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Notoriously outspoken footballer Marcus Maddison has opened up on his shock move to non-league Spalding United, after several years in the professional game destroyed his mental health.

In an interview with SPORTbible, Marcus Maddison said he was in a very dark place during his time as a professional footballer, and the 27-year-old is hoping to fall back in love with the game now that he’s gone part-time.

The Durham-born attacking midfielder was tipped for big things during his six-year spell at Peterborough United, but he admits that his love for football was slowly fading throughout.

His career seemed to be all but over after a number of unsuccessful stints in the football league, but last month Marcus dropped four divisions to join part-timers Spalding United in the Northern Premier League South/East Division.

He said: “In Peterborough I became a villain for no reason. My car got keyed on my drive, I’ve been punched on nights out – all because of the way I play football.

“People can’t differentiate between the man that’s a footballer and the man who is a normal person.”

Marcus is exactly that, a normal guy. The night before each match at Peterborough, he would eat a chicken tikka masala, and on the day of the game he’d buy a £3 Tesco meal deal.

He references one particular incident where he planned to crash his car in an attempt to get out of training. “I just didn’t want to be there”, he said.

After leaving Peterborough he had disappointing spells at Hull City, Charlon Athletic and Bolton Wanderers, which all factored into the downward spiral of Maddison’s mental wellbeing.

His move to Bolton was cut short after just ten appearances, and Marcus says it left him questioning what direction his career and life were going in.

He added: “I’ve tried to fit in and be happy but if I can’t be happy in a winning team fighting for promotion it’s clearly something deeper.

“Football has a very specific kind of banter. And if you don’t fit into that category, and you don’t enjoy that sort of banter, you’re not going to have many friends.”

Off the pitch he has developed a negative reputation among football supporters, and spates of online abuse have really affected Marcus to the point where he’s at a crossroads.

He revealed that he gets abusive messages on a daily basis on social media, something which has contributed to his loss of love for football.

Maddison surprised everyone in the English footballing world when he dropped down to the eighth tier to join part-time Lincolnshire side Spalding United in May, aiming to first and foremost remember why he plays the game of football.

He joined the club off the back of his relationship with former Peterborough United teammate and current manager of Spalding United, Gabriel Zakuani.

Marcus said: “Gaby is a huge thing for me. He reached out to me first. It was literally that. It was like a first-come, first-served kind of thing. I know him well. He’ll let me play how I kind of want to play. He’ll give me free rein.”

An inquest into the death of a Spalding woman has found that she was strangled to death by her partner, who then went on to hang himself.

Karolina Zinkeviciene, 30, was killed by Breshnev Ruiters, who had reportedly domestically abused three previous partners before meeting Karolina.

The inquest hearing in Lincoln found that Ruiters, 34, strangled one of the women to the point where she accepted she would die.

Karolina had been warned by the previous victim just weeks before her murder.

She had only been in a relationship with Ruiters for a few months, but he was described as “aggressive and a dangerous person” by his previous partner.

The couple’s bodies were found at their home in Winsover Road, Spalding, just after 5.30am on June 25, 2020.

The previous night, the couple had been drinking at a barbecue and could be heard arguing into the early hours of the morning in their home.

A blood sample from Breshnev’s body found that he was almost two-and-a-half times over the drink drive limit.

DS Calley Murray, of Lincolnshire Police, said that Karolina had texted the woman who warned her, to ask whether Ruiters had hit her, to which she replied: “yes, many times. Be careful, you cannot change him.”

Karolina’s reply to this message was that she will change him, but she was dead just weeks later.

DS Murray said: “Had Breshnev not committed suicide, he would have been arrested for the murder of Karolina and referred to the CPS for a charging decision for the offence of murder.”

The inquest heard of a police caution that Ruiters was given in 2007 after grabbing his then partner.

From 2010 he then began a seven-year relationship, described as “toxic”, with the mother of his two children.

In court he admitted to attacking her on three separate occasions, receiving an 18-month conditional discharge for his actions.

In March 2017 he then threatened to kill himself with a knife in front of another partner, the one he choked to the point of her accepting death.

The victim then withdrew a complaint to police through fears that Ruiters would in fact kill her, but a prosecution continued and he was monitored by an electronic tag.

After his behaviour improved, the victim allowed him to continue living with her.

Later, he put a knife under her chin which caused her to crash into a neighbour’s car and drive off in panic.

The hearing at Karolina’s inquest was told that she had not filed any reports of domestic violence against her partner.

Post mortem showed bruising to both bodies, some of which had been caused by a rod-like item that police couldn’t find.

Coroner Paul Cooper concluded that Karolina’s “tragic” death was unlawful killing, and Breshnev’s was suicide.

An inquest heard a 34-year-old man tragically died when he collided head-on with a 20-tonne truck.

The conducting coroner said we “will never know” why Szymon Suwala drove his Vauxhall Corsa into the path of the oncoming DAF truck on a straight stretch of the A16.

The horrific crash, which left the driver of the lorry with PTSD, was deemed an accident.

It happened at around 5.50pm between the roundabouts at West Marsh Road in Spalding and Surfleet, on Sunday, August 16, 2020.

An inquest held in Lincoln was unable to establish why Suwala crossed into the opposite lane of the A16, a move which resulted in his death.

The inquest resumed on Tuesday, and was told that coroner Paul Cooper had accepted an application for the lorry driver to be excused on medical grounds.

He was not required to appear and give evidence after his legal representative, Farid Malik, had said the man was recently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

He was also suffering from depression with psychotic episodes, one of which had happened just days earlier, so he was excused from the inquest.

“It could be the underlying reason for that is the accident which took place last year,” said Mr. Malik.

Collision investigator PC Sarah Capes had paraphrased a short statement from the DAF driver, saying: “He saw a line of traffic travelling towards him and the Corsa just appeared in front of him.”

PC Capes told the inquest that the 20-tonne lorry was travelling at 49mph and the driver had no time to react with braking.

Evidence suggested that Mr Suwala, of Lewis Court in Spalding, had not been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

A car driver who was travelling directly behind him said: “I saw [his] dark blue car make a sudden move to the right into the opposite lane.

“I thought he was going to overtake at least one car in front of him but it seemed he was overtaking two or three. I didn’t think he had enough time to complete the overtaking.”

The inquest heard that Mr Suwula had mental health problems of his own, but his medication had been reduced and he was considered to be “stable”.

Suwula’s sister said the day of the crash was set to be his first at a new workplace, something he was excited about, and the family couldn’t understand why the fatal incident happened.

The coroner’s conclusion was that the death was due to an accident, stating sometimes an inquest cannot provide “perfect answers”.

Coroner Paul Cooper added: “We’ll never know why he overtook the vehicles in the manner that he did and you mustn’t agonise yourself trying to work out why.”

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