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When Brian Lenihan left football in 2017 it was from despair, not injury | Barry Glendenning

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Former Cork City, Hull City, Blackpool and Republic of Ireland Under-21 can be an example to others in the game

“I poured my heart and soul into football and all I got in return was money. That might sound strange to some people, but it’s true.” In a world where more and more professional sportsmen and women are increasingly comfortable discussing the psychological demons which plague them, the former footballer Brian Lenihan gave an extraordinary, at times chilling and vitally important interview that was broadcast last week.

Speaking to his compatriot and fellow former professional Richie Sadlier on the Player’s Chair section of the popular Second Captains World Service podcast, the 24-year-old explained how he had been living the dream – his dream, my dream and quite possibly your dream – as a young Irish player making his way in the English professional game. Having left Cork City, his hometown club, to join Hull City in 2014, the midfielder received his first call-up to the Republic of Ireland senior squad soon afterwards. Lenihan described the week he spent rubbing shoulders with Robbie Keane and others as “the best feeling ever”.

Related: Footballers seeking mental health help in record numbers – but it’s good news | Aaron Bower

Related: Danny Rose’s openness about his mental ill health is commendable | Amy Izycky

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