Robert Green plans to set up a service for support to sportsmen
Former England international goalkeeper Robert Green is almost a forgotten figure in the Premier League. The 38-year-old hasn’t yet retired from football but it has been more than 18 months since he made a first-team appearance for any team.
Green joined Huddersfield Town at the start of the 2017-18 season upon the expiry of his contract at Leeds United but his contract was terminated after failing to make a single first-team appearance. The 38-year-old joined Chelsea at the start of the current season on a one-year deal to act as the understudy to Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero.
Now at the twilight of his career, Green reflects on his younger days as a player and reveals the tough phases of depression that he had to go through at West Ham.
It was April 2007 and the veteran goalkeeper’s club, West Ham, were playing Arsenal the next day at Emirates Stadium, needing a win to aid their battle against relegation.
“I sat there and I was so stressed and worried about it,” Green told Standard Sport. “For around two hours I was just looking out the window and was in immediate panic of the near future and it got bigger and bigger in my mind.
“‘What if we lose? What if we get relegated? I might get sold. I don’t know where I’ll go, I could be in the Championship. I was full of self-doubt.
“But then I snapped out of it and said, ‘I’ll be all right’.”
And the former England international doesn’t want the younger players to go through such traumatic mental experiences and plans to set up a service that will help sportsmen plan for their life after they retire from sports.
He explained: “This all began when I realised that my career would end and I just started asking questions: ‘What does that bring? What are you going to do, how is it going to make you feel?’
“I thought, ‘Why is no one helping me with this?’ There is not a proactive, positive group going around saying, ‘Have you thought about what you will do?’ Or talk about the consequences — the loss of identity, the loss of routine, the loss of income and how the structure in your life goes.
“The lads need help with stuff like this. You can imagine how many players are hitting the end of their careers and not having anything in place because they’d never thought about it.
“The assumption is you’re going to go into coaching, but there are some who have had enough of football, also there are only so many jobs around.”