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Article on Gerard Kinsella

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Between the ages of 16, when he was told he was to get a professional deal at Everton; and 19, when the then manager David Moyes told him he was to be released, Gerard estimates he missed more than two years in total to injury.


He broke a collarbone just before he was awarded the professional deal. Next he chipped an ankle bone and then tore ligaments in the same ankle in 2007. He had shin splints in September 2008 and suffered a stress fracture to a metatarsal in March 2010. He had three shoulder dislocations between 2009-11. For good measure he was hospitalised with meningitis two years ago.


He had been at Everton from the age of seven but could understand, given the injuries, why he was released in the summer of 2011. Much worse, he says, was missing out on a contract at Plymouth Argyle weeks later. A combative central midfielder, he impressed the club and was preparing to play in a friendly when he ruptured knee ligaments in a light training session on the morning of the game. He would not play for the entire 2011-12 season.


During that period he developed depression, "big time". "From seven I had been playing football and it just stopped," he says. "It was all I had done my whole life. I never learnt anything in school. I was coming out of school to play football. I had no Plan B. It just hit me all at once. I was sitting on the couch watching daytime TV with my mum... you're the forgotten man, a bit of a ghost. They were bad times."

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