Shrewsbury’s Omar Beckles: ‘I’d get back and be breaking down in tears’

The defender, preparing for the League One play-off final, is trying to help those suffering in silence after experiencing mental health problems following his father’s death

Omar Beckles is speaking about the importance of speaking out; about the dark hole at the end of the downward spiral, how he would quietly break down in tears hours after a game and how he would grind and then clench his teeth following the death of his father, Linton.

The passing at 59 of his father, a former singer with the jazz-funk band Central Line, when Beckles, after spells in Spain and on trial in Turkey, was playing for Aldershot Town in 2015, led to his problems. The Shrewsbury Town defender did not give himself time to grieve because he threw himself into “fight mode”, eager to help his family, particularly his widowed mother, Angela.

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