Former Latics star tells of battle with depression

Jason Jarrett during his Wigan Athletic days
Jason Jarrett during his Wigan Athletic days

A FORMER Latics star has spoken out about his issues with depression on a new series featuring his latest club Salford City.

Midfielder Jason Jarrett featured in documentary Class of 92: Out Of Their League this week which follows the non-league side in its first season under the ownership of five Manchester United legends.

The 36-year-old, who has since retired, joined the club on a semi-pro basis in 2014 and is featured in the programme as a new signing for owners Phil and Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt. After leaving Latics at the end of his contract in 2005, Jarrett struggled to find first-team football and eventually dropped out of the game’s top flight, an experience which he and his wife describe candidly in the programme as “tough”.

Opening up about his struggles with depression, he said: “I think my problems started a few years ago when I was about 25. Obviously it was linked to football – not achieving what I wanted to achieve – and feeling like I was letting everybody down, which kind of developed, and led to severe depression.”

He goes on to explain that reaching out to family at his most difficult times allowed him get the help he needed to overcome his problems.

Jarrett added: “My partner Joanne ended up moving out at the time, because it got that bad. For a while I’d felt suicidal, I’d have to say. I’d got to the point where I was planning it and stuff.

“That’s when I sort of broke down and spoke to my dad and a couple of family members. They took me to hospital, and it just started from there really.

“It’s only now – probably in the last couple of years – that I’ve kind of accepted it, and over the last 12 months that I’ve started getting a bit of help with it.”

At the height of his career, Jarrett spent three seasons at Wigan, making 14 appearances as they won promotion to the Premier League in the 2004-5 season.

During the programme he is filmed attending a weekly session with his therapist.

And in one moving scene, his wife Joanne broke down in tears as she recalled how depression had affected their relationship.

She said: “When you go from living a life that’s so good, to losing’s tough. When things started to go wrong in our relationship I think he realised that he couldn’t just rely on me. I can’t make him happy. I mean...depression is not a nice thing.”

The first of the two-part BBC series also sees tensions rise between Jason and team coach Phil Power, culminating in a bust-up in the dug-out.