League Football Education is saddened to hear of the death of Peter Kay, the co-founder of the Sporting Chance Clinic.
Kay set-up the centre – which treats professional sports people dealing with drink, drug, gambling and other behavioural problems in 2000 alongside former Arsenal captain Tony Adams, who had dealt with alcoholism during his career.
In recent years, the clinic has treated a number of high profile footballers including Joey Barton, Paul Merson, and Matthew Etherington.
It has worked with LFE since 2009 to provide a programme that focuses on recognising and avoiding destructive behavioural patterns and chief executive, Alan Sykes, said:
“It’s with great sadness that I learnt of Peter’s death. His dedication and commitment to helping others was well known and he leaves behind a fantastic legacy in the form of the Sporting Chance Clinic.
“Over the last 4 years Sporting Chance has conducted over 150 visits to Football League clubs and spoken to over 2000 young footballers about the pitfalls they face when they enter the professional game.
“The sessions are powerful, moving and help those taking part to really understand how personal problems can affect them and importantly what support is available.”
Adams who worked with Kay to establish the clinic believes it has been at the forefront of changing attitudes towards sportsmen and women with addictive illnesses and emotional issues.
In paying his own tribute, the former England defender, said, “Peter was my friend as well as a professional colleague and I am saddened by this news.
“He played a major role in changing perceptions and lives along with helping the charity become what it is today.”
The Professional Footballers’ Association first started to fund the charity over a decade ago after Kay met with officials from the union.
They recognised that the clinic offered much needed support to members and chief executive Gordon Taylor, added:
“The PFA is shocked and saddened to hear this tragic news. Over many years Peter dedicated himself to helping so many of our members get their lives back after experiencing personal problems.”