Former Bolton Goalkeeper Contemplated Suicide

  • February 07, 2021 | By Chris Mann
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Former Bolton goalkeeper James Aspinall has opened up on his struggle with suicidal thoughts after finding himself without a club.

Aspinall, who was part of the Wanderers academy squad that won the Professional Development League in 2017/18, departed the club after an enforced embargo prevented him from being offered a first senior contract - forcing him to make a switch to Wigan Athletic in August 2019.

He was released after just one season at the DW Stadium, in which he failed to make a single senior appearance, and has since been without a club despite taking to social media to advertise his availability up and down the country.

In an eye-opening interview with ITV News, Aspinall says the feeling of rejection left him in a lonely place.

"It was really a thought of do I want to be here?" he said. "Do I want to carry on? What have I got left? If I can't do football, what am I good at?

"It's all I've ever focused on since being a small child. It was like everybody's dream growing up, you want to be a footballer, you will be a footballer. Then as soon as you get a sniff of it, you're in the window.

"It's the feeling of rejection, you get cast to one side and you just feel, I can't explain it, it's like not a will to live.

"There's a lot clubs can do maybe to put in a follow-up programme because I was told, 'we'll keep in contact with you, we'll see how you're doing, there is a support network around you, we're here for you'.

"But I didn't really receive any of that. They just kind of assumed, 'you know what, it's James, it's fine, he's lively, he's a presence on the training ground'."

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