World Snooker Championship 2020: Martin Gould on discussing mental health

Martin Gould
Gould, making his 10th appearance at the Crucible, reached the second round for the first time since 2011
Betfred World Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 31 July-16 August
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four and Red Button, with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app. Full details and times.

Martin Gould says men "find it more difficult" than women to discuss their mental health and urged people to seek help if they are struggling.

World number 60 Gould said he was driven to a "dark place" about his game.

The 38-year-old Englishman was "too ashamed" to tell anyone that he had a problem.

Gould beat Scot Stephen Maguire 10-3 in the first round of the World Championship in Sheffield on Wednesday.

In an emotional post-match interview, he said: "Us males we do find it difficult if we have an issue.

"I found it difficult at the start. It took someone realising I had a problem to come out and ask me.

"Once I felt comfortable speaking to that person, they helped me get to the next avenue of who I needed to speak to.

"It is very difficult for males to speak up, but there is nothing to be ashamed of really."

Gould was ranked as high as 11 in the world but has fallen down the rankings and was attempting to keep his place on the main tour.

The former German Masters champion, who won three qualifying matches to reach the Crucible, said he would have retired had he not.

Before the tournament, Gould said the coronavirus lockdown "saved" him from falling "completely out of love with the game".

"It got to the point where you don't enjoy what you are doing and you don't want to do it," he said.

"Nothing to do with social media or anything like that I have seen documented; nothing to do with the abuse on social media. It was my own personal [battle] and [my mind] had gone for a long walk. It was a long road to get it back.

"I spoke to World Snooker Tour and some family and close friends and they helped me out a huge amount.

"I am enjoying playing at the moment and long may that continue because the more I enjoy it the better I play."

In nine ranking events this season, Gould has failed to make it past the third round, but he beat former world champion Graeme Dott in the final round of World Championship qualifying.