Roy Carroll: Former Manchester United goalkeeper on hitting rock bottom and battling depression

Thank you for your reading and interest in the news Roy Carroll: Former Manchester United goalkeeper on hitting rock bottom and battling depression and now with details

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Former Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll has faced many challenges on the field, and successfully at that. But behind the facade of fame and success is a long-standing battle with depression.

In the latest Manchester United podcast, Carroll reveals how his drinking problem exacerbated his situation and damaged his mental health and even his marriage.

The importance of discussing mental health issues has never been more clear than now, with the world forced into isolation because of the pandemic. And Carroll wants everyone to know how things got so bad.

"Let me try and explain it,” he says in the podcast.

“I was doing the same thing every day. I was getting in that little hole, and it was getting bigger and bigger. Because I was injured I wasn’t even going into training – they had told me to take two months off.

"So I was getting into a routine, waking up about 10 o’clock, half ten. Drinking when I got up, drinking at lunchtime, drinking at teatime. The wife and the kids would come in and I was depressed that I couldn’t do anything. It was such a horrible feeling.

“Let me go back a little bit. I had a lot of good friends or I thought I had good friends and that was the big problem – that’s when I was at West Ham. And then I realised who my good friends were when I did hit rock bottom.”

My problem was that I didn’t think I had a problem. That’s the big problem

Roy Carroll

Carroll went into rehab in 2006. Although, it was not entirely just his decision.

“My wife knew,” he explains. “She knew I was in a bad way. That’s why I went to rehab. Basically my agent and my wife put me into rehab. I didn’t even know how bad I was at the time. I said, ‘No, I’m not going, I don’t want to go’. I ended up going for my wife and my agent. I just wanted to say I’ll go in for them. Mentally, in my head, I was thinking, ‘I’m not coming off the drink’.

“I was only in rehab for six days, I came back out and I was off the drink for a week and I had the press and everybody waiting outside my house. After a week they went away and I just went out drinking again.”

Unfortunately, his wife left him.

“It was down to me that I went off the drink because I woke up one day, I was separated, I had moved out of the family home. I was in an apartment in Canary Wharf in London. I woke up one day and looked in the mirror and said, ‘Who the hell am I?’ I didn’t even recognise myself in the mirror. I just had to change myself and I ended up going back to my wife, begging my wife to take me back. She never took me back straightaway but I’ve stayed dry ever since. That was nine years ago and 11 months from today.

“It’s still ropey – the depression. Sometimes I’m in the house and I can feel myself getting back into that routine because I don’t do anything during the day because the kids are at school and I don’t do the coaching until after 6 o’clock so I have to keep myself active. When you have too much time on your hands, that’s when you think too much.

“I didn’t want to go in to rehab. My problem was that I didn’t think I had a problem. That’s the big problem.”

Asked whether his back injury in the 2006 season triggered the depression, he said: “I think there were a lot of things happening. It was the injury and I got into stupid financial things with apartments and houses so there were a lot of financial problems as well. It all happened, all at once in that year. I couldn’t cope. I tried to hide it from my family.

“I didn’t even recognise myself. I knew I had lost my family, I’d basically lost football as well – I’m going to lose my life because the drinking I was doing was ridiculous. I was drinking, you name it, what was in front of me I was drinking it. I didn’t care how bad it was or how horrible it tasted I was drinking it. I knew I was probably going to end up dying if I kept doing what I was doing. It was that moment [when] something clicked in my head.”


Manchester United 2019/20 ratings

MANCHESTER UNITED SEASON RATINGS. David de Gea - 5. Clicked through United 400 games recently in his nine-year United career, but how many more? Retains the support of his manager and a contract so vast that nobody would want to match his wages. But 2019-20 was his poorest season since he arrived from Madrid as a callow teen. Played every single minute of all 38 league games, but while once it was possible to pinpoint where he saved United points when he was player of the year four times in five seasons, now the focus is on costly mistakes. Needs to get back to his best and has built up enough credit to get the support while he does that. AFP

Aaron Wan-Bissaka - 7. His first season for United and he made more tackles than any other player as he started 45 matches and stayed injury free. It is almost impossible to get past him and the Londoner settled well, which isn’t easy. But he needs to improve his positioning, crossing and distribution if he’s to become a top full-back. An understanding with a quality winger in front of him would help, but until that happens we’ll still see the former Palace defender come inside with limited effect when United attack. Reuters

