Lenny Pidgeley’s former club Farnborough say the timing of his retirement is “shocking” after revealing a long battle with depression.
The ex-Chelsea goalkeeper, who won the Premier League under Jose Mourinho in 2005, ended his 15-year career in football yesterday that coincidently left Farnborough without a keeper for their FA Cup first qualifying round replay at Lewes, which they eventually lost on penalties.
In a statement on the club’s website, Boro bemoaned the timing of Pidgeley’s announcement.
It read: “Until 12 o’clock today (Wednesday) both keepers were available, but unfortunately James Stroud has a work commitment that he is unable to get out of despite his best efforts.
“Lenny Pidgeley informed us this afternoon that due to a ‘significant long term personal medical condition’ he is retiring from football with immediate effect.
“This is the first anyone at the club was aware of the condition and although the timing is shocking we wish Lenny and his family all the best in his retirement.
“It is not appropriate that the Club comment further on personal matters that have nothing to do with the Club.”
Supporters and players were quick to criticise the club on Twitter while sending their messages of support to Pidgeley.
This is a disgrace & @FarnboroughFC should be ashamed, there is no convenient time to be unwell. depression is a serious illness & a tweet like that could send someone over the edge when already ill. @pidge40 I’ve known for years & he deserves more respect #MentalHealthAwareness pic.twitter.com/thc8MgALlD
— L.?.M (@LIAM_E_M) September 12, 2018
This absolutely amazes me. Just spent 30 minutes on the phone to @pidge40 after a team mate asked me to call him. I didn’t realise there was a convenient time to have depression. The most narrow minded tweet I’ve ever seen. Sometimes well-being comes before football. pic.twitter.com/n6Gisda5D7
— Scott Davies (@hovis1988) September 12, 2018
I’ve never talked about my depression in the last 10 years, a part too my close friends and family but after that club statement seems to be out the bag.
The messages of support already are much appreciated guys ????
— Lenny Pidgeley (@pidge40) September 12, 2018