March 25, 2021 – ‘I would have to fight very hard sitting in the house. I was struggling with it because I didn’t know what I could do, then Dungannon came in for me. I never thought I would be back playing again after being out for so long. ‘I’m lucky. We watch football every night on TV and these professionals don’t realise how lucky they are to still be playing. I feel sorry for the thousands of kids, men and women who can’t play sport. I know how serious that is for mental health.

‘You have to show a brave face for the kids when you’re doing Zoom chats because each week they’re getting more and more down. There’s no point me saying everything is brilliant — it’s not.’

Last year, Carroll joined FC Mindwell, a club set up for men with mental health issues, to raise awareness and help others.

The club also signed his former Northern Ireland team-mate Keith Gillespie, quite a coup for a team playing in Division Three of the Mid-Ulster League.

‘I appreciated what FC Mindwell were doing,’ says Carroll. ‘I didn’t realise how serious it was until I first moved back home in 2016. It opened my eyes and I just want to give something back because I went through a really bad time with depression and alcohol. I want people to understand it’s OK to talk.


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