Andy Powell Reveals The Real Heartbreaking Reason He’s Quit Rugby
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It was revealed this week that former Wales & Lions number eight Andy Powell had been forced into retirement from professional rugby because of an ongoing knee injury.
Powell joined Merthyr in the Welsh Championship in 2015 and helped them win promotion to the Premiership.
“Andy’s found it hard to get over his current knee injury and will not be forgotten. He was a big part of our success last season as captain,” said Merthyr chairman Peter Morgan.
“Andy had plenty of time for everyone he will be sadly missed on the field and off, but will always be welcome to our club.”
It’s now however been revealed today that Powell did not quit rugby because of a knee injury as mentioned by his former club’s chairman, but rather because of an 18-month battle with depression.
The 35-year-old, who is regarded as one of the most colourful characters in recent Welsh rugby history, said:
“The last year has been difficult.
“Merthyr gave a statement out the other day saying it was my knee, well in fact it wasn’t my knee. I have been suffering with depression. I’ve been dealing with it for around 18 months, it’s been tough.”
“I made the decision and it’s a lot of weight off my shoulders which I feel a lot better for.”
“I started playing professionally when I was 17 and I’m 35 now,” he said. “That’s a long time in the game and your body takes a lot of beating. It was breaking me mentally as well.
“I’m quite a strong character, I’ve got a lot of pride so it’s hard for me to come out and speak about it.
“I’m getting through it. I see a light at the end of the tunnel, which is great.”
Powell is one of a number of players to recently come out and openly admit they’ve battled depression. Let’s hope he gets the proper help he needs and if you’re ever feeling that depression is getting the better of you, don’t be afraid- talk to someone.