Fans show support for Town legend after he opens up about his mental health
PUBLISHED: 12:46 25 November 2019 | UPDATED: 22:05 25 November 2019
Ipswich Town fans have been offering their words of support for former player Jason Dozzell, after he opened up about his mental health issues following his drug driving conviction.
The 51-year-old spoke openly about how the incident came at a time when he was facing "drama after drama" in his life.
He explained how his mental health had deteriorated after struggling with a number of personal challenges which led to anxiety attacks and him struggling to get out of bed.
A relationship had broken down, he had to move in with his 20-year-old son, and the summer was a "fragile time" for the football coach whose main focus was put on hold.
Dozzell admitted that there were no excuses for what he did and how he knows he did wrong, but says he just wants people to read what he's been going through and "make their own minds up".
Messages of support have been flooding in on social media, with many people recognising how Dozzell has had the courage to speak out.
Graham Barker said: "I wish him and his family all the best and hope he will get the help he needs."
Allison Hembery added: "He has done the hardest part and spoken out. I wish him well and hope things now improve for Jason. Well done to all those that listened and pointed him in the right direction for help."
Dozzell was banned from driving for 14 months after police stopped him in his Mercedes in June this year, where he was found with 800 microgrammes of benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, in his blood stream.
Dozzell says he had taken drugs the previous night and was stopped on his way home from a meal out.
The 51-year-old says the incident came at a time when he was facing a number of personal issues in his life.
His mental health deteriorated, but it was only in the last month, after opening up to friend and former team-mate Simon Milton, that he was able to acknowledge that he needed to seek help.
Read more: 'Something wasn't right' - Ipswich Town legend Jason Dozzell opens up on mental illness after drug driving conviction
Since his exclusive interview fans have been sharing their messages of support and wishing Jason and his family all the best.
One reader wrote to the paper: "I am a season ticket holder at Portman Road and have followed Town as a regular since 1973. I have suffered with chronic anxiety depression for over 30 years and in that time have thought it is important to speak out about ones problems to help others.
"I was impressed with Jason Dozzell for coming out and discussing his mental health problems and I wish to offer him my support. It may just help others to seek help with similar things.
"I urge all of you never to suffer alone and speak out for help in the first instance. I have learned to deal with my dark past but have been lucky to have had great support from friends and family. Jason Dozzell is one of my many Town heroes and I wish him well."