a time lying in bed and not eating during some of his worst spells.

READ MORE: Why we need to talk and not brush depression under the carpet

Cotterill, who made 84 appearances for Rovers between 2012 and 2014 said:  "In the early stages, I'd always have to go and have a drive where I would spend hours in the car and think a lot of bad things.

"I've searched for the easiest way to commit suicide. Then you think, how can you do that when you have children, a wife?

"You kind of then have a couple of days when you feel OK again, but it keeps repeating itself."

READ MORE: Help for those with depression in Doncaster

Cotterill, who has won 24 caps for Wales, says that he has suffered from depression from his school days – and that playing football often didn’t provide the answers to helping his moods.

He said: “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."

READ MORE: Doncaster TV star opens up about battle with depression

Cotterill says he realised he was in "a dark place", although neither team-mates nor managers would ever know, something he believes is part of both his and football's problem with depression.

"Put it this way, if I went to a manager and said I'm struggling mentally, I need a break or I need a little bit of help, there's no way he's playing me on a Saturday or a Tuesday," Cotterill said.

He said he would use Lego as a way of distracting him during long hours in hotel rooms with team-mates failing to pick up on the clues.

"I feel better for speaking about it," he said. "When I spoke to my wife more about it I actually felt better. Your rash decisions and what you're doing doesn't make sense, but if you explain it more you're getting it off your chest and people can better understand why you act the way you act."

The Cardiff-born winger began his career at Bristol City before signing for Premier League Wigan Athletic where he spent two seasons before switching to Sheffield United

His career has also included spells at Swansea City, Portsmouth, Barnsley, Birmingham City and ATK of the Indian Super League.