A 20-year old footballer who once had trials with Manchester United has taken his own life after persistent injury problems halted his progression.
Joel Darlington, described as an “exceptional talent”, played for Wales at youth level and trialed with Shrewsbury Town before turning out for Welsh Premier League outfit Bala Town, where he was the academy side’s top scorer in 2016/17.
His United trials ended when he suffered a broken arm, while in 2017 a more pressing issue saw scar tissue in his back stemming from a slipped disc.
The back complications could not be aided by physiotherapy, according to The Daily Post and it ultimately ended his hopes of becoming a professional footballer, as well as preventing him from pursuing a career as a fitness instructor.
Joel, former pupil of Rhos Street Primary School and Ysgol Brynhyfryd, Ruthin, suffered from anxiety and dropped out of college as a result.
On March 18, a day after a positive conversation with his dad, he was found hung from a beam in his garage at his home in North Wales by his brother Kyran, who had forced entry.
An inquest, where his parents Shaun Darlington and Dawn Davies were not present, heard that several suicide notes were found at the scene.
Don’t suffer in silence. It’s okay not to be okay, and it’s also okay to reach out for help when dealing with mental health.