“I had the rope around my neck and I was ready” - Former Norwich City star Cedric Anselin reveals he nearly took own life

Former Norwich City fans' favourite Cedric Anselin was once talked out of taking his own life by his wife, the 35-year-old has revealed.

The Frenchman, who played 29 times for the Canaries' between 1999 and 2001 after being signed by Bruce Rioch, is the latest former City footballer, after Leon McKenzie and Darren Eadie, to speak publicly about battling depression.

At his lowest ebb Anselin admitted he almost took his own life. He said: 'It happened once. I had the rope around my neck and I was ready but my wife was there at the right time and had to stop me.'

Anselin, who is working with Eadie to try and find a retreat in Norfolk where footballers and other sports people can go to get their minds right, was just 18 when played in the same Bordeaux side as Zinedine Zidane which finished runner-up in the Uefa Cup in the 1995-96 season.

He later moved to Norwich, initially on loan, but said leaving the Carrow Road club in 2001 a year before his contract was up, something Anselin describes as his 'biggest regret', saw the start of his problems on and off the field.

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Anselin, who admits he 'loves Norwich' which is why he is still living in the area 15 years after finishing his playing career with the club, said: 'Since I left Norwich City everything went wrong.'

After a spell at Scottish side Ross County, Anselin went to Bolivian outfit Oriente Petrolero where after just six months he contracted malaria. Still sick, he flew back to Britain and moved to Lowestoft with his now wife Lynsey.

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Anselin, who by this time also had severe financial worries after he said he had �250,000 of his savings stolen, ended up living on a caravan park in the Suffolk seaside town.

He said he had wanted to play football but his 'brain was not responding' so ashamed was he at his financial situation.

He said: 'We had to live in a caravan at the time in Lowestoft because we had no money. I couldn't get out of it, I was so down, I was feeling ashamed. I couldn't even go for a walk. My brain wasn't working. I wanted to be on my own.'

It was around this time he considered taking his own life. But pulled back from the brink by his wife, who he describes as his rock, and Anselin has dedicated his life since then to his family - and to helping others.

He said: 'It's been tough, but my wife has been my rock. My wife said I needed to get up, I needed to shave and have a shower. My wife is the best thing that's happened to me in the past 15 years.'

Anselin, who has been a first team coach at Cromer Town for the past two years and who is a support worker for charity Break in Sheringham, added: 'I'm a lot better now. I'm looking after young people who have got some issues - I can see myself in them and I'm trying to give a bit of my experience to them to help them.'

The father-of-two, who is helping his eldest son Hugo cope with being diagnosed with autism at four, said he has been speaking to Eadie for the past couple of months about trying to find help for sportsmen and women with similar problems.

He said: 'I wanted to have some help but didn't know who to turn to. I thought I was on my own. The people who have issues are not going to pick up the phone to speak to someone whose never been through it. It's better to speak to people who have been through the same problems but different stories.'

Anyone who needs support can contact Cedric Anselin via cedricanselin@yahoo.fr

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