Jesse Lingard admits his family agony – with his mother struggling with depression and West Ham man tasked with looking after his younger siblings – left him feeling like games were ‘passing him by’ and that he ‘wasn’t even there’
- West Ham talisman Jesse Lingard has bravely opened up on his off-field turmoil
- Lingard was tasked with looking after his younger siblings during a tough period
- His form at Manchester United dipped and Lingard says games passed him by
- Speaking to beIN Sports, the forward admitted speaking out was ‘such a relief’
Lingard, 28, has enjoyed a rich vein of form after moving on loan from Manchester United – and admitted that speaking up helped him feel he could ‘breathe again’.
The England international took over taking care of his siblings due to his mother’s depression during a testing period which took a heavy toll on his performances.
Jesse Lingard has revealed how his family turmoil left him feeling like matches passed him by
He exclusively told beIN Sports: ‘It was really tough. My mum’s had depression for many years now and we never really got her the right help.
‘To get the help that she needed was all we wanted. All she wanted was to see her son happy and playing football. I think that’s helped as well – seeing me do well, she’s over the moon and it puts her in good spirits.
‘No one prepares you for stuff like that… I wasn’t really prepared at the time but I had my family members around me. I looked after my little brother and sister, which was fun, more responsibility for me to be more grown up!’
Mother Kirsty (left) struggled with depression and Lingard stepped up during a tough period
Manchester United man Lingard, now on loan at West Ham, took care of his younger siblings
Lingard’s frustrations at Old Trafford culminated in him being rebuked by boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and sparked him to tell him the truth behind his inner turmoil.
As the United academy graduate told Sportsmail, the difficulties saw him tasked with looking after Jasper, 14, and Daisy-Boo, 11, while trying to rediscover his form.
‘The person off the pitch carries onto the pitch and you become that person on the pitch,’ Lingard added in his sit down with beIN.
‘When I was down and low it felt like I wasn’t even playing games or I wasn’t even there and the game was passing me by, it was an awful feeling.
After a rebuke from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (middle), Lingard revealed the truth to the manager
‘Awful for your family to see. Awful for your family to come and watch games and know “that’s not Jesse Lingard,” it’s upsetting for them as well as me.’
Lingard has urged people undergoing similar issues to open up to others, adding: ‘When I spoke out it was such a relief.
‘It was like the world was off your shoulders and you could breathe again properly. You get the help when you do speak. Bottling up is not the answer.
Lingard is enjoying a rich vein of form at West Ham and said speaking out was ‘such a relief’
‘Everyone’s got to come out and say something no matter what you’re going through.’
After revelling in a new lease of life at West Ham, it is understood that the club will attempt to turn his loan into a permanent deal.
There are fears at the London Stadium, however, that United will demand a premium price for the forward – who has scored six goals and teed up three in eight games.