Goalie's suicide 'helped to change attitudes'
The Local · 9 Nov 2012, 07:52
Published: 09 Nov 2012 07:52 GMT+01:00
- Referee attempts suicide before Bundesliga match (19 Nov 11)
- Second Hannover goalie battling depression (06 Sep 11)
- Enke's suicide changed little in German sports, expert says (08 Nov 10)
- Enke hid depression for years before suicide (11 Nov 09)
Hannover 96 star Enke was Germany's first-choice goalkeeper when he took his life on November 10 2009, aged 32, having made eight appearances for Joachim Löw's national team.
Set up in his memory, The Robert Enke Foundation, with his widow Teresa as chairman, now supports projects to educate the public about depression and heart disease in children.
Three years on from his death, there is evidence Enke's suicide has softened attitudes in German football towards depression and other psychological illnesses.
Germany defender Dennis Aogo admitted suffering from depression at the start of the season, while Ralph Rangnick stepped down as Schalke 04 coach in September 2011 after suffering from burn-out.
More than a dozen footballers from the Bundesliga and second division have sought help for depression, according to the organisation Mental Strength.
Teresa Enke admits she may never get over his suicide, but is still receiving support from figures within the German Football Federation (DFB).
"I can never take something positive from his death," she told the Bild newspaper having organised an event via Facebook to mark Saturday's anniversary.
"I can only try to transform the negatives into positives.
"His chance means a chance to help others. I won't get over his death; I just learn to live with it."
Although she has said she wanted nothing more to do with football, Germany's team manager Oliver Bierhoff and Theo Zwanziger, the former president of the German Football Federation (DFB), both contact her regularly.
"I don't really want to have much to do with football, but I still get text messages from Zwanziger and Oliver Bierhoff is in touch, he calls me."