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Rangers legend Nacho Novo: Mental health issues led me to contemplate suicide

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Rangers legend Nacho Novo has admitted he contemplated suicide when the loss of his football career became too much to bear.The Spaniard, who was inducted into the Ibrox club’s Hall of Fame in 2014, retired from the game in 2017 and went into a post-football state of depression that ultimately took him to the lowest point in his life.Novo had a heart attack while playing for a Rangers legends team in Berlin and had emergency surgery to save his life in 2018.But even that narrow escape couldn’t take his mind off suicide.“I am not the only one to have felt the way I did when I had suicidal thoughts,” he said. “Lots of ex-professional players I know felt the way I did when their careers were over, but they don’t express their emotions.“I admit I went into a state of depression when my time was up in football.“I drank too much.

I dabbled in drugs and when I’d reached my lowest ebb I thought about ending it all.“The combination of good friends and the professional help I sought with regard to my mental health issues got me through that episode.

Now I’m on a mission to help myself and get back into football to act as an inspiration for young players. I want to be a good person and help people.”The 45-year-old, who scored 73 goals in 255 ­appearances for Rangers is now a coach at West of Scotland Football League club Drumchapel Utd in the sixth tier of Scottish football.The community club have given Novo the platform to continue his personal rehabilitation programme while helping others at the same time. “I am no longer the old Nacho,” he said.“I am serious about the business of rehabilitation because I know the person who contemplated suicide wasn’t the real me.

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