THE wife of former footballer Clarke Carlisle