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“Craig has struggled for a long time for his mental health,” Coach Vincent Kompany After Purple & White won 7-2 over KV Mechelen. “Now the beast is back there. Health is above football. We are obligated to give him the chance to recover. This is often misinterpreted, depression, but now Bellamy has to find her way around it.”
It was no secret that Bellamy suffered from clinical depression. “For the past three or four years, they have diagnosed me with depression. I am a depressed man, I can’t escape that. I have ridiculous peaks and huge valleys.” He said about it last year.
Now he told his story to the Daily Mail. “In August I came home for a while after preparations with Anderlecht,” Bellamy says. “It was my daughter’s first birthday and so there was a party. But she didn’t know me anymore. I extended my arms but she didn’t come. Why her? She only saw me eight or nine times, and even then I was only there for 24 hours. I wasn’t a part of Orla’s life” .
Then the Welshman went outside to cry. I asked myself: What do I do now? Going back to football and leaving what I love behind? Or will I stay in her life? ”
The contract is in a safe place
The choice was made quickly, despite his love for Kompany and Anderlecht. It’s apparently like, “I’ve always wanted to work abroad.” “If you don’t know Anderlecht’s youth system, you don’t get into football. They produce a lot of good talent. I had to go work for them, just to see if I could do it. Loved it. Being able to handle Vinny.” It was really cool. How he deals with people, how he makes decisions, how calm he is. He showed me another world. And we worked hard, 12 to 14 hours a day. I tried things with promises, which he can then try with the first team. It was amazing Until Corona came in March.
Bellamy felt increasingly isolated in his apartment in Brussels. He missed his four children terribly. “At one point I just tried to block everything. I said to the home front: Human, I won’t come back! I even thought it would be better for the kid because otherwise he might get confused if I passed sometimes. It was worth trying, but to no avail. I’m just not When I bring someone into the world, I have to be there for her.”
And so 42-year-old Bellamy made the decision to leave Anderlecht. “Venny knew what was coming,” he says. “I had already spoken to him about this and he told me they would do everything to help me, but this was very difficult. Finally I said it to the rest, it was difficult. Peter Verbeke (Brussels sporting director, editor) showed me a three-year contract he had put in place for me. He told me That as long as he was with the club, the contract would be ready. Then he put it in the safe. That means a lot to me.”
Bellamy is now enjoying a soccer break. He says he has “more important work” to do than football at the moment. He does not know when he will return.
“I miss everything in football. I miss training, the smell of the grass…but I made the right decision. I now see Orla twice a week and feel like the happiest man in the world. When I stretch out my arms, she comes to me now too.”