Albion Rovers striker David Cox has announced he has quit football after he said he was verbally abused by an opposition player about his mental health struggles.
The 32-year-old, who was on the bench for the Scottish League 2 game against Stenhousemuir, left the stadium at half-time after he said he was taunted about his previous suicide attempts.
Cox has spoken publicly about his battle with depression before and the abuse he has received in football.
“Second half just starting Albion Rovers-Stenhousemuir and I have left the stadium. I wasn’t playing tonight, I was on the bench,” he said in a video on social media.
“One of the boys in the Stenny team, we were having a bit of to and fro and they had a go at my mental health. Told me I should have done it right the first time.
“Some folk might not think it’s a big deal, but I’m fed up listening to it. I don’t get paid enough for it.
“If they had put me on the park, I’d probably have broken the boy’s legs deliberately. I tried to speak to the referees about it, but they didn’t want to know because they didn’t hear it.
“So I’m going to do something about it and for me it’s leaving the game. I’m done with it. I either keep playing and I’m going to batter somebody on the park, which is not good and will result in me being the bad one.”
We stand with David Cox.
The unforgivable incident that occurred during tonight’s match must not be downplayed.
David, you have all at Albion Rovers and Scottish football’s unconditional support. #MentalHealthMatters
— Albion Rovers FC (@albionrovers) April 29, 2021
The incident has been reported to the Scottish Football Association and Stenhousemuir have also started their own investigation.
“The club is aware of a verbal altercation,” Stenhousemuir said in a statement.
“We have spoken to the players involved, David Cox [Albion Rovers] who was on the bench, and Jonathan Tiffoney [Stenhousemuir] who was playing.
“Both players are making claims of serious and wholly inappropriate comments being made during the game that have implications for player wellbeing and mental health.
“Whilst we accept that things can get said during a game, we believe the allegations are sufficiently serious enough to merit a more detailed investigation.”
Albion Rovers said they supported Cox and would have walked off the pitch if the team had been aware of the incident.