English Football Club Sends Heartwarming Letter To A Fan Who Posted About His Depression

"Best football club in the world."

An English football club (that's soccer to Americans) went above and beyond to show support for a fan who recently posted that he was struggling with his mental health. A heartwarming letter from the club's CEO has since gone viral.

Earlier this month, Chris Ryder posted on Twitter about his "anxiety, stress and depression," adding that he hadn't "felt this low for a long time." Just a few days later, he received a letter from Gauthier Ganaye, CEO of Barnsley Football Club in South Yorkshire.

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Ryder posted a photo of the letter on Twitter with the caption, "Best football club in the world." It has received tens of thousands of retweets, including one from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling

"Sorry for sending you a letter at random," the note reads, "but I felt like I wanted to reach out to you and get in touch. I've noticed through social media that you've had a bit of a hard time recently, I'm not sure what it is but I hope everything improves for you as soon as possible."

"You've been a fan of the club for many years and always supported us, so we want you to know that if the favour needs returning and we need to support you, please do let us know," the letter continues. Ganaye goes on to tell Ryder that his "office door is always open" and he's always welcome to "swing by," even adding that they have "a new coffee machine."

Ganaye ended his letter by writing, "Keep supporting the Reds, Chris. We'll keep supporting you."

The CEO also provided contact information for Mind, a U.K. mental health organization, which is an English Football League partner. Mind ended up reaching out to Ryder on Twitter, letting him know that "we are always here if you need us."

"Initially when I saw the badge on the top of letter, I thought 'uh-oh, what have I done?'" Ryder told the BBC, explaining that he can be "a little bit cheeky" with Barnsley's social media team and adding that he was "shocked" by what he read. 

Ryder's mental health struggles reportedly started following his brother's death in 2010, and then worsened after his father (a Barnsley fan himself) passed away in 2013.

"Other than the tweets above and a councillor a few years ago I don't really open up, I'm a rather reserved person," he told the Metro. "I usually keep things bottled up so that I don't get a reaction, I always thought it would make me come across as weak."

He shared his belief that more football clubs should take the same approach to help end the "mental health taboo" in football. A 2014 study found that one in four footballers suffers from depression. Scottish player David Cox recently revealed that he experienced abuse from spectators and fellow players alike after opening up about his mental health struggles.

Ryder responded to the attention he's received from the tweet by thanking those on Twitter who have send him "kind messages." He added, "Just hope this at least helps one person to speak out about their mental health problems."

(H/T: Mashable)

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