Speaker - Host
Clarke Carlisle is a hugely motivating corporate speaker and host, whose honest and moving speeches about Mental Health really educate and inspire. He says, “As a professional footballer for 17 years, the last 13 of those whilst suffering with Complex Depressive Disorder, I encountered many social and personal difficulties. The combination of an undiagnosed illness and being emotionally illiterate, meant I developed coping strategies that were totally destructive and compounded my depression.” Clarke now runs his own charity to raise awareness of Dual Diagnosis.
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Read more about Clarke Carlisle
Clarke has experienced the very highs of professional sport. He has won promotion with both Blackpool and Burnley, represented his country and has played at the home of English football Wembley Stadium. However, in 2001 Clarke suffered a posterior cruciate ligament injury which sidelined him for a year, nearly ending his career.
The consequence of this was that, whilst being extremely successful in his profession he lived a duplicitous life of external lauding and internal loathing, a quite disgusting concoction. It was only after two suicide attempts that he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, where he finally received an accurate diagnosis.
An ambassador for the mental health charity Mind and the Premier League Kick It Out Campaign which promotes inclusion and equality in football. Clarke’s recovery is on-going, “Small Steps” being his and the charity’s motto, and it is with increasing self-awareness that he is able to manage his illness and not allow it to manage him.
He and his wife Carrie often deliver speeches together as they offer the dual insight to what it is like to live with a mental illness and what it is like to live with someone with a mental illness.
Clarke is now a radio and television presenter and former professional footballer. He has authored two documentaries, Football’s Suicide Secret and the critically acclaimed documentary “Is Football Racist?” for the BBC and wrote a book about his career A Footballer’s Life, which was published by Simon & Schuster.
Widely regarded as one of the most eloquent professional footballers, the former PFA Chairman, Clarke was the first current professional footballer to appear on the BBC’s Question Time. He can also claim to have won Britain’s brainiest Footballer as well as appearing on three episodes of Channel 4 prime time quiz show Countdown.
Clarke retired at the end of the 2012-2013 season after making over 500 appearances at senior level.