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Jon Wilkin shares heart breaking story about Great Britain star who was “laughed out of town” for making mental health suggestion

Jon Wilkin has shared a heart breaking story of how mental health was once ignored and looked down upon in rugby league.

The former St Helens back row and now Sky Sports pundit was speaking on The Bench podcast about former Salford star Malcom Alker.

In 2005, Alker suggested an idea that would be beneficial for players’ mental health but was “laughed out of town” as he “crumbled.”

“We were in the Great Britain camp in 2005 and Malcom Alker, who has fallen on really hard times throughout his life was in the squad at the time,” Wilkin said.

“At the time he said to Brian Noble who was coach at the time ‘do you know what we could do with, just a sheet every day where we write out how we’re feeling mentally, physically and emotionally.’

“He got laughed out, he got laughed out of town.

“He stood up in a meeting and said that and it’s only when he started to crumble that I thought ‘wow, that’s an opportunity for everyone to get on board with.’

“That’s why I look back at that moment with sadness because whilst I don’t think he was at a low ebb then, his idea which we now understand was such a valid suggestion but it was laughed out of town.”

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