Clarke Carlisle is innocent: Sun links suicidal football pundit to the death of man who saw him ‘die’
The Sun has a story about a man who died.
A VAN driver plagued by nightmares after witnessing Clarke Carlisle’s suicide attempt has died.
We are invited to make a link between the dead man and Clarke Carlisle, the former footballer and chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association who attempted suicide last December.
Chris Kilbride, 24, swerved to avoid the bloodsoaked footie ace after he walked in front of a lorry in December. The dad of two was forced to quit his job after suffering flashbacks and later spoke of struggling to cope with the trauma.
It’s crass of the Sun to link the two events when the full facts are not known. We know practically nothing of Mr Kilbride. But to the Sun his entire life is encapsulated in a single episode involving a TV pundit.
Coroners in Leeds confirmed that Chris died on Thursday, but refused to give further details.
What say the dead man’s loved ones, they who knew him best?
His partner Brooke Bleasby declined to comment yesterday at their home in the city.
But the Sun ploughs on:
He called 999, helped tend to Clarke’s injuries and comforted the lorry driver, who was in shock and had glass in his eyes.
The Sun quotes Mr Kilbride:
But speaking in February, Chris said: “I’m going through hell. He did what he did because he was in a bad place. But the consequences of his actions have now put me in a similar place.”
The Sun has edited Mr Kilbride’s comments. What he said was:
“I can’t believe he survived. I expected him to pass away. I said to myself, ‘If he survives I would like to meet the man.’ I don’t have any hatred towards him. He did what he did because he was in a bad place. But the consequences of his actions have now put me in a similar place. I’m not angry at him. Everyone deals with things differently. But because he did that, I’ve now got to deal with it.”
“The driver was absolutely hysterical. He kept saying, ‘He just walked out and jumped. I couldn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t stop.’ He had glass in his eyes, he couldn’t open them. But I think he was trying to cry. I was trying to keep him calm and he was in a bad way. I can’t imagine what he is going through now. I’m going through hell so it must be so much worse for him.
The only word we hear from Clarke is that he is “shocked and saddened” and offered his condolences to Chris’s family.
As for the man whose lorry hit Clarke, well, your heart goes out to him.
This is one man’s story:
It was around midday on 31 March 2012 that Nik Douglas’s life changed forever. The 37-year-old train driver was travelling through Northallerton station on the way to Newcastle when he saw a man in his sixties standing alone on the platform.
He thought nothing of the lone figure, turning instead to check the opposite platform. By the time Mr Douglas looked back again, the man was crouching on the tracks in front of his train.
“I remember screaming just before the impact,” Mr Douglas recalls, his face blanching. “I was going at 125 miles an hour because the station wasn’t one we stopped at.”
He slammed on the emergency brake and – in a panic – stamped on the floor beneath his feet, as if trying to brake a car. “I was trying to make it stop quicker, but there was nothing I could do.”
For the next six months he was off work with post-traumatic stress. “When I was on my own I’d burst into tears for no reason, I found sleep hard and I’d have flashbacks during the night and day,” he says. “I could be in a room full of people with a really good party atmosphere but feel alone, isolated. That’s one of the biggest things I remember, feeling alone.”
Suicide is not painless.