'John Marquis saved my life': The Portsmouth FC fan who was talked down from suicide by Blues striker

A LIFELONG Portsmouth FC fan who found himself in the darkest place imaginable was hauled back from the brink by one of his idols.

By David George
Saturday, 16th May 2020, 7:00 am

On the evening of Wednesday, May 13, George Carnell ended up in Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, after overdosing on anti-depressants.

The 20-year-old, who recently completed a mental health programme, had a severe depressive episode earlier in the day and attempted to take his own life – posting a suicide note on social media.

When he regained consciousness at QA Hospital, he discovered that Portsmouth FC forward John Marquis wanted to talk to him.

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George Carnell, 20, outside his home in Lake Road, Portsmouth Picture: Habibur Rahman

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The pair have since spoken over the phone, with George learning the crucial lesson that no matter how difficult things get, there will always be someone to talk to.

George, who has been a Pompey season ticket holder since the age of eight, said: ‘I finished the mental health programme last month and was coping okay – but it suddenly hit me again that day.

‘I couldn’t see a way out, so put a note on Twitter and then just started taking as many anti-depressants as I could.

John Marquis Picture: PinPep Media/ Joe Pepler

‘My phone was buzzing non-stop, but I was so zoned out that it may as well have been turned off.’

Concerned friends and family phoned the police, who entered his home and found George unconscious on the kitchen floor.

An ambulance was called and he was taken to QA Hospital.

Once he was in a fit state to do so, George and Marquis talked to one another at length over the phone.

George Carnell Picture: Habibur Rahman

There, the Pompey forward – who has done plenty of work to support mental health charities in the past – told George he was available to talk anytime he was feeling low.

George said: ‘Getting a call from Marquis like that was so heartwarming; he made me feel so much more relaxed about the situation I was in.

‘We talked about pretty much everything – how I felt, and what alternatives I had to the decisions I’ve made in the past.

‘He told me about writing down my feelings at the start and end of each day; we were on the phone for about 45 minutes, and it put me from rock bottom to on top of the world.

‘Marquis pretty much saved my life.’

George wants people to know that no matter what their situation is, there is always someone to speak to, and to take each day as it comes.

He’s also seen support from friends Lee Gosney, Summer Alderson, Evie Kleinen and the Fratton faithful.

The 20-year-old has now seen that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and wants others to see that same light.

Posting on Twitter, Marquis shared the same vision.

He said: ‘A problem shared is a problem halved and no matter your situations it’s always better to talk and be open about your feelings

‘From being at such a low point to opening up publicly is a massive step.

‘There is no end goal but daily making improvements will help you long term to be in a better place.’

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