The Big Interviews – End Of Year Review – David Ampleford (Third Lanark AFC)

Back in early November I made contact with Third Lanark AFC Manager David Ampleford for another in my new Series at Scottish Amateur Football News, writes Tom Scott. Due to the nature of his comments, I had second thoughts about going ahead with production – David gave me permission, and the rest is history. The Article was not only the most-read that week, but also actively inspired many people who had been in David’s former position.

“Third Lanark Gaffer: I Was In A Dark Place With Mental Health.”

Anyone who knows David Ampleford will vouch for his love of football and in particular, the great honour of being manager of Third Lanark AFC.

This is the gentleman who, after all, was asked to run a new team at the famous Hi-Hi for a couple of weeks -. and is still there well into his 9th season!

The current second wave of Covid-19 has brought increased hospital admissions, on average 500-1000 new daily Scottish cases, and untold grief for those families who have tragically lost a loved one.

We have also sadly heard numerous stories of people who felt the struggle to carry on through lockdowns and restrictions had become so unbearable they decided to take their own life.

David Ampleford is well qualified to talk about Mental Health issues, and he told me: “I am really open about it. That’s why I am conscious about the current situation and talk a lot about it.”

“In August, 2015, I had a mental breakdown (or meltdown). In April 2016 I had a relapse. I was off work from 2015 to 2019.”

“I was in a seriously dark place and a number of times didn’t want to live any more. I am fortunate that I never acted on my feelings, and I am in a much healthier place.”

“If it wasn’t for football during that horrible time I dread to think where I would have been. It gave me my week structure and I always looked forward to getting out in the park.”

“Being diagnosed with different anxieties and depression was a big relief to me as it helped me understand, It also helped me know these things had names and that I wasn’t alone”

“I set-up a Facebook Page (via Third Lanark AFC) called Mental Illness – My Story – where I reached out to others. That feeling of relief, I got was something I hoped to help others experience.”

David’s “Gaffers Mental Health Challenge”. contains Videos 1 and 2, and relates to Mental Health Awareness and Improvement. They give an insight into how you or partners of anyone who feels that urgent advice is required about depression and anxiety. For Challenge 1, the post has already reached over 8000 people!

David added “Absolutely phenomenal. I am sure that is only a small % of those who have taken part. All we wanted to do was reach “that 1 person” who wanted to see it.”

“Amateur Football is in a tough position right now. Deeper than that is the mental condition of the guys who’ve no longer got football to look forward to at the weekend.”

“They can’t see their mates and can’t see their family.

“Let’s hope we all pull through this.”

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