Former footballer Clarke Carlisle has revealed that a stranger persuaded him to speak to his family rather than commit suicide.
The 38-year-old disappeared from home in September and sparked a missing persons appeal.
The ex-chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association has campaigned to raise awareness of mental health issues. He launched the Clarke Carlisle Foundation for Dual Diagnosis. This is a condition that has been described as “mental health problems co-occurring with drug or alcohol abuse”.
The former Burnley defender described his recent turmoil to presenter Adrian Chiles on his BBC 5 live Daily show.
Strolling around in Liverpool, he was “headstrong set on the most convenient way to kill myself” when a stranger intervened.
Carlisle said: “I didn’t have my phone with me; obviously I was lurking in the shadows, trying to mind my own business.
A stranger pulled up whilst he was sat in the park. He said ‘Oh, I thought it was you. You know your family is looking for you?’
“This guy, you know, sadly for him, his friend had killed himself a few days earlier and he said: ‘I could not go by not checking’ – he just wanted to help”.
Carlisle tried to kill himself in 2014, but had been attempting to turn his life around.
His wife, Carrie, said she was at home, pregnant, when her husband went missing. “I didn’t expect to hear from him again to be honest, I thought that was it,” she said. She described receiving a call from a stranger who told her he was sitting next to her husband.
“I heard his voice and it was literally like the best moment of my life, and this wonderful gentleman stayed with him”.
She described the people who helped her husband as “little Scouse angels”.