Robert Enke, Goalkeeper

*Faded Footballers is a documentary project, led by Adam Labno, looking at the lives of professional footballers and how they finish their careers. The footballers studied are those who have often had spectacular exists and downfalls: blowing their cash due to drug or alcohol addictions, depression, any other combination of factors. Rarely do these players attract public sympathy: they are often characterised as primadonnas who have wasted their shot at the good life. The challenge of the project is to investigate what can be done to shift attitudes within the world of professional football, so that players have access to the necessary health programs, consultation to prevent them from letting their careers and lives get out of control. I have written one article so far for Faded Footballers, on the German goalkeeper, Robert Enke, and I hope to contribute further.

Robert Enke and the Black Dog

The words used to describe mental illness, so often reflect the language of football: we talk about people ‘losing’ their ‘battle’ against depression, and that players have an ongoing ‘struggle’ against it. And on the other hand, does one have depression – temporarily – or is one a depressive, permanently? Does depression come in from somewhere else, or is it something that is a part of the person?

The rest is on Faded Footballers, here.


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