David Cox: Albion Rovers’ player quit football for being reminded of his mental health

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David Cox has been struggling to continue with his football career at a club in the second division of the Scottish football league but the hate in the game almost frustrated him out of the sport on Thursday.

The 32-year-old Scottish footballer who has been struggling to hit the peak of his football career is currently playing as a striker for second division side, Albion Rovers.

On Thursday, April 29, he was part of the squad that played against Stenhousemuir. In the match, he was on the bench but was reportedly involved in a verbal fight against an opposition player, Jonathan Tiffoney.

During the verbal exchange, Tiffoney reportedly reminded David Cox of his mental health and made jest of him over his alleged attempt to commit suicide.

Tiffoney’s comments infuriated Cox and decided to leave the stadium in the first half. After he left, he took to social media to announce that he has retired from football due to Tiffoney’s comments.

He said: “Again having to deal with some mental health shouts at football again. The second half is just starting and I have left the stadium. I was on the bench. We were having a to and fro with the bench. They had a go at my mental health and told me I ‘should have done it right the first time.

“I promised myself the next time it happens I will walk off the park. I wasn’t playing, I am done with football completely. Some folk might not think it is a big deal but I am fed up with it. I don’t get paid enough.

“I tried to speak to the referees about it but they didn’t want to know because they didn’t hear it. We talk about racism, personal issues and because it is not heard by officials there is nothing they can do about it. So I am going to do something about it.

“I am leaving the game. I am done with it.”

This is the second time Cox has attempted to retire from football because he was abused over his mental health. He first attempted to do so in January before he joined Rovers in March 2021.

He has also attempted suicide in December 2019, according to Sky Sports News, because he was abused over his mental health.

David Cox in action for his former club Cowdenbeath.
File photo of David Cox in action for his former club Cowdenbeath.

David Cox’s club, Albion Rovers, said in a statement after the game against Stenhousemuir on Thursday which ended 1-0 in their favor, that they were not aware of the gravity of the comments Tiffoney made against their player. They insisted that if they were aware during the game, they would have walked out of the pitch.

“The health, safety, and well-being of everyone associated with Albion Rovers are of paramount importance to us”, a statement from the club read.

“Football is a place for all and we believe it should be enjoyed without fear, favor, or prejudice.

“We are aware of an alleged incident that occurred during this evening’s match and have been in touch with David Cox to offer our unconditional backing and support.”

While a statement from Stenhousemuir read: “The club is aware of a verbal altercation that took place between players from both Stenhousemuir and Albion Rovers during tonight’s match.

“We have spoken to the players involved. Both players are making claims of serious and wholly inappropriate comments being made during the game that have implications for player wellbeing and mental health.

“Whilst we accept that things can get said during a game, we believe the allegations are sufficiently serious enough to merit a more detailed investigation.

“We will be referring this to the Scottish FA tomorrow and will work with them and our colleagues at Albion Rovers to investigate the incident.”

As of the time of publishing this report, David Cox has reportedly reversed his decision to retire from football and might be available to train with Rovers this weekend.

On the other hand, the Scottish football association has commenced an investigation into the issue and Tiffoney would not participate in his team training and games of Stenhousemuir until further notice.