Young footballer Joel Darlington tragically took his own life after injury problems


A talented young footballer Joel Darlington was confirmed to have taken his own life this week.

The 20-year-old, who previously played for Wales at a youth level and had trials at Manchester United, was tragically found hanged at his family home in Gellifor on March 18.

A hearing recently was held in Ruthin where John Gittins, coroner for North Wales East and Central, reached the conclusion that Darlington's passing was a result of suicide.

Sadly, Darlington's aspirations of becoming a professional footballer had been hampered by injury problems, beginning with a broken arm that ended his trial at Old Trafford.

According to the Daily Post, the Welshman had gained his love for the sport playing in junior teams around Ruthin and had also partaken in trials with Shrewsbury Town.

Injury problems in football

His major breakthrough eventually came at Bala Town, becoming the academy's top-scorer in 2016-17, before returning to the first-team after a brief spell away with Denbigh Town.

However, Darlington started to experience back pain in 2017, which was believed to be a result of scar tissue from a slipped disc and physiotherapy failed to eradicate the issue.

Darlington did not return to Yale College in October 2018, where he had hoped to gain the qualifications to pursue a career as a fitness instructor.


Tragic passing in March

Nevertheless, the young footballer started to suffer with anxiety, reputedly because of his injuries as well as other issues, and found himself withdrawing from social life.

And despite having spoken positively about his future on the day of his passing, Mrs Davies and her other son Kyran found their garage door locked when they returned from a trip to Wrexham.

Upon breaking in, they found Darlington hanging from a beam deceased. There were also several notes indicating that he intended to take his own life.

The local sporting community have come out in support of Darlington's family and have lauded the late Welshman as 'an exceptional talent' amongst other high praise.

Closer friend Matthew Pleavin said: "Joel was a bubbly character who always had a smile on his face, he was a genuine nice guy and and will be deeply missed by everyone. 


"His death came as a real shock. He had played for several local football teams and was remembered as an incredible talent.

"Joel first played junior football for Ruthin winning the treble in the first season of the youth team before signing for Bala Town Academy. Our fundraiser event is called ‘One last game for Joel.'"

Everyone at GiveMeSport expresses their sincerest of condolences to everybody affected by Darlington's passing.

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