Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony is proud to have played a part in the rehabilitation of troubled footballer Lee Tomlin.
Tomlin, a firm fans’ favourite at Posh, opneed his heart up to the Daily Mail yesterday (July 6) when he spoke about a failed suicide attempt and the mental health issues that caused him to take such a drastic course of action.
Tomlin has since got himself into great physical and mental shape and is hoping to take the Championship by storm with Cardiff City this season.
MacAnthony has revealed he was well aware of Tomlin’s torment when he sanctioned the return of one of his favourite players to the club on loan from Cardiff for the second half of last season.
“I knew all about Lee’s demons before and during his stay with us,” MacAnthony said. “And I was delighted to help him and absolutely delighted that he seems much happier.”
Tomlin scored twice in 21 appearances for Posh last season, but that must be placed into context given what the 30 year-old revealed to the Mail. Matters came to ahead in at the start of last season when he was training with Cardiff’s youth team.
Tomlin explained: “The transfer window had shut, the loan window had shut, I couldn’t go anywhere. I found it difficult to find purpose.
“Everything that had happened in previous years, I had probably not dealt with properly and it just exploded.
“As you get older you mature and think more and I started focusing on worst case scenarios. For example after football, what do you do then? And life in general, overthinking everything took its toll on me.
“You always have bad days in football, but to think the sort of things I was thinking at the time, it was obviously a lot deeper than that than your average bad day.
I was sitting in bed at 2am, 3am with the worst thoughts … about hanging myself, slitting my wrists, sitting there crying. I’d have the tablets in my hand.
“One day I just pulled my car off the road into a ditch. Wrote it off. I kept it quiet, didn’t say a word. Just went and got a new car.
“Do I remember much before it happened? Nope. Sometimes I don’t even know how I got home from Cardiff to Leicester. Afterwards I remember thinking, ‘What have I done there?’
“I thought I was going to get thrown in a mental institution so I just said to anyone who asked that I took the corner too fast. I knew that if I was honest I’m not going to be able to play football again, because, with the thoughts in my head I wasn’t right.
“‘Neil Warnock (Cardiff manager) and Michelle, the secretary at Cardiff, The PFA and Sporting Chance too, what they have done for me and how much they have helped has been unbelievable, to get me in touch with people and start trying to sort myself out instead of just hiding and thinking the worst.
“I can’t thank them all enough. Warnock knows literally everything that has gone on and got the club to let me go out on loan to Peterborough so I could basically be back home and try to get my head back into football.
“I was seeing a therapist in Loughborough who I had about 16 sessions with and it was there I got things off my chest and allowed me to speak about things that way.
“I’m really happy that I’ve done it sooner rather than later because you never know what could have happened.”
Tomlin is now fighting fit and has thanked Posh and MacAnthony for helping him through such a difficult period.