One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year, according to the mental health charity Mind.
But, in partnership with the English Football League, Mind aims to provide support and respect to anyone who does encounter such issues.
Charlton Athletic, Millwall and AFC Wimbledon are among nine EFL clubs who are aiming to encourage people to get more active as a way of improving their mental wellbeing.
A new phase of the ‘Get Set to Go’ initiative, a nationwide physical activity programme, was launched with a five-a-side tournament at the Addicks’ training ground last month.
Initially funded by Sport England and the National Lottery, ‘Get Set to Go’ is being expanded thanks to fundraising from Mind’s partnership with the EFL.
A ‘platform to engage with’
“We know that getting active is really powerful for our body, but actually it is incredibly helpful for our mind too,” Hayley Jarvis, the head of sport at Mind, said.
“It can help us to reduce our feelings of stress, lifts our mood and we know it can be life-changing for many people who are experiencing mental health problems.
“What really supports people is meeting people who have been through similar experiences.”
Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday, Sunderland, Carlisle United, Newport County and Stevenage are the other EFL clubs involved in the latest phase of the initiative, alongside the Addicks, Lions and Dons.
The respective clubs’ community trusts will offer a range of weekly activities to participants.
“When people are suffering with poor mental health, quite often the first thing that happens is isolation,” said Carl Krauhaus, head of early help and prevention at the Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT).
“They get distanced from local services, activities, social circles and peer groups. Activity, whatever it is, can prevent that.
“Just getting people together will provide a lot of things that go beyond the activity.
“From working with lots of people with various problems over the years what I always hear is that sometimes they just need a platform to engage with. That is the first step to then being involved in something like this.”
The programme itself launched in 2015, since when more than 3,500 people with mental health problems have benefited and tried out new activities in a relaxed and friendly environment.
“Males round about my age suffer from mental health problems,” participant James Magill, 40, said.
“I have had suicidal thoughts and these events really help me with my own mental health condition.
“I have been in hospital twice and take medication.
“I enjoy being out in the open and running around. With the chemical imbalance, it releases endorphins so even on a biological level it is very cathartic.”
Football can ‘use power to influence the world’
Mind is in the second year of its link-up with the EFL, with its branding featuring on the back of every player’s shirt across the three tiers of the competition.
“To see our logo on the club shirts and raise awareness with millions of fans helps us reach new communities and new audiences,” Jarvis added.
“Whether you are a fan on the terrace, a player or whether you work for the club, we all have mental health and it is really important we look after it.
“Our message is whoever you support, we do support you.”
“Every time I put on the shirt I notice that logo,” AFC Wimbledon captain Will Nightingale said.
“I am sure all the fans do as well. If anybody doesn’t know about Mind then they will get to know it and hopefully we can spread that word as best as we can.
“Football is a well-watched sport worldwide so we need to use that power to influence the world in a positive way.”
Millwall midfielder Ben Thompson and Charlton defender Lewis Page attended the launch event at Sparrow’s Lane and encouraged anyone encountering mental health problems to seek advice.
“Mental health is an issue for many people in the country,” Thompson, 23, said.
“For clubs to be supporting that, helping people and making sure they come out and speak about their problems is the best way to solve it.”
Page added: “I have witnessed it first hand within my life with people who have gone and spoken to people and they have come out far better from it.”
‘A small effort can make a big difference’
The opening five-a-side tournament proved to be a “joyful experience” for those involved, according to Nathan Rendell, a community mental health services manager for Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich Mind
“We had people on our teams who have been very unwell recently,” Rendell said.
“We have engaged with people who have been in care for most of their lives – quite young and new to our service.
“Being out there on the pitch with them and working together with people they have met only once, it was great.
“It is just getting people to the point that they can engage with it and they feel they can take ownership of that engagement, because that is part of the difficulty sometimes.”
CACT’s Krauhaus is sure the initiative will have an impact.
“What the clubs will do is learn from this partnership with EFL and Mind and realise that actually, with a small amount of effort they can make a big difference in the community just by using their badge to promote activity projects,” he said.
“In two months hopefully all the clubs’ programmes will have grown. That EFL partnership will allow that to happen across the UK and that is really powerful.”
|Olympiakos v Tottenham Hotspur; Champions League group stage|
|Venue: Karaiskakis Stadium Time: 17:55 BST|
|Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live with live text commentary on the BBC Sport website|
Manager Mauricio Pochettino says he thought about Tottenham’s ‘painful’ Champions League final defeat ‘a lot’ during the summer as they prepare for their opening game of this year’s competition.
Spurs lost 2-0 to Liverpool in their first Champions League final in June.
