A FORMER England soccer captain and club manager has been hailed as an inspiration to Darwen people with mental health problems.

Now a new internet cafe at Darwen Resource Centre will be named after Darwen-born Sam Wadsworth, who himself overcame mental illness.

Sam, who died in 1961, played for Darwen, Blackburn Rovers and Nelson football clubs as well as being capped for England nine times. He skippered his country between 1924 and 1926.

But before his career flourished, Sam served in the First World War which resulted in him losing his place in the Blackburn team and suffering traumatic stress.

After receiving medical support, he went on to play for Nelson and Huddersfield Town, and eventually managed Dutch team PSV Eindhoven.

It is hoped that by reminding people of Sam, it will give encoragement to others suffering with mental issues.

A plaque featuring his name was due to be unveiled today at the resource centre, which provides mental health services in the town, as part of events to mark World Mental Health Day.

Coun Maureen Bateson, executive member for social services at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: "Sam came back from the war with shell shock, what we now call traumatic stress, but he recovered, joined Nelson and went on to have a fantastic career.

"He is a great example of how, with the right support, people can recover their mental health."