Harry Maguire - 7. The most expensive defender in the world played considerably more than any other of his teammates – 55 times in total – and became club captain. Improved after Bruno Fernandes’ arrival and began connecting with his free-kicks from set-pieces. United’s defence stopped conceding goals as the team’s form improved towards the end of the season – though it was poor against Sevilla on Sunday. Not the fastest and his partner Lindelof covers for him, but better to have a settled defence for the first time in years. Getty

Victor Lindelof - 7. The image of him arguing with Fernandes on Sunday in Cologne made headlines and United’s defence had an off day, but only Maguire played more games than the Swede this season. Crowned Swedish Player of the Year, he makes few errors (though against Olivier Giroud at Wembley he didn’t look great) and was excellent against Manchester City in both league derbies. Doubts remain whether he’s one of the best in the world because that’s what United fans have seen with Vidic, Ferdinand, et al. But he’s technically sound with the ball, reliable and should improve – especially his positioning – as he continues to play alongside Maguire. That’s not a prospect every United fan relishes, it must be said. Reuters

Brandon Williams - 7. Nowhere near the first team a year ago but the Mancunian teen went on to play 36 games. That was probably too many and it showed towards the end when he filled in for the injured Luke Shaw. He’s got much to learn and enthusiasm to curb. He went over after a tackle against Sevilla like he was playing in Spain, not merely against a Spanish team, but it’s a deserved new contract for the full-back who came through the youth system. EPA

Luke Shaw - 7. Player of the year last season, but not this. Decent for 33 games after missing September and October and the last weeks. The injury worries won’t go away and he’s had less luck than any player at the club in that regard, but he was missed in an awful autumn and United were better with him back after November. He was particularly impressive in a defensive three away at Chelsea. Needs to make more assists and more than one goal a year wouldn’t go amiss, but talented enough to be trusted. Reuters

Bruno Fernandes - 9. Signing of the season. Came out of this summer’s transfer budget from Sporting Lisbon and within five minutes of his debut at home to Wolves (ironically a 0-0) was showing an attacking intent badly missing from his team. Energetic and driven, he can tackle, shoot and score. He’s fine with the physical demands of the Premier League but it’s his eye for a quick pass which sets him apart. They don’t all come off, they don’t need to. The 25-year-old from Porto makes watching Manchester United more exciting and he was the best player of the second part of the season. If he can properly click with Pogba, and the early signs are promising, then United are on to something. Bruno also takes penalties. And he scores them. Lots of them, even with a hop, skip and jump. Reuters

Nemanja Matic - 7. Another who played in Portugal with Lindelof, Fernandes and the lesser seen defenders Marcos Rojo and Diogo Dalot. Matic had a nothing first half of the season when he was written off as past it. He showed he wasn’t as he returned for a super second half when he scored the winner in a Manchester derby, signed a new contract and refused to give the ball away. He’s not a Bruno style match winner, but brings balance and experience to the league’s youngest team. Form dipped a little after his contract was won, but remains an important United player. Getty

Fred - 7. Just as the most optimistic United fans were starting to doubt the expensive Brazilian and his non-performances, he came good. Very good. Man of the match in United’s best performance of the season - against Manchester City in December - when he overcame racist abuse to be the team’s heartbeat, Fred played more midfield games than anyone until Pogba returned. Scored twice against Bruges, probably won’t get 46 games next season as he did this. But then who expected the tidy midfielder to be a regular after a wretched first year? AFP

Scott McTominay - 6. Academy graduate who says the right things, has an excellent attitude, fitness levels and can be trusted to play against anyone. Five goals this season including the second against City in the last Old Trafford game to have a crowd. Injured over Christmas and then featured less as Matic became the main man in his position behind Pogba and Fernandes. Aged 23 and improving. Reuters

Anthony Martial - 8. The best of his five seasons at the club, more silk and speed than sulk. It helps when you have players like Bruno around you and the Parisian finished as the top scorer with 23 - the most goals scored in a season since the Ferguson era. Hugely talented and happier when he plays now, he scored six and made four assists in nine games after the restart. Usually chosen as the central striker in Solskjaer’s preferred 4-2-3-1, though not a natural No 9. Would Bayern Munich’s forwards have missed the chances he did against Sevilla on Sunday? Reuters

