Danny Rose has described the reaction to his candid revelations about battling depression as “overwhelming” and “emotional”, vowing to help fellow sufferers once he returns from the World Cup.
Rose opened up about his mental health struggles shortly before England departed for Russia, explaining how a lengthy injury lay-off and the suicide of his uncle had led to him to visit a psychologist and spend a number of months on medication.
The Tottenham defender had not even told his parents about the extent of his ordeal when he his public account and he has been heartened by the way his words were received.
“It’s been a bit overwhelming,” he said.
“A lot of people messaged me to say thank you, that they know someone who is going through this or has been through that and that I’ve helped them and given them the confidence to express themselves.
“The messages that I’ve had from people who’ve said it has helped them in a way I’ll never know have been pretty emotional. I wasn’t expecting it and it was really touching.
“We have a lot of down time and I’m going to think of something to help others when I get back. I’ve got time to think while I’m here and when I get back from the World Cup about how I can go forward and help people.”
One notable individual who praised Rose’s intervention on the issue was Prince William, who has led the Heads Together mental health campaign.
The Football Association president met the England squad in Leeds ahead of the farewell friendly at Elland Road and singled out Rose for a chat.
“He said some nice words,” said the Spurs defender.
“He was over the moon that I came out and said what I said. He was hoping that it will help others around the country and around the world as well, to come forward and talk to someone about anything they’re going through.”
Rose admitted the biggest tournament of his career might not have been the perfect moment to speak out, and may not have done so had he planned the moment more carefully.
Yet his vibrant performance against Costa Rica soon after the story surfaced suggested it was a liberating decision.
“I know it’s a big thing that I did and if I could go back I don’t think I would have chosen to do it when I did,” he said.
“The reaction I have had has made me ever so grateful, but I think the timing… maybe I should have done it after the World Cup.
“(But) after the game against Costa Rica, I had Kieran Trippier coming to me and saying that I looked as if I was playing like everything had just come off my chest. I was playing with a bit of freedom. I look back and I think he’s got a point.”