FA Cup: Ex-Everton midfielder George Green on self-destruction and depression

Everton’s George Green, then aged 17, tackles Liverpool’s Seyi Ojo in an Under-18 game in November 2013

It is October 2011 and 15-year-old George Green is travelling to London for a trial with Tottenham Hotspur when a phone call changes everything. Everton have agreed a £2m deal with Bradford City for the schoolboy midfielder.

Green signs a two-and-a-half-year contract, receives a £45,000 signing-on fee in three instalments of £15,000, and a promising future with the Toffees beckons for the Dewsbury teenager.

Four years later he is standing on railway tracks near his hometown waiting for the next train so that he can end his life, Green’s hopes of making it as a Premier League player ruined by cocaine and alcohol.

“I was in that much debt, I thought I’d lost my partner because of my drug use, and I didn’t see a way back for me with football,” the 22-year-old told BBC Sport.

Now at sixth-tier Chester, who beat City of Liverpool 4-0 in the FA Cup second qualifying round on Saturday, Green opens up about having too much too soon, self-destruction, depression and how he is attempting to rebuild his life.

“Mental health and addiction is an everyday battle. I’m giving it my best shot,” he says. “If others can learn from it, I’d rather help.”

‘A £2,000-a-month cocaine addiction’

It was Everton Under-21s boss David Unsworth who broke the news to a tearful Green, then aged 19, he was no longer required after a loan at League Two Tranmere Rovers in 2015.

He had arrived at Goodison Park