Brian Lenihan opens up on how Man Utd legend Roy Keane helped him following suicide attempt on World Mental Health Day

FORMER Hull City footballer Brian Lenihan has opened up on how Manchester United legend Roy Keane helped him following a suicide attempt in December 2017.

The ex-defender, who suffered a string of knee injuries, was forced to retire aged just 23.

Lenihan secured a dream £200,000 move to Hull from Cork City in 2014 but made just two appearances before calling time on his career in April 2018.

And the Irishman, who played seven times for the Republic’s U21s, has thanked Red Devils icon Keane for his support after spending three months in Manchester’s Priory Wellbeing Centre.

Speaking to The Athletic on World Mental Health Day, Lenihan said: “Roy was really good to me after all that happened.

“When I was in the hospital in Manchester he lived nearby and he would call in and go for a walk with his dogs.

“He invited me over to his house for Sunday dinner as well.

“Stuff like that. He didn’t need to do it but he did.

“For me, Roy Keane was God for as long as I can remember.

“So for him to do that for me was huge.”


EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM,, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together,
  • Mind,, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus,, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans,, 116 123

Lenihan hopes his own mental health experiences will encourage others to seek professional help.

He added: “If you break your arm you’d go to hospital and ask for help.

“If it’s a mental problem, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. You need care.”

  • If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 16123

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