Ex-Hatters and Foxes midfielder Matt Robinson calls on FA and clubs themselves to do more after tragic death of former Man City defender
Former Luton midfielder Matt Robinson has urged the FA to help young players who are released from clubs at an early age following the tragic death of former Manchester City youth team player Jeremy Wisten.
The 17-year-old centre-back, who was born in Malawi, joined City's Elite Squad at U13 level in 2016, but passed away suddenly over the weekend.
Robinson himself started his career at Leicester City, when the Foxes were in the Championship, featuring for the youth team during two seasons, before being released in 2012 after he wasn't offered a pro deal.
He moved to Luton, going on to play 57 times for the Hatters, scoring three goals, where he was part of the team who won promotion back to the Football League in 2014.
Robinson left Kenilworth Road in July 2016, joining Dagenham & Redbridge, where he is now captain, having played over 100 times.
Reacting to the news on Twitter though, Robinson said: "Having been in a similar position of rejection. It was my lowest.
"Clubs and FA need to do more to help all players with their mental health.
"Your not just losing a job, your losing part of your identity and your passion too. May he RIP.
"Let me tell you. Young footballers spend there whole child and teenage lives telling themselves and being told who they’re going to be.
"What’s expected of them, how it’s going to feel, who’s going to be proud. And this builds exponentially inside you, did for me anyway.
"And that feels like a weight. And then at 16 or 18 or 21 or however old you are. You feel that everything has built up to this point and your destiny of becoming a pro is about to be fulfilled.
"When I got released at Leicester, I was certain I was getting a pro.
"Went into a room probably one minute later. I wasn’t going to be a footballer for Leicester city anymore.
"And I cried for ages. And the months that followed were the lowest of my life.
"You know how many people I’d let down and disappointed in my head. Not to mention how I felt about myself.
"I didn’t know who I was. I was from Leicester, supported Leicester, loved Leicester but it felt like they didn’t love me tbh.
"And that feeling is devastating. Luckily for me I came out of it.
"But the FA AND CLUBS need to acknowledge this and the duty of care should extend past."
A statement on the official City website said: "The Manchester City family are saddened to learn of the passing of former Academy player Jeremy Wisten.
"We send our deepest condolences to his friends and family. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time."