This week, a new presenter to the Pivotal Podcast, Cathy Duncan, spoke to the Scottish former football star, Kris Boyd. After a very successful career, Kris now works to help improve the mental health of those in need.
Kris grew up in the South Ayrshire village of Tarbolton and started his senior football career with Kilmarnock. He transferred to Rangers in January 2006, and was their top goalscorer in each of his seasons at Ibrox. He is the top goalscorer in the history of the Scottish Premier League, with 167 goals in total.
Boyd had a short spell in English football with Middlesbrough, during which time he was sent on loan to Nottingham Forest. He signed for Turkish club Eskişehirspor in 2011, but terminated his contract after five months and moved to the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer in January 2012. He later returned to both Kilmarnock and Rangers.
Having played several games for the Scotland U21 and Scotland B teams, Boyd received his first cap for the senior Scottish national team in 2006. He scored seven goals in eighteen appearances for the senior national side over four years.
In 2016, Boyd’s younger brother Scott took his own life aged 27. The Kris Boyd Charity was founded in January, 2018. As Kris says:
My wee brother Scott tragically took his own life in September, 2016 and it has left my family devastated. There’s not a day goes by when I don’t think about him and I know it’s even worse for my parents, I feel for them even more as they try to get on with their lives as best they can without Scott being a part of it.https://www.thekrisboydcharity.co.uk/who-we-are/
Is the reason I’ve set up The Kris Boyd Charity solely down to what happened to Scott? No. Is it a big part of the reason? Yes.
To be hit with Scott’s tragedy was a big wake-up call for me which led me to start looking into the different circumstances as to why people commit suicide. It is clear to me now that any given individual doesn’t wake up one morning and, on a whim, decide to end it all. It’s a gradual process which takes place over a period of time. My own wife, Christine, suffers from anxiety. Christine has had to fight internal battles that led to her being unable to do certain things over the years and I did not deal with them properly. I was not fully aware of what she was going through and still goes through on a daily basis, I should have been there for her, been more comforting and understanding. I’m the first to admit I’ve had my failings when trying to deal with Christine’s battles with anxiety, however, I am now listening and I’m learning. It is absolutely vital to do both and this is what I want to impart on those who are living with someone suffering from depression or anxiety.
The aim of this charity is to educate people and get people to engage with others when they are in need of help instead of dismissing them or brushing of their feelings as being “weak”. We hope that, in time, society can speak openly when they have issues, it’s about them knowing there will be someone there for them who will show decency and a level of understanding. With young people today mental health is being an ever prevalent issue, due to teenagers being so focused on their phones and social media instead of being active and socialising with their peers in person. This also leads to more online bullying as well as unrealistic beauty standards which add mounting pressure on young people, and can lead to mental health issues.
Photo credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kris_Boyd#/media/File:Kris_Boyd.jpg
CC BY-SA 3.0 Alex Lister
Some text from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kris_Boyd under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License