Former Man Utd trialist commits suicide at 20 after being plagued with injuries. He suffered from anxiety and withdrew from social life.
Behind all the glitz and the glamor, football is a game of passion that takes the toll out of the players both mentally and physically. This is the price they have to pay to pursue a career in the beautiful game. However, sometimes issues out of one’s hands can play a big part in shaping careers in the game and unfortunate brushes with multiple injuries has not only ended a young footballer’s career but has resulted in the loss of his life as well.
20-year old Joel Darlington committed suicide by hanging himself at his home in Gellifor, North Wales, on March 18. The youngster was considered a future star and had already represented Wales at Youth Level. He even had a trial with Manchester United. Unfortunately, that trial ended after he broke his arm.
The tragedy of Darlington
He joined Bala Town’s academy and was their top scorer in 2016-17. He left for a while to play for Denbigh Town but then returned to the Gwynedd Premiership club. However, just when he thought he was starting to settle in, he had a back pain which was diagnosed as possible scar tissue from a slipped disc, and when physiotherapy failed to improve things in the long-term, he sought other solutions including acupuncture.
Joel suffered from anxiety and chose not to return to his college. According to dailypost, the youngster spoke positively about his future with his father, the day before his death. Unfortunately, he gave in to the demons in his mind and took his own life.
20-year-old player commits suicide due to injuries. Welsh footballer Joel Darlington has committed suicide due to injuries that have prevented him from qualifying. His last club was Bala Town in Wales. Joel was 20 years old. pic.twitter.com/HFtv7JnWws
— Rudolf Tandilyan (@RudolfTandilyan) August 15, 2019
We are deeply saddened by the tragic news that a member of Llangynhafal FC has suddenly left us yesterday.
Joel Darlington was a gifted footballer, but more importantly a deeply valued friend. Many of the lads have memories with Joel that will be cherished for a lifetime. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/EaezGMjRfj
— Hafal FC (@HafalFC) March 19, 2019
Bala Town’s academy administrator, Andy Kelly, described him as an exceptional talent when talking about him following his death. He described his time coaching him as a player as a pleasure and said that he enjoyed watching him play.