Marcus Rashford - 7. Contender for man of the year, if not always for what he does on a football pitch. Scored a career high 22 goals, the best a free-kick at Chelsea in the League Cup. Would have been more had he not broken his back in January. One tiny positive of the pausing of competitive football was that he came back to finish a season he didn’t expect to, but form was patchy – as it is expected to be after a serious injury. Much happier with Solskjaer as boss than Mourinho, he’s entering his sixth season in the first team. Still just 22, he’s learning to improve his all-round game by getting in more positions where goals are scored. Beautiful to watch when he’s running at players with pace, he knows he needs to add another 10 per cent to his game to be considered a world class player. AFP

Daniel James - 5. Started superbly with a debut goal against Chelsea in a productive first month where his speed hurt opponents but faded badly. Looked no better than a squad player towards the end and was told by his manager to get his head together over the break and come back focused. But, James played 46 games this season. He’s 22. He lost his dad before the season started. Cut him slack, he deserves it as his game hopefully improves. Getty

Paul Pogba - 6. Injury meant the Frenchman barely featured all season, but that didn’t keep him out of the headlines as speculation about his future hung around. Last season’s top scorer, he managed only one this term, but his impact was clear from when he came on as sub in the first game back at Spurs and played a ball forward which cut through four opponents. He started every league game thereafter. Bruno, form and a lack of suitors means he’s almost certainly going to stay. And a fit and in-form Pogba is a plus for any team in the world, with the skill to receive the ball in the tightest positions and come away with it. EPA

Mason Greenwood - 9. Eighteen-years-old and he scored 17 times for Manchester United in his first season. Let that sink in. Only started his first Premier League game in December, a key match at home to Spurs. Did well, but a callow kid from Bradford can’t be expected to perform week in week out. Greenwood’s limited effect in the cup derby win at City, combined with Rashford’s injury, saw Solskjaer move for an on-loan striker, yet Greenwood still started ahead of Odion Ighalo and justified it with accuracy in his shooting, goals and match winning performances. He’s bulked up to become stronger but needs to remain focused and listen to his coaches and more experienced teammates. EPA

Jesse Lingard - 4. Started 20 games and came on in 20 more. His stock remains very low among fans, his number of goals (one, in the final minute of the final game) and assists (none) too. Some spirited performances from the bench towards the very end of the season (he’d been left out of the squad for six games after the restart) where he showed his fitness may hold value. But his purple patches and cup winning goals at United are long behind him. Probably best for both parties if he started afresh elsewhere. Reuters

Andreas Pereira - 5. Frustrated squad player on the evidence of this season. Featured in 40 matches this season, which is more than his current ability merits. Man of the match in the win at Burnley away when he was given a specific job by a manager who likes him, but if you are an attacking midfielder for Manchester United you need more than two goals all season. Reuters

Juan Mata - 5. A lovely person - and he’ll hate to be known just for that. His cameo role against Copenhagen in the Europa League quarter-final showed he can still change a game and his experience and personality was needed in the dressing room. That he started eight games in both the Premier League and the Europa League showed his peripheral position in the squad – and that wasn’t really a surprise. He’s 32 and talented enough to be playing top level football every week somewhere, but he remains content at a club where he’s highly regarded by all. Reuters



After the long drawn battle, Carroll advocates speaking about problems.

“Me and big Pat (McGibbon) talk about mental awareness and mental health in this part of the world and it’s serious over here with suicides in Northern Ireland, it’s really, really serious,” he says.

“The ones that you need to look out for are the ones that are always talking and joking around in the changing rooms like I was. I was a character. ‘Ring Roy up, he’s a character’. I even had arguments with my wife to get out – that’s the way I was going. I didn’t like myself. I look back now, every morning I wake up and my wife is still with me – I just say how much I love her every single day because it is fantastic that she is still with me.

“People say, ‘Why did you not talk about it then?’ At the end of the day, when you are earning so much money, why would you want to come out and talk about your problems? People just look at you and laugh at you. For me now, I talk about it because I don’t care what people think about me. I just want to help – if there are a hundred people and I can help one person then I would be over the moon.

