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Both Sheffield clubs helping mental health.

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Fair play to both clubs for this. 


Two long-standing rival football clubs in Sheffield have joined forces in support of men's mental health.

It comes after journalist Mike McCarthy teamed up with Sheffield United last year to launch Talk Club Sheffield after the death of his son.

Mr McCarthy's son, Ross, died after a 10-year battle with depression.

Sheffield Wednesday is launching its own branch of Talk Club from Monday, with players from both clubs promoting the importance of "mental fitness".

Mr McCarthy said the Sheffield Utd Talk Club had worked "incredibly well", and it was great to see the two clubs now coming together "to offer this opportunity for men on both sides of the city".

He said it had been "a bit of a dream" to get Sheffield Wednesday involved.

"I think we can all agree that our mental health is critical, and far more important than any football match, but there are Wednesday fans who wouldn't want to come along because it's Sheffield Utd and the other way round," he said.

"We thought how good would it be if the two clubs could work together and send out the message that some things are more important than football."

Mr McCarthy said the talking club was a safe, non-judgemental, and confidential space, where men can say as little or as much as they want.

"We start off by asking the question: 'How are you? Out of 10?'. It's that simple," he added.

Mr McCarthy set up Talk Club because his son wrote a note before he died asking his family to campaign for better mental health support for men.

Talk Club was originally founded in Bristol in 2019 and now has more than 30 groups in the UK, plus some in Australia and the US.

Co-founder Neil Harrison said: "It is testament to both clubs in standing together and recognising that regardless of the badge on your shirt, a community of men can support each other by simply talking and listening about their mental fitness. 

Both Sheffield groups have been opened in conjunction with the clubs' community foundations, with sessions taking place on a Monday at Hillsborough and on a Wednesday at Bramall Lane. 

If you are experiencing emotional stress, help and support is available at BBC Action Line.

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  • HoylandOwl changed the title to Both Sheffield clubs helping mental health.
23 hours ago, holmesfield_owl said:

People say it shouldn't be an issue, and it shouldn't. But there's still a homophobic element in society and that is why people, especially those in the spotlight think twice. Football stadiums are packed with meat head, thug, racist, homophobic morons. For whatever reason it attracts them. The more openly gay, bi players there are openly playing the game the better. The idiots will soon be drowned out and rightly so. Life's hard enough without having to go through ridiculous coming out period of life, I should know.

Whilst I agree that football does and indeed always will attract an element of idiots, it should also be factored in that football fans were probably front runners in changing the attitudes and acceptance to black players from the early 80s onwards. Ok there have been some backward steps on occasion and still more to do. But the same will actually apply to gay footballers over time.

Football fans get tarnished all the time, but I suspect other sports are worse (as we saw with the cricket racism story) and homophobia will be the same. 

It is an interesting debate, an old neighbour of ours her daughter is a lesbian. But she does not want her sexuality to be her defining characteristic. So she does not hide it, not embarrassed, its more that if there is a new work colleague or acquaintance she wants the conversation  to focus on interests etc normal stuff not her being gay.


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