A FORMER Reading FC player has spoken out about his struggles with mental health, which made him want to give up football.

Dave Kitson, 39, who used to be a striker for Reading FC, said that the game is facing an "epidemic" of mental health issues amongst players.

He told BBC Radio Berkshire: "Now we're a lot better at dealing with this, we know how to get players help, but back then no-one said anything, let alone had to deal with it."

Kitson said he has suffered with mental health problems since he was 13.

Speaking about his lowest point, he said that during a tour of South Korea with Reading FC in 2007 he "completely fell apart."

He added: "I absolutely lost the plot and had to confide in Brian McDermott, then Steve Coppell, but we didn't know how to deal with these things."

He said that after scoring 22 goals for Reading FC in the 2005-06 Championship-winning season he felt he wanted to give up football.

He said: "I'd done everything for Reading that I wanted to do.

"I carried on for another year and then I told Steve and Brian that's enough.

"I'm 27, or 28, and I've properly had a gutful of this, for my own peace of mind I need to go and do something completely different."

Kitson continued his football career with Sheffield United and Oxford, until 2014.