04 May Everton and PFA pledge support to Lennon
Everton and the Professional Footballers’ Association are committed to supporting Aaron Lennon after the winger was detained under the Mental Health Act amid concerns for his welfare.
The 30-year-old was taken to hospital on Sunday to be assessed after police were called to Eccles Old Road in Salford.
Lennon last played for Everton as a second-half substitute in the goalless home draw against Middlesbrough on February 11, although he was in the matchday squad for the March 18 home win over Hull.
“Thank you for all the kind messages for Aaron. We are supporting him through this and his family has appealed for privacy at this time,” Everton said in a statement on their official Twitter account.
The PFA, which offers a dedicated 24/7 helpline as well as a nationwide network of counsellors for its members, echoed those sentiments.
“Get well soon Aaron, we are all thinking of you and here to offer our full support,” a tweet from the PFA account read.
Details of Lennon’s detention emerged late on Tuesday evening.
Greater Manchester Police said in a statement: “Police were called at around 4.35pm to reports of a concern for the welfare of a man on Eccles Old Road.
“Officers attended and a 30-year-old man was detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act and was taken to hospital for assessment.”
Lennon’s representative, Base Soccer Agency, tweeted: “Everyone at Base Soccer sends their support to @AaronLennon12 – get well soon and stay strong.”
Messages of support have been flooding in for the winger, and former Everton and striker Andy Johnson led a fund-raising quest for the charity Mind.
Johnson wrote: ” It’s time to #EndTheStigma and talk about #MentalHealth. For every RT, I’ll donate 10p to @MindCharity in @AaronLennon12’s name. #topman”
By 9pm, his message had almost 80,000 retweets.
Current Everton winger Yannick Bolasie added: “Thoughts are with my team mate @AaronLennon12. We pray he comes back strong so he can continue doing what he does best on the pitch.”
Former PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle, who had a season at Leeds with Lennon early in his career, has suffered from mental health issues himself and attempted suicide in 2014.
Carlisle told Radio City Talk: “I know Everton are one of the leading clubs when it comes to care and welfare in the community and their club so I have no doubt whatsoever Aaron and his family will get the full support of the club.”
Leicester frontman Jamie Vardy and Lennon’s former Tottenham team-mate Jermain Defoe sent their best wishes, as did former England and Spurs striker Gary Lineker.
Ex-Liverpool striker Stan Collymore, who has spoken about his battle with depression, tweeted: “Thoughts and love with Aaron Lennon and his family right now. I know that place, and I know he’ll be fine with good support from us all.”
Boxer Frank Bruno, another sportsman who has suffered with mental health issues, wrote: “Thoughts r with Aaron Lennon today, stay strong & as positive as possible,there is light at the end of tunnel u will get through this boss.”