herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

O'Brien back training after depression battle

IRISH soccer star Andy O'Brien (right) is to return to training after a battle with depression.

The Leeds defender, who played alongside tragic Gary Speed, has not lined out since refusing to play in November.

At the time, the player was disciplined but bosses at the club have since discovered he was suffering from depression.

Andy (32) checked into a specialist clinic Sporting Chance Clinic in Hampshire, which was founded by Arsenal legend Tony Adams, for treatment.

O'Brien earned his first cap against Estonia in 2001 and became a regular in the Irish squad. But he failed to report for training after being picked for the squad to face Brazil in February 2008. He then announced he was retiring from international football.

His club manager Simon Grayson said that O'Brien had no future at Leeds after he refused to play last November.

But they now believe the former Newcastle and Bolton player deserves a second chance.

"It's now apparent there were a number of issues he was dealing with which affected him in a way we could not imagine," the club said in a statement. "The club would appeal to its fans to support the player on his road back to first-team action."

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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