King calls time on Luton career after revealing battle with depression
Luton Town keeper Craig King has left the club after rejecting the offer a new one year contract extension.
The 20-year-old, who came through the academy at Kenilworth Road, will now take a break professional football after admitting he has been battling with severe depression over the last few years.
Writing on Twitter, King said: “After a memorable nine seasons I have decided to leave Luton Town Football Club.
“This has been the hardest decision I have ever had to make, but after many sleepless nights I have come to this conclusion.
“For the last couple of years I have been suffering from quite severe depression. T
“he season just gone has been particularly hard for me and now I feel it’s time for me to concentrate on being happy once again.
“Growing up and slowly starting to despise the game I loved and adored as a boy is heart-breaking, and something I want and need to change!
“The only way I see this becoming a possibility is taking myself away from the professional game and starting to enjoy football at a lower level.
“The club have been aware of my situation and have been amazing at trying everything in their power to try and resolve the issue.
“Club physio Simon Parsell and club doctor Paul Deeley have been unreal support for me and helped me through the season.
“Now I am at the stage where I know I can’t improve my current mental state whilst being at the club.
“I would like to thank every single member of Luton Town Football Club for everything they have done for me over the years.
“The fans who when I’ve played have supported me, and every single person who associates themselves with the football club.
“Although my career as a player at the club has come to an end, I will always love and support the Hatters and will be forever grateful for the opportunity and memories they have given me over the past nine years!
“I’m excited to see the boys win promotion next season and continue the climb up the leagues!”
King made just four first team appearances during his lengthy stay with Luton, all in the Checkatrade Trophy last season, as he saved a penalty during the 2-0 home win over West Brom U23s.
He spent a spell on loan with Southport too, before returning to Kenilworth Road for the end of season run-in.
In a statement on their official website, Luton said: “The club are saddened to see one of our homegrown products leave, but fully respect and understand his decision. We will continue to support Craig and offer him any help he requires as he embarks on his new career.
“All at the club would like to wish Craig every success in both his football career and life away from the professional game, and look forward to seeing him back at Kenilworth Road where he’ll always be a welcome guest.”