Twenty-two-year-old George Green gained popularity as a teen for playing football at Everton. He is one of those rare gems that coaches would have loved to spot as a kid on the field. Green has a great control under pressure; he had dead-on passes despite a challenging surface. He knew of timing and mastered when to hold and release the ball.
Green was highly represented at a young age in the Under-16, U17 and U18 level in English football clubs. At 15 years of age, he signed with Everton in 2011 with a projected fee that grew to an estimate of £2million. Despite such a promising start, the player didn’t last in Everton, as well as the other teams that followed. Some of these teams were Tranmere Rovers, Oldham Athletic, Burnley among many others.
The young midfielder who is just 22 years old, had his career spiraling down the drain pretty quick. Several headlines over the years would state the kid’s anger issues and his “off-the-field problems’. This predictably led to early termination or non-renewal of several contracts.
With such behavior progressing in an out of the field, Green spiraled into a depression that even led to rumors that he checked himself into rehab. The player said his behavior wasn’t because of substance abuse at an early age. He did admit to having suicidal tendencies due to the immense pressure of the career trajectory that was expected of him.
“I was expected to make the first team at 16 and then win an England call-up. But if you have one bad game then you start having people question you and asking why you aren’t progressing. It did all get too much because I was only doing the best that I could.”
In other ways, George was actually considered injured but not any physical pains that could be treated with a bandage. They’re the kind that even crutches won’t help to alleviate. Mental health in sports and within football is beyond taboo. The way the community approaches the way treatment towards physical health versus mental health is still vastly different where people mostly tiptoe around the latter issue.
“I’ve suffered from depression and addiction,” George adds. He recognizes that from the ages of 17 to 18, something was wrong that everyone saw but something he consistently denied and didn’t want to accept.
A Fresh Start at Nuneaton
After several sessions in therapy and seeing various psychologists, the player is finally in a better place after battling depression, addiction and even loss at a later stage in his life. His father passed away due to throat cancer when he was eight years old. This loss has somehow carried through and never was never really processed well as a child which he is finally in a place of doing.
It’s safe to say that George Green is in a level-headed place that proper medication helps him achieve. He is able to play and perform on the pitch, stay actively fit and is even excelling in Nuneaton. The midfielder also got accepted into Jamie Vardy’s V9 Academy for the summer. “I feel a million times better than I have done for a long while,” Green adds.
His partner Charli, who has stuck by his lows and has raised their two-year-old daughter, Daisy makes Green feel extremely blessed. They are finally in a happy place with Green actively participating in the raising their daughter, while gaining support from Gary Charles who runs a help service called GCSportsCare.
Whatever the next few years will bring Green, he is finally in a good head space to take anything on. He does admit that proper guidance and nurturing will be something he will need from whatever football club that wants to sign him. “The way back to football is going to be gradual’ Green adds.