Crawley Town: Fan says club saved his life by giving him a job

Gavin Green outside Old Trafford
Season ticket holder Gavin Green says Crawley Town saved his life

A Crawley Town supporter says the League Two club saved his life by giving him a job.

Season ticket holder Gavin Green had been unsuccessful in more than 4,000 applications over the past five years.

The 52-year-old previously worked for the civil service, NHS and Armed Forces.

Fellow fans alerted the club to Green's troubles after spotting concerning social media posts and the club responded with a job offer.

'I wanted to kill myself that night'

Crawley Town has been a staple of Green's life for 42 years.

His father, Jim, became the club's press officer in 1977 before holding roles as vice-president and director.

After facing thousands of rejections things came to a head on 29 October as Crawley prepared to face Colchester for a place in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

Green tweeted a series of posts referencing his disillusion with life and questioning his worth.

"That day when it all kicked off on Twitter, I'd been looking for jobs six days a week and I got my emails up at about 1am and I just flipped," said Green.

"I literally shouted out 'I give up' and I burst into tears.

"I really wanted to kill myself that night. Crawley Town Football Club saved my life."

'Through to the fifth round or save a life'

Ewan Dunlop, who co-hosts the Straight Red CTFC Podcast, described how "alarm bells were ringing" when he saw the posts.

"I looked at his profile, went through his tweets in the last 24 hours and it was horrific," said Dunlop.

"It was more than just somebody being upset about something that day, it was long-term depression and anxiety."

Dunlop urged his followers to help find work for Green and contacted former club benefactor Paul Hayward who liaised with Crawley.

"We had our biggest game for five years on the night. But to me and Paul, the football was insignificant," added Dunlop.

"We could get through to the fifth round or we could save somebody's life. What would you rather do?"

Kelly Derham, operations director at Crawley Town, said Green was "an important addition to the office" and will work in a support role.

"We are a community family club and we run a very small team here with a very small budget," said Derham.

"He can learn lots of different roles at the club because we haven't specifically pinpointed him to one department.

"We needed the additional help, this isn't a job created just for him."

Green has previously been involved with the club, having set up their original Facebook page and filmed a club documentary in 2009.

"When I spoke to Paul and the club offered me a job, there was a weight lifted," said Green.

"Now I'm in a positive frame of mind, looking to the future.

"For the first time in a long time, I feel as though I've got worth."

If you or someone you know has been affected by a mental health issue, help and support is available at bbc.co.uk/actionline

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