David Cox: Albion Rovers player retires after opponent allegedly mocks forward’s suicide attempt

Albion Rovers forward David Cox has said he will retire after an opposing player allegedly mocked his mental health during a Scottish League Two match on Thursday.

Cox, 32, left Stenhousemuir’s ground at half-time after the alleged incident, which the home team said was a verbal altercation involving their defender Jonathan Tiffoney.

Stenhousemuir said they would refer the incident to the Scottish FA for investigation. Rovers went on to win the game 1-0.

In December 2019, while playing for Cowdenbeath, Cox told Sky Sports he had contemplated suicide after suffering abuse over mental health issues.

Cox nearly retired from the sport thereafter but joined Rovers this March.

In a video posted on his Facebook account after Thursday’s game, Cox said: “Again having to deal with some mental health shouts at football, again. The second half is just starting and I have left the stadium. I was on the bench.

“We were having a to-and-fro with the bench. They had a go at my mental health and told me I: ‘should have done it right the first time’.

“I promised myself the next time it happens I will walk off the park. I wasn’t playing, I am done with football completely. Some folk might not think it is a big deal, but I am fed up for it. I don’t get paid enough.

“I tried to speak to the referees about it, but they didn’t want to know because they didn’t hear it. We talk about racism, personal issues and because it is not heard by officials there is nothing they can do about it. So I am going to do something about it.

“I am leaving the game. I am done with it.”

Albion Rovers released a statement on Thursday evening that read: “The health, safety and well-being of everyone associated with Albion Rovers is of paramount importance to us.

“Football is a place for all and we believe is should be enjoyed without fear, favour or prejudice.

“We are aware of an alleged incident that occurred during this evening’s match and have been in touch with David Cox to offer our unconditional backing and support.”

Stenhousemuir said: “The club is aware of a verbal altercation that took place between players from both Stenhousemuir and Albion Rovers during tonight’s match.

“We have spoken to the players involved, David Cox (Albion Rovers) who was on the bench, and Jonathan Tiffoney (Stenhousemuir) who was playing.

“Both players are making claims of serious and wholly inappropriate comments being made during the game that have implications for player wellbeing and mental health.

“Whilst we accept that things can get said during a game, we believe the allegations are sufficiently serious enough to merit a more detailed investigation.

“We will be referring this to the Scottish FA tomorrow and will work with them and our colleagues at Albion Rovers to investigate the incident.”

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