Former Spireite attends A Spire Right session

The Trust’s A Spire Right sessions focus on helping those who have a history of drug and alcohol misuse to get more physically active and do something positive with their lives.

Shane Nicholson, who had two spells with Chesterfield as a player, was banned from football from drugs and alcohol misuse himself and gave a speech to the group to share his story.

On visiting the group, Shane said: “It’s about me coming to share my testimony, sharing my experiences and how I’ve dealt with them, how I cope with it and how I didn’t cope with it.

“Hopefully, as we’ve heard today, three or four people can resonate to the story. Once they do that, they know it’s okay to open up and share their side of it.

“I’m no different to them. Whatever walk of life we’ve had, whether you’re a judge, whether you’re a footballer, whether you’re someone on the street, it’s irrelevant. 

“Drink and drug addictions can take over your life, so these guys here, I needed to let them know that their story is just as important as mine.”

Shane made 92 appearances for the Spireites, scoring 13 times, before returning as a fitness coach after retirement.

Shane added: “I love to come here. The first time was when I came back sober and clean under the late John Duncan.

“Then obviously I came back as a player and later as a strength and conditioning coach where we had lots of success so I’ve got a big place in my heart for Chesterfield.”

Urging those in need to attend the group, Shane said: “Taking that leap of faith and sharing your worries, whatever it is you feel that isn’t worthy of talking about, share it with someone.

“It’s important. Certainly, as males, we don’t do it enough. We think we’ll be laughed at but get it out there and get it shared because once it’s out there, you’re not carrying that baggage on your back around with you.

“It makes your life a lot easier.”