CLARETS old-boy Clarke Carlisle has admitted that he tried to take his own life in 2001.

The defender, who played for Queen’s Park Rangers at the time, said he was depressed at the time because an injury prevented him from playing football.

He told the BBC3 documentary Football’s Suicide Secret that he attempted to overdose on 50 pills in a London park only to be discovered by his girlfriend.

Carlisle, 33, who announced his decision to retire from the game in May, also presented the show and spoke to other ex-footballers about depression and the stigma attached to discussing it.

Carlisle said he was ‘ashamed’ that he had tried to kill himself and was rushed to hospital to have his stomach pumped. He returned to the scene of his attempted overdose for the programme and revealed he had never told any of his team-mates about the incident.

Now the chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association, he said more needed to be done to combat mental health problems among players.

For the show, which will be screened next Tuesday, Carlisle also spoke to former England international Lee Hendrie, who tried to take his own life twice, the family of the late Wales manager Gary Speed, and friends of the tragic Germany goalkeeper Robert Enke.

Carlisle, a play-off winner with Burnley in 2009, made almost 150 appearances in a five-year spell at Turf Moor.

He also played for Blackpool, Leeds United, Watford, Luton Town, Preston North End, York City and Northampton Town and was capped three times at under-21 level by England.