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Former Town striker Martyn Waghorn opens up about depression battle

PUBLISHED: 14:01 10 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:01 10 August 2019

Martyn Waghorn left Ipswich Town for Derby in 2018 Picture: PAGEPIX

Martyn Waghorn left Ipswich Town for Derby in 2018 Picture: PAGEPIX

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Former Ipswich Town striker Martyn Waghorn has opened up about his battle with depression during a spell playing in Scotland.

Former Ipswich striker Martyn Waghorn   Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMFormer Ipswich striker Martyn Waghorn Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

The 29-year-old, who was a firm favourite at Portman Road, revealed he was diagnosed with depression during the 2016-17 season while playing at Glasgow Rangers.

Waghorn, who scored 16 goals and got 11 assists during a successful season for the Blues in 2017-18, lifted the lid on his mental health struggles during an interview with The Telegraph.

The frontman, who moved to Derby County from Portman Road in August 2018, said the demands of playing for Rangers, a fall-out with manager Mark Warburton and injuries during his second season at Ibrox all contributed.

MORE: Nino Severino: Why Martyn Waghorn is the ultimate role model for any athlete

He told The Telegraph: "Having my family around in the city, I found what was most difficult was how intense playing for a club like that was. "Everywhere you go you get questioned, followed, photographed. In the press or on social media. That's the side I struggled with. I am quite quiet and family-orientated. Not performing to the level I wanted in the second season was when I started to struggle.

The former Town striker has opened up about his battle with depression  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe former Town striker has opened up about his battle with depression Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

"I got injured at the start of the new season. I think that is where it escalated. I started to struggle off the field and with the demands of playing for the club. Not being fit. Not doing as well as I could have done. The team were struggling and that was when I struggled to cope with it all. This is when I kind of got diagnosed with depression."

MORE: Derby announce Waghorn signing in £5million deal which could reach £7.5million

The striker said it was after a game against Dundee in February 2017 that he knew he had a "genuine issue".

"For me [being diagnosed] was a big shock," he said. "I have always thought of myself as an open, happy person. To hear that was a big struggle. It all made sense.

"How I was as a person was translating onto the pitch. I remember away at Dundee just after I spoke to the doctor, I could not think about the game.

The former Town star has opened up about his depression while playing at Rangers Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe former Town star has opened up about his depression while playing at Rangers Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

"My mind was completely away with it. I was receiving passes and my mind was going blank. And that was when I knew this was a genuine issue."

The Derby striker sought help from independent counsellors and praised the Scottish FA for their support.

He added: "It was a difficult period in my career coping with the demands of playing for Rangers. It is not something I have spoken about publicly. 
"From where I am at now I am delighted I can say I have got through that difficult period with help from my wife, and my family."

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