Marvin Sordell Speaks About His Mental Health Struggle
This weekend sees Prince William and the Football Assoication promote a new campaign to encourage people to think about mental health. As part of the campaign the Football League have agreed to change the kick-off times at all Emirates FA Cup ties by one minute to encourage fans to think about their own mental health.
As you would expect there has been a large number of famous people backing Prince Williams “Heads Up” campaign to improve the awareness of mental health issues, but this campaign is not just for actors and sporting hero’s around the country it is for the general public in the United Kingdom that struggle with mental health issues on a daily basis.
One person that knows all about the struggle with mental health issues is former Clarets midfielder Marvin Sordell, he has struggled with this issue throughout his football career and it finally lead to him retiring from the game last summer at the age of twenty-eight. He has now gone on to forge a new career as a writer, film producer and public speaker where he talks about about the issues of mental health and his personal battles with the illness.
Speaking about his decision to retire from the game Marvin Sordell said, “In an ideal world I would probably still be playing football but retiring from the game at the age of twenty-eight was the best decision he has ever made. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have been able to spend the past ten years living my dream, but my happiness now lies outside of the game and I’m excited about what lies ahead.”
Since he first spoke publically back in September 2018 about his own mental health and experiences of mental health in the sport, Sordell has become a spokesperson for a topic that continues to gain exposure in football and the media in general. Five months on and Sordell is already well adjusted to life away from the routine of professional football. Now a writer, producer and public speaker, he says he doesn’t see himself as a role model.
By furthering the conversation about mental health he has been in contact with a number of players from former team-mates and rivals he used to come up against on the pitch to those he has never met but who have latched on to his story. He has learned alot from those conversations that has surprised the Harrow born striker, alot of the players feel the same as Sordell and have said to him they wish they could do the same as he has just done.
Marvin Sordell said, “Firstly, it’s the best decision I’ve made because I was at a point where I wasn’t really enjoying the industry anymore. As much as I loved still playing football, I just found I was at a point where it was affecting my life and my happiness in general. Being able to have control over my life and what I doing generally day to day plays a big part of that, I have always been eager to help people who have had similar problems in their lives and going forward I’d like to be able to make a difference in football when it comes to mental wellbeing.
What people may not understand is that players in League One, League Two, the bottom end of the Championship as well really, they don’t earn the money that people think they earn and they haven’t got the career security that most other jobs can provide. Around 90% of the time football tells you when you’re time is up, until that point you’re moving around the country, you’re sacrificing relationships at times and valuable time with your family and friends.
My career is very similar to where a lot of other players are in the sense that you’re not one of the top players and therefore you’re not earning silly amounts of money, you are doing well but just grinding on. This is one aspect of the game that I’am looking to bring to peoples attention in an upcoming mini-series from my production company. Among his colleagues at 180 Productions are former Burton Albion team-mates Will Miller and Harry Campbell, while ex-Burton player of the year Jackson Irvine is also going to be involved on a couple of projects.
I’am just really excited about the up coming projects, whilst being able to do it with like minded people and people that I can call friends. I feel like I’m just trying to be a good person, by using my experiences to try to help other people.”