Paul Merson: Ex-England midfielder talks about his mental health struggles

Paul Merson: Ex-England midfielder talks about his mental health struggles

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Paul Merson played for Arsenal, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and was player-manager at Walsall

Former England midfielder Paul Merson says he hopes to help people struggling with their mental health by revealing that his own battle left him wanting to take his own life.

Kick-offs at this weekend’s FA Cup third-round matches will be delayed for 60 seconds to prompt fans to consider their wellbeing.

Merson, 51, says he has been sober for a year after dealing with alcoholism.

“Now I know I have an illness. Before, I used to beat myself up,” he said.

Merson was capped 21 times by England between 1991 and 1998 and scored 78 goals in 327 games for Arsenal.

He previously spoke about his gambling addiction in March 2019.

Writing in his Daily Star column,