Cape Town - Bafana Bafana legend Delron Buckley has revealed he was close to committing suicide after struggling to deal with the pressure of playing in Europe.
After a career spanning over 20 years in Europe, the now retired 39-year-old has released an autobiography called ‘My Life’.
Promoting the book, Buckley appeared on The Dan Nicholl Show and admitted to wanting to “kill” himself due to the pressure while playing for German giants Borussia Dortmund.
“I played for VfL Bochum for nine years and then I was transferred to (DSC Arminia) Bielefeld,” said Buckley.
“Bielefeld were a team that were just promoted and at the time they were like an underdog team.
“That year I scored, I think, 15 goals - I was the second highest goalscorer.
“But when I transferred from Bielefeld to Borussia Dortmund that is when I felt the pressure, when I discovered professional athlete stress - which got to me in the first year.
“You can read in the book, my first year at Dortmund I felt such a depression that I wanted to kill myself at one stage because the pressure was too high.”
Buckley admits that performing in front of 90 000 fans at the Westfalenstadion got to him mentally and saw him heckled by fans all over Germany even while grocery shopping.
Dortmund then loaned Buckley out for a season to FC Basel which benefitted the player tremendously.
“Thanks to the Lord for that,” Buckley proclaimed.
"When I got transferred to Basel in Switzerland, that's where I got my mojo back.
“I won two cups in Switzerland and then Dortmund wanted me back and then on December 7, on my 30th birthday, those same 90 000 people that were booing me, were singing Happy Birthday for me.”
Buckley made his international debut in a friendly against Zambia in May 1998 and went on to play 73 games and score 10 goals for Bafana.
Buckley represented South Africa at both the 1998 and 2002 World Cups.
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