Dominic Calvert-Lewin opens up on Instagram.
Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has described his personal battle this season in an emotional Instagram post.
On the pitch, the Toffees have endured a difficult campaign, flirting with relegation right up until the moment that Calvert-Lewin’s late winner secured survival in a 3-2 win over Crystal Palace last week.
That moment sparked joyous scenes at Goodison Park as fans celebrated confirmation of a 69th consecutive top flight season, but now that the dust has settled, Calvert-Lewin has opened up on his struggle.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin: ‘Talking saved my life.’
‘First of all thank you to you fans for sticking by us this season and for continuing to inspire us right until the last day of the season,’ the 25-year-old posted on Monday night.
‘The main goal became to stay in the Premier League and I don’t believe that would have happened without your unbelievable support.
‘On a personal note I have had to dig deep within myself at times this season and have endured some of the most difficult times of my career and my life to date.
‘The love and support helped carry me through. One thing I learned this season is that everyone in whatever walk of life is fighting battles you know nothing about, and there is no shame in finding someone to talk to and being open and honest with yourself about how you really feel.
‘To all the young kings suppressing emotion I advise you to talk, to a friend, family member or someone that will listen, talking saved my life. It will make you realise things are never as bad as they seem, and you’ll discover that the paradox of true strength is being able to face your weaknesses.
‘Finishing the season on a high meant everything to me, enjoy the break Toffee. fans you deserve it. May the pressure continue to be a privilege.’
While Calvert-Lewin will be remembered for securing survival, it was a difficult campaign for him overall.
After scoring in opening three Premier League games of the season, the England striker then suffered a fractured toe and was sidelined as Everton slipped down the table under the management of Rafael Benitez.
He came back into the fold under new manager Frank Lampard, although his impact was limited until his famous winner against Palace.
While supporters are quick to judge players based on performances, it’s messages like the one Calvert-Lewin shared on Monday that remind us that we never know what’s going on behind closed doors.