1) Who are ya?
Caroline Elwood-Stokes, aged 34.
I work at Sheffield & Hallamshire CFA Inclusion Advisory Group, for myself, and FAD FC (Football’s Awareness of Depression Football Community).
2) Who do you support?
I actually don’t support a club, but I do have a soft spot for Dundee.
3) What was your first game?
Back in the early 90’s, it was Sheffield Wednesday v Crystal Palace.
4) What do you do for a job?
I’m the founder of Football’s Awareness of Depression Football Community (FAD FC), I’m also an Author (I write about Football and Mental Health) and Ambassador for Sheffield & Hallamshire CFA’s Inclusion Advisory Group. I provide immense support for football players who have or are suffering with mental health issues. I also raise awareness of positive mental health through Inclusion and Equality. At the moment, I am campaigning to make Mental Health First Aid compulsory within Football.
All of the services are free, and I provide a 24-7 telephone and email service for players/coaches/refs/managers etc..
5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?
My playing career started with Sheffield Wednesday LFC, then Sheffield United LFC and Rotherham United LFC. I have worked with Rotherham United LFC after setting up a sports school and quickly taking on the name of the club, I became their Marketing Manager and I were writing their club biography ‘I’ll Always Be A Miller’.
6) How did you get into it?
I watched an England match in 1990 and saw Gary Lineker and the magic in his feet. I wanted to do that too.
7) What do you get out of it?
Difficult to answer really.. I lost my career at a young age 18 years ago and since then, it sent me into a massive spiral of depression so severe that I was self harming, drinking, taking overdoses etc. All I wanted to do was play Football. Now, I support Footballers [who are also] suffering.
8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?
Playing football – I’d encourage potential players to think long and hard about this career path. They need to understand the implications of what Football can do to mental health.
Writing Books – Just do it, I did.
9) If you could do it all again what would you change?
Not lose my career and carry on playing Football.
10) Who’s your footballing hero?
Gary Lineker/Karen Walker
Many thanks Caroline. More power to you. Keep up the great work and all the very best.
Mental health can affect anyone at any time. Help is out there though.
- FAD FC (fadfc.org.uk)
- Sheffield & Hallamshire CFA’s Inclusion Advisory Group (sheffieldfa.com)
- Football’s Awareness of Depression Football Community (FAD FC) (footballsawareness.blogspot.co.uk)
- Former Norwich City football star takes mental health awareness fight to Westminster (edp24.co.uk)
- Study examines delivery of outpatient mental health treatment (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Pack to teach story of Britain’s first black footballer (yorkshirepost.co.uk)
- NEAR POST – Footy Fims: When Saturday Comes (nostanding13.wordpress.com)
- Blades Blunted: how selling their strikeforce was the worst decision Sheffield United ever made. (nostanding13.wordpress.com)
- Paolo Di Canio is not welcome back at Sheffield Wednesday (roadfoggy.com)