Ex-Middlesbrough playmaker Lee Tomlin gives open interview on his recent mental health battle

Former Middlesbrough midfielder Lee Tomlin has opened up on his battle with mental health which left him considering suicide.

Saturday, 6th July 2019, 5:04 pm
Lee Tomlin joined Middlesbrough from Peterborough in January 2014.

The 30-year-old playmaker left the Riverside in the summer of 2015 shortly after Boro lost in the play-off final to Norwich City.

Following his move to Bournemouth that summer, Tomlin has struggled to rediscover his impressive Riverside form and is now back at Cardiff City following loan spells at Nottingham Forest and Peterborough.

And in a revealing interview with the Daily Mail, Tomlin has discussed his recent struggles, after shedding a remarkable 13kg – just over two stone - in the last few months.

Tomlin also talked about his return to pre-season training at Boro four years ago, when manager Aitor Karanka wasn’t impressed with the player’s physical condition.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“We were in Marbella for pre-season playing Leyton Orient and there was a side-on picture of me that was horrendous,” said Tomlin.

“It looked Photoshopped. Everyone was like, 'Jesus Christ'. I've got low ribs so they will always stick out and it will always look like I'm carrying a bit. My bodyweight can also go up and down. I'm that sort of build.

“I had to play the full game because Aitor Karanka said, 'What have you done, look at the state of you' but I could only play half a game and more or less needed an oxygen tank.”

When discussing his darkest days which took place last summer, Tomlin admitted he had thoughts about taking his own life.

And the midfielder has thanked former Cardiff under-23s coach Craig Bellamy, as well as manager Neil Warnock and other members of the Bluebirds’ coaching staff, for helping him overcome the psychological trauma.

“I can't thank them all enough,” Tomlin added. “Warnock knows literally everything that has gone on and got the club to let me go out on loan.”

“I was seeing a therapist in Loughborough who I had about 16 sessions with and it was there I got things off my chest and allowed me to speak about things that way.

“I'm really happy that I've done it sooner rather than later because you never know what could have happened.”