They begin their new European campaign against Greek side Olympiakos in Piraeus on Wednesday (17:55 BST).
“It was a long period after the final in Madrid,” said Pochettino.
“Being honest I was thinking a lot during the summer. To finish losing the final is always so painful because you can’t put out the feeling and you need to wait to start again to repair the damage.
“It’s exciting to start a new campaign and here in Greece. It’s going to be an unbelievable atmosphere as well.”
Pochettino has played down Tottenham’s chances of repeating last season’s Champions League run, which included a dramatic semi-final second leg victory away at Ajax.
He also says the club need to learn lessons from the poor start in the group stage last season, where they took just one point from their opening three matches.
“No-one today is thinking or giving us chance to be a contender to be in the final in Istanbul this season,” added the Argentine, who will take charge of his 50th European game for Tottenham in Greece.
“But that is normal. That makes it again very exciting, our run in the Champions League.
“We know we have to start by winning. However, you can talk but tomorrow you need to show your quality. We need to show we have learned from the past.”
Trio again miss out for Spurs
Defenders Danny Rose and Serge Aurier have been rested and did not travel with the squad, with Pochettino saying he will make changes to the side that beat Crystal Palace 4-0 last weekend.
Ryan Sessegnon also did not travel after reporting irritation with a previous hamstring strain while fellow summer signing Giovani Lo Celso is out until at least the end of October with a hip injury.
Juan Foyth is back in training after an ankle problem but is not expected to return to first-team action for another few weeks.
A suspected knifeman was chased down and “sat on” by partygoers following a fatal stabbing in north London.
The victim was found by guests at a birthday party held at the Old Edmontonians FC clubhouse, Enfield, shortly after 20:10 BST on Saturday.
The 29-year-old man died at the scene.
A 40-year-old man was arrested after he was “pursued and detained” in a nearby field, police said. The suspect is being treated in hospital.
Police said the attack was not thought to be connected to the event or the football club.
The clubhouse manager, 60, who asked not to be named, said a man ran towards the party from a nearby playing field and “called for help” before collapsing.
A second man could be seen further back on the club’s football pitch appearing to “goad” the guests.
Partygoers slowly approached the suspect “somehow got him on the floor and sat on him until police came,” the manager said.
A “corporate birthday party” had hired the clubhouse for a group of 70 people from Romford, including some children, the manager said.
“When I came to the door there was just a group of people around [the victim],” he continued.
“The woman from the bouncy castle was giving him chest compressions.
“I was shocked by it. You read about these things but you don’t expect it to be happening right in front of you.”
A witness said he saw about 10 police officers lead a man away from the scene following the incident.
The former clergyman, who did not want to be named, said: “You could hear him shouting and hissing. He was screaming in an unknown tongue.”
He said one of the guests at the party had told him someone “had been stabbed with a machete”
The deceased’s next of kin have been informed and police said they were not looking for anyone else.
The Met said specialist forensics teams were still at the scene of the attack.
A brain-damaged girl will suffer “physical degradation” if doctors keep providing life-support treatment, the High Court has heard.
Five-year-old Tafida Raqeeb has been on life support since she had a traumatic brain injury in February.
Doctors at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel say further treatment will not work and it is in her best interest to be allowed to die.
But her parents want to move her to Italy where she has been offered care.
Katie Gollop QC, representing Barts Health NHS Trust which runs the hospital, told the court one specialist thought Tafida was in a condition “consistent with a vegetative state”.
She said the girl might have a “very small amount of consciousness”, but experts believed she felt no pain, had no awareness and had no prospect of recovery.
More treatment would mean “invasive operations” and “physical degradation”, Ms Gollop said.
Her parents’ legal battle with the trust to be granted the right to take her to Genoa in Italy for treatment reached its final day on Friday.
Lawyers representing Tafida have argued she is being denied her right to free movement under European Union law.
Vikram Sachdeva, who is leading Tafida’s legal team, told Mr Justice MacDonald: “One needs to put oneself, so far as one can, in the position of the patient and ask what the patient would have wanted.”
He said there was “really very little on the downside” to prolonging the girl’s life, adding that on the “upside” there was the “sanctity of life”.
The judge finished analysing evidence earlier and said he aimed to deliver a ruling in the next few weeks.
Mike Brown says it was “heartbreaking” to miss out on England’s Rugby World Cup squad and believes he is still the country’s best full-back.
The 34-year-old, who won the last of his 72 caps in 2018, was involved in pre-World Cup training camps but was not named in Eddie Jones’ 31-man squad.
