In Depth

Clarke Carlisle in 'serious' condition after collision with lorry

Injuries to former player, who has battled depression, are not said to be life-threatening

Football pundit Clarke Carlisle, the former head of the Professional Footballers Association, is in a serious condition in hospital in Leeds after being hit by a lorry. The 35-year-old was airlifted to hospital after the collision on the A64 near Bishopthorpe in North Yorkshire on Monday morning.

Intial reports said the player was fighting for his life, but the BBC says this is not the case.

"His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening but some reports last night suggested that he had either walked into the road or fallen from a bridge," reports The Times.

The reason for the accident remains unclear, says the Daily Mirror, but it adds that police are "investigating all possible avenues".

The footballer, who played for Blackpool, QPR and Burnley during a 16-year career and won three England Under-21 caps, has battled alcoholism and depression and in July 2013 presented a documentary, Football's Suicide Secret, on the BBC about the issue. In it he spoke to other players and the families of those affected by the issue.

He also revealed that he had once attempted suicide after being injured while at QPR. "I'd just suffered a severe knee injury and had convinced myself that without football people would see me for what I really was, which was nothing," he wrote for the BBC. He also addressed the topic in his autobiography.

Regarded as "one of the most intelligent footballers of his generation", according to the Daily Mail, Carlisle earned ten Grade A GCSEs and also became the first player to appear on quiz show Countdown. He is also politically active and made two well-received appearances on the BBC's Question Time in 2011 and 2012 and has been a guest on the Andrew Marr show.

In 2012 he presented another BBC documentary on racism in football and has worked as an ambassador for anti-discrimination group Kick It Out.

The PFA and Kick It Out are among those to have issued messages of support for Carlisle, one of the best-liked players in the game. Many footballers have wished him well, as has Alastair Campbell, the former Downing Street communications chief and Burnley fan, who has also suffered from depression.

Really hoping @clarkecarlisle going be ok. Thoughts with Gemma/two lovely kids. A great @BurnleyOfficial man and mental health campaigner

 

— Alastair Campbell (@campbellclaret) December 22, 2014

Just heard the news about Clarke Carlisle. My thoughts are with his friends and family.

 

— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) December 23, 2014

We visited Clarke at the hospital yesterday and we are offering our full help and support to him and his family at this difficult time.

 

— PFA (@PFA) December 23, 2014

The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Kick It Out are with Clarke Carlisle and his family. Stay strong our dear friend - keep on fighting.

 

— Kick It Out (@kickitout) December 22, 2014

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