Depression is a severe problem among professional footballers

Depression is a severe problem amongst professional footballers, a new study has indicated.

In a survey of 100 professionals by football magazine Four Four Two, 75 per cent of respondents claimed that they knew of footballers suffering from the mental health condition.

The survey also suggested that drugs, homophobia and racism are all rife in the game. Half of those questioned said they knew about cocaine use amongst their professional peers, whilst a quarter said they had heard racist remarks on the pitch.

The results could prove quite shocking, even to those in counselling training, as professional footballers hardly fit the traditional image of depressed people. It goes to show that mental health problems can affect anyone regardless of their income or occupation.

Speaking to, Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor claimed to be aware just how big a problem that depression could be.

He said: "It is an issue we have been dealing with now for some time and we are looking to ensure that people are aware of what support systems there are. We have a network of advisers and our own counselling service at the PFA as well." reports that the survey was administered to mark the first anniversary of former Wales manager Gary Speed's suicide.