Former Newcastle, Leeds defender O’Brien attributes Vancouver move to curbing depression

Andy O’Brien believes his move to Vancouver Whitecaps has helped him overcome a battle with depression.

Andy O’Brien believes his move to Vancouver Whitecaps has helped him overcome a battle with depression.

The 33-year old Irish defender joined the Canadian club from Leeds United in August last year after a troubled stint at Elland Road and he is delighted to have made the move which has assisted him in prolonging his career.

“With football, with suffering from depression, you can paper over the cracks if the team’s winning,” said the former Bradford City, Newcastle United, Portsmouth and Bolton man.

“But certain things off the field happened and things were not very good on the field – so I’m glad I [sought] the help of the [Professional Footballers Association].

“I’m not going to lie. Had I not come here, the potential was for me to retire at the end of what would be the [United Kingdom] current season.

“That’s the extent that I was thinking – coming here, I’ve had a new lease of life … the manager did say to me prior to signing here that he knew that I was maybe not in the best of places at that particular time, but he said, ‘If you give me the chance and the opportunity, I’ll do my best to put you in a better place.’

“With his help, with the staff’s help, with the supporters’ help and the city in general – the people have done that so I’m very grateful for that.”

 
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