February 7, 2022 10.44 am

Ex-pro footballer’s surgery fundraiser after mental health spiral saw him play part-time in Lincolnshire

He ended up at Spalding United after his mental health “engulfed” his life

A footballer who ended up at non-league Spalding United to try to reignite his love for the game after a mental health breakdown has set up a fundraiser to help pay for a potentially career-saving knee operation.

Marcus Maddison, 28, made his name in League One with Peterborough United, playing more than 200 times for Posh over a six-year period before unsuccessful spells at Hull City, Charlton Athletic and Bolton Wanderers.

He admitted he’d fallen out of love with football during the latter stages of his time at Peterborough, and in a bid to try to enjoy the game again, he signed for Lincolnshire part-timers Spalding United in the Northern Premier League South/East division in June 2021.

Maddison has always been very outspoken, often controversial at times, but he has also been extremely candid about his mental health struggles, saying depression “engulfed” his life and forced him to take a step back from his career.

The Durham-born midfielder is now plotting a return to the English Football League after more than a year away from the professional game, but there’s still one hurdle he needs to overcome.

He suffered a tear in his knee meniscus while playing for Spalding, and according to Marcus himself, without the operation he may not be able to even run again, let alone play football.

Maddison has set up a fundraiser to help pay for an operation on his knee that could potentially save his football career. Marcus is aiming for £3,000 and currently has £2,630 at the time of publication (donate here).

In the fundraiser, Marcus says: “I’m now ready to do what I do best and love the most: playing football! However, I have an obstacle standing in my way. I have a tear in my meniscus, which is massively holding me back, I have had a medical assessment already, and I need an operation.

“This, however, doesn’t come without a price and a cost that is out of my reach due to suffering from depression and being unable to work for the past year.

“Your support already through those times has been greatly appreciated, and there is no way I could ever thank you enough!

“Although I am here asking if there is any way you can find it in yourself to help me with my journey to getting back to the pitch. This will give me the operation/aftercare and support I need to get back to doing what I love.

“I know this isn’t your usual thing to see on here. However, I don’t know where else to turn. Thank you for your care and support always.”