Former Pompey striker Dave Kitson has admitted he tried to kill himself while battling depression during his time at the club.
The 38-year-old has revealed he was diagnosed after deliberately driving his car into the concrete pillar of a bridge.
In a piece for The Sun he said he had chosen to speak out after former Pompey team-mate David Cotterill revealed his battle with depression to the paper.
Kitson, who retired from football in 2015, said: ‘There were times playing for Portsmouth when I shouldn’t have been anywhere near the training ground, let alone the pitch.
‘But at the time the club was in administration and the owners were desperately trying to find ways to sack players for breach of contract, so not turning up wasn’t an option. It was a torturous spiral for everybody.
‘What I produced on the pitch was a pale imitation of a footballer and a classic example of a man with clinical depression.’
Kitson scored 12 goals in 72 appearances for Pompey after joining them from Stoke in 2010, and found himself the target of criticism from fans.
He added: ‘I do not blame the fans for screaming at me from the stands but there were so many times that I wanted to scream back at them: “You don’t understand!”
‘They didn’t know what the problem was and I wasn’t about to offer up what I’m sure many would have considered a pathetic excuse from a grown man playing pro football.
‘I was officially diagnosed at Portsmouth by a fantastic doctor called Greg Warner, after I’d deliberately driven my car into the concrete pillar of a bridge.’
The former Premier League striker said he had recovered in recent years after taking medication and having regular meetings with a psychiatrist
In his column for the paper earlier this week Kitson admitted he must be the only player to be hated by both sets of supporters in a south coast derby.