Farnborough supporters react furiously as club labels timing of Lenny Pidgeley’s retirement with depression ‘shocking’

September 14, 2018
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Supporters have reacted furiously to Farnborough FC’s treatment of a former footballer after the club labelled the timing of his retirement as “shocking”.

The club released a statement on Wednesday night (September 12) which revealed that due to a “significant long term personal medical condition”, their goalkeeper, Lenny Pidgeley, would be retiring with immediate effect.

The tone of the statement appears to read on unsympathetically: “This is the first anyone at the club was aware of the condition and although the timing is shocking we wish Lenny and his family all the best in his retirement.”

Since the statement was published, Pidgeley has confirmed that the condition referred to is depression and that the club has let it “out the bag”.

Pidgeley, who has previously made Premier League appearances for Chelsea FC before spending most of his career in the lower leagues of English football, seems to have the backing of the fans on social media.

One supporter felt as though the goalkeeper had been unfairly shamed and Tweeted: “A truly disgusting statement from the club. 1 keeper has a work commitment but it’s the other one that is shamed by shocking timing of ill health. If only he’d planned it better eh?”

The same sentiment was echoed by further Tweets of support.

Since issuing their initial statement on Wednesday, the club has moved to clarify their meaning and has apologised to Pidgeley for any hurt it may have caused.

Farnborough FC’s follow up statement – Thursday, September 13

“The Club would like to clarify its Statement of Wednesday evening.

“Specifically, that our comment about the shocking timing, referred to us being shocked regarding the sad information we received on that afternoon, whilst preparing for our FA Cup Replay.

“With no goalkeeper available that night we owed the fans an explanation before kick-off, which due to the timings on the night was drafted in haste and did not convey our true thoughts accurately.

“The Club fully backs the support and care required in dealing with all mental health issues and meant no harm to Lenny and sincerely apologise for any hurt. This was not our intention.

“The Club will make no further comment.”

The 34-year-old is a product of the Chelsea academy and was brought on as a substitute by Jose Mourinho for the last game of the club’s title winning season in 2005.

In the same season he won a Football League Cup winners medal but found himself wanting first team football and left Chelsea for Millwall in 2006.

The 6 ft 4 in keeper spent three years on The Lion’s books before moving on.

Since leaving Millwall, Pidgeley has cascaded through the lower tiers of the football league turning out for Woking FC and Leatherhead FC along the way.

The club’s original statement following Pidgeley’s retirement can be seen below.

Farnborough FC’s full statement regarding Lenny Pidgeley’s retirement – Wednesday, September 12

“Until 12 o’clock today [Wednesday] both keepers were available, but unfortunately James Stroud has a work commitment that he is unable to get out of despite his best efforts.

“Lenny Pidgeley informed us this afternoon that due to a ‘significant long term personal medical condition’ he is retiring from football with immediate effect.

“This is the first anyone at the club was aware of the condition and although the timing is shocking we wish Lenny and his family all the best in his retirement.

“It is not appropriate that the Club comment further on personal matters that have nothing to do with the Club.

“The team will focus on doing their best this evening to upset the odds and get through to the next round.”

Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/hampshire-news/farnborough-supporters-react-furiously-club-15148946


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