“You look at Paul Gascoigne and all those players who played back in the ‘80s. They need help, they can’t do it themselves. I was lucky, I was a little bit strong enough to pull myself away from it. I got myself in that mess but I got myself out of it. I’m still fighting it as well – the depression. I’m not going to say that I’m not depressed – I do get depressed once in a while when you are sitting in and you are thinking about things. It’s all about thinking, thinking bad thoughts. There is always someone out there to talk to and that’s what I try to say to people – don’t be shy, talk to them.”

Carroll played 45 times for Northern Ireland and was substitute when they lost 1-0 to Wales in Euro 2016.

“That’s what hit me, when we lost against Wales,” he says. “I think that’s what hit me the most after what I’d been through, what I’d put my wife through. That’s what it was, it wasn’t the football side. I know it sounds bad, but it was what I put my family through and what I put myself through. To look back and be sitting on the bench. I thank [manager] Michael O’Neill for giving me the chance to come back again. It was brilliant.”

Carroll and Manchester United

Manchester United tried nine different goalkeepers between Peter Schmeichel leaving after winning the treble in 1999 and Edwin van der Sar arriving six years later.

Fabian Barthez, with 139 games over three seasons, played by far the most. The rest were Mark Bosnich, Raimond van der Gouw, Paul Rachubka, Andy Goram, Carroll, Nick Culkin, Ricardo and Tim Howard.

Some came as understudies, others promised a little or a lot, but none convinced. With 72 appearances, Carroll played the second most games in that period.

Carroll arrived from Wigan Athletic in 2001 and would stay at United for four years, finally becoming the main goalkeeper in 2004-05, his final season before he joined West Ham in 2005.

“You had Roy Keane who fought for the club, who fought for the players,” he said of his time at United.

“You had Rio Ferdinand who came in. He was a fighter as well. I learned a lot from Manchester United. Even when I came back to Northern Ireland to play for Linfield, I was still running around like a madman trying to win five-a-side games because Roy Keane was the same. Just winning, winning, winning. Because if you don’t have that winning mentality, there is no point being a professional sportsperson.”

Carroll isn't held in the same esteem as Schmeichel and Van der Sar, but he was popular with teammates and also a Premier League winner in 2002-03 and an FA Cup winner in 2004. His performance in the FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal was one of his best.

Manchester United's goalkeeper Carroll grabs for the ball during the game against Tottenham Hotspur in their English Premier league match at Old Trafford. Manchester United's goalkeeper Roy Carroll grabs for the ball from a shot from Tottenham's Miguel Pedro Mendes in their English Premier league soccer match at Old Trafford, Manchester, January 4, 2005. The match finished 0-0 with the shot from Tottenham's Mendes not being given as a goal after the ball crossed the line. NO ONLINE/INTERNET USAGE WITHOUT FAPL LICENCE. FOR DETAILS SEE WWW.FAPLWEB.COM REUTERS/Ian Hodgson
Manchester United's goalkeeper Carroll grabs for the ball during the game against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford. The goal was not given despite the ball crossing the line. Reuters

He was also United’s goalkeeper in what Alex Ferguson described as the best game in Premier League history, a 4-2 win at Highbury in 2005 when the goalscorers were Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira. And John O’Shea.

He’s also known for a goal line let off against Spurs at Old Trafford when he fumbled the ball which had already crossed the white line and scooped it back across the line as he tried to recover from his significant embarrassment. He wouldn’t have got away with it in the VAR era.

Carroll played for so long that he was still wearing the gloves aged 41, into 2019 when he won the title with Linfield. Carroll played for 11 clubs in six countries including Hull City, Wigan Athletic, West Ham, Rangers, Derby County, Odense BK, OFI Crete, Olympiakos and Notts County.

Updated: September 15, 2020 10:59 AM

These were the details of the news Roy Carroll: Former Manchester United goalkeeper on hitting rock bottom and battling depression for this day. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information. To follow all our news, you can subscribe to the alerts system or to one of our different systems to provide you with all that is new.

It is also worth noting that the original news has been published and is available at The National and the editorial team at AlKhaleej Today has confirmed it and it has been modified, and it may have been completely transferred or quoted from it and you can read and follow this news from its main source.

NEXT Australian defender Aziz Behich becomes Ronaldo’s new teammate at Al-Nassr