“I tried to put everything I had on the training field, but it wasn’t enough in the end,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“That’s the nature of team sport and selection – it’s one man’s opinion.”
Brown last played for England last summer but believes he remains capable of performing at the highest level.
“I feel like I’m the best English full-back, and I think I showed that last season,” he said.
“I still think my game is changing and evolving all the time, and my body still feels good.
“All I can do is show on the field the player I am and the character I am. That’s what I did last year [for Harlequins], so I will just keep going.”
‘Brown will stick to team ethos’
Brown was also involved in an off-the-field altercation with centre Ben Te’o during a team social on a training camp in Treviso, but is reluctant to go into details out of respect for the rest of the squad.
Both Brown and Te’o were dropped from the squad shortly after, although head coach Jones has yet to explain whether the incident had any bearing on their axing.
“I don’t feel comfortable going into details when the guys over there are preparing for a massive tournament,” Brown explained.
“People who are close to me – my friends and family, the ones who really matter – know what happened and that’s the most important thing for me.
“There will be a time when I will speak about what happened. But at the moment I have always tried to stick to the team ethos.
“It’s not for me to take attention away [from England’s World Cup preparations] and speak about other things that went on.”
‘Playing for England is amazing’
Having just turned 34, Brown is unlikely to play for England again, but reflects fondly on the emotional highs and lows of an international career.
“It is amazing. For any rugby player it is the best job in the world,” he said.
“We get paid incredibly well and we get to experience such amazing things doing this job.
“But what comes with that is the scrutiny and the heartache of working so hard and not getting selected for something. But that’s the nature of it.”
Brown also says he has no regrets about anything that went on in the training camps, insisting he did all he could to gain selection for the showpiece in Japan.
“I went into pre-season camps in the best shape I have ever been in, and trained every second of every minute. So I have no regrets at all about the past year,” he added.
“On the plus side it has given me some amazing memories and quality time with my family, getting to spend more time with my son and my wife, which I haven’t been able to do over the last eight years.
“You have to look at those positives. I have also become a lot closer with my Quins team-mates, which is hard to do when you are playing for England.
“I would love to have been involved with England, but I got to go on the [pre-season bonding] trip to Ibiza with the Quins guys, and be part of an environment that has grown really strong.”
Heavyweight Dereck Chisora threatened to pull out of next month’s fight with Joseph Parker during an extraordinary news conference in London on Monday.
Chisora, 35, produced an expletive-filled rant as he demanded more money.
The fight on 26 October at London’s O2 Arena is the chief support to the world title bout between super-lightweights Josh Taylor and Regis Prograis, in the final of the World Boxing Super Series.
“Give me main event or pull me out of the show,” said an angry Chisora.
“I’m not going to sell out the O2 for them guys to be the main event. I’m being serious, you want me to sell it out to the London crowd, my London fans, then put these little guys that no-one knows about on my show and mug me off.
“I’m taking the main stage, if not I want more money.”
Before the recent world lightweight title bout between Vasyl Lomachenko and Luke Campbell at the O2, promoter Eddie Hearn announced the event for 26 October, with the headline contest being between Scotland’s Taylor and American Prograis.
Both men are unbeaten with Taylor holding the IBF super-lightweight world title and Prograis the WBA and WBC belts in a fight that also acts as the final of the World Boxing Super Series – an eight-man, year-long tournament.
The first news conference to promote the show was held at the Park Plaza London Riverbank hotel with Chisora and his promoter David Haye sitting on a top table alongside Sky Sports’ head of boxing Adam Smith, promoters Hearn and Kalle Sauerland as well as Taylor and Prograis and their trainers.
Twenty minutes into the news conference, Hearn asked Chisora his thoughts on the fight and the Londoner asked “who is the main event of this fight?”
Hearn replied by saying “the gentleman sitting next to you” (meaning Prograis) and Chisora said: “That’s not going to work for me.”
At one stage, Prograis himself interrupted Chisora by saying that he and Taylor were the top two boxers in the super-lightweight division and Chisora replied: “Don’t get me started.
“No-one cares about you,” he added. “I’m tired of selling shows and not making money so give me some of the money you are making. Boxing is thriving with the heavyweights, the big guys in the top 10.
“Let them box in Glasgow and they can sell it out there.”
Swindon moved up to fourth in League Two following a well-deserved victory over Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road.
Keshi Anderson put the visitors ahead in the 23rd minute. The 24-year-old was fouled and sent his free-kick into the wall but reacted quickest to pounce on the loose ball and curl into the far corner past Dean Brill.
Richie Wellens’ men continued to maraud forward and their attacking intent paid dividends again two minutes before the break, with Rob Hunt’s audacious side-foot from the corner of the box taking a telling deflection off Orient left-back Joe Widdowson and flying past a surprised Brill.
The game was then over in first-half stoppage time when Lloyd Isgrove provided his sixth assist of the league season.
The former Southampton winger darted through the centre of the pitch before laying off to Jerry Yates, who cut onto his right foot before finishing with aplomb.
Jordan Maguire-Drew curled home brilliantly from 20 yards to give Orient hope with 16 minutes of normal time left but Swindon held on to send their fans home happy.
Report supplied by PA Media
Fulham have agreed a deal to sign Chelsea defender Michael Hector in January 2020 for an undisclosed fee.
The 27-year-old has not made a senior appearance for the Blues since joining the Premier League club from Reading in September 2015.
He has subsequently spent time back on loan with the Royals and has had stints with German side Eintracht Frankfurt, Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday.
Hector has signed a contract with the Whites until the summer of 2022.
The west London club have the option to extend the Jamaica international’s stay at Craven Cottage by a further 12 months.
Hector will begin training with Fulham immediately ahead of his move.
“Although Michael can’t officially join until January, what’s important is he’s now a member of Fulham,” vice chairman and director of football operations Tony Khan told the club website.
“Michael will help us challenge for promotion and make us better in the second half of the season at a time when depth, experience and quality will be at a premium in the Championship.”
Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.
Hammersmith Bridge could cost £120m to repair, engineers have estimated as the first stage of work begins.
The 132-year-old bridge was closed indefinitely to motorists in April after “critical faults” in the cast iron casing were found.
Transport for London (TfL) has financed the first £25m of the project but the main funding source has yet to be decided.
The work is expected to take three years to complete.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council is working with TfL to secure funding for the next phase of repairs in spring 2020.
The £120m estimate could change due to the “unknowns, complexities and challenges” of the bridge, the authority said.
Council leader Stephen Cowan said there had been “significant failings” in the bridge structure which has seen cracks appear in some of the pedestals.
“We’re focused on getting the bridge reopened to cars and buses as quickly as possible”, he added.
Some flights to and from the UK are facing delays and cancellations due to problems affecting French airspace.
British Airways said an air traffic control “outage” had hit flights going through French and Spanish airspace.
EasyJet said it was experiencing disruption due to a “partial failure of French air traffic control systems”.
Paris Airport tweeted that a “national computer failure related to the centralisation of flight plans” on Sunday morning was now resolved.
But it warned that delays were still expected.
National Air Traffic Services (NATS) said it does not know how many flights have been affected but it is working with airlines in the UK to try to minimise disruption.
Gatwick Airport said passengers should check with airlines on the status of their flights before heading to the airport.
EasyJet said it has been forced to cancel 180 flights out of just under 2,000 scheduled to take off on Sunday.
Affected passengers were contacted directly and given the option of transferring their flight for free or receiving a refund, it said.
The airline added it was seeing significant delays and recommended all its passengers, regardless of their destination, check the status of their flight at www.easyjet.com/en/flight-tracker for real time information before going to the airport.
British Airways also urged customers to check the status of their flights online and said it expects disruption to services to France and Spain, as well as those which fly over these countries on the way to other destinations.
Some passengers told the BBC their British Airways flights had been cancelled.
The airline said it would not release any cancellation figures but added any affected customers had been notified directly.
It said it would offer flexible rebooking options for anyone who wants to change their dates of travel as a result of the disruption.
Ryanair advised customers on its website there had been a “serious French ATC [air traffic control] equipment failure” early on Sunday morning.
It said delays of “up to three hours are being suffered”.
Travel expert Simon Calder said: “France is absolutely at the heart of European air traffic control – some 60% of all EasyJet flights to anywhere go over French territory.
“This appears to be some kind of malfunction which has greatly reduced the flow rate [of flights] so there’s reports of pilots in Lisbon, for example, trying to get to the UK telling passengers we could be five hours late.”
He said affected passengers will not be eligible for compensation, explaining: “It’s not the airlines’ fault.”
But he said the airlines have a strict duty of care, which means they must provide meals and if necessary accommodation to passengers.
He added: “They also have to rebook you on the first available flight, ideally on the same day, even if it means paying money to a rival to get you home.”
The disruption is having a wider knock-on effect in the UK, with some flights from Scotland to England cancelled.
Richard Martin was due to fly from Edinburgh to London Stansted when EasyJet texted to say his flight had been cancelled.
“We are booked on another flight tomorrow but I’m due to be back at work,” he said.
“The queues at the airport and everything are crazy and we’ve had some family members say something similar has also happened to them.”
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