Aaron Lennon detained under the Mental Health Act

Telegraph Sport
Everton winger Aaron Lennon was detained in Salford on Sunday - PA

Aaron Lennon, the England and Everton winger, was detained under the Mental Health Act following an incident on Sunday afternoon.

The Merseyside club released a statement confirming that Lennon is now receiving treatment for a stress-related illness.

Greater Manchester Police earlier stated that they had been called amid concerns for the welfare of an individual – now understood to be Lennon – spotted in a location in Salford, near a busy thoroughfare next to the M602.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “Police were called at around 4.35pm on Sunday, April 30, 2017 to reports of a concern for the welfare of a man. Officers attended and a 30-year-old man was detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act and was taken to hospital for assessment.”

The Everton winger has not played for his club since February Credit: Getty Images

Everton had been playing Chelsea earlier that afternoon, but Lennon was not part of the squad. He has not featured for the club since February.

“Aaron Lennon is currently receiving care and treatment for a stress-related illness,” the club confirmed. “The club is supporting him through this and his family has appealed for privacy at this time.”

The 30 year-old moved to Goodison Park from Tottenham in 2015, initially on loan before making the switch permanent the following summer. He has played 21 times for his country.

The incident has generated an outpouring of dismay and sympathy for the player.

An increasing number of high-profile former-footballers have gone public recently to raise awareness about the stress levels suffered by those in the game.

Former QPR and Burnley defender Clarke Carlisle, whose own issues have been well documented, is among those leading the campaign to ensure there is more help available.

Carlisle, the former chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association, has just launched a Foundation for Dual Diagnosis, which aims to raise awareness about mental health and addiction and is seeking to gather funds for a purpose-built treatment facility.

Clarke Carlisle has worked tirelessly to help raise awareness about mental health Credit: PA

Speaking in an interview last year, Carlisle spoke of the necessity for football to do more to assess the mental wellbeing of players.

“If we’re going to talk about doing more, I think there needs to be a greater involvement from the football clubs,” he said. “They are the employers and it seems really bizarre to me that they don’t have a duty of care to their employees and the onus rests with the union.

“That doesn’t happen in any other industry. If you’re an employee of a company, they have a duty of care towards your physical and mental wellbeing. I don’t understand why football clubs don’t follow suit.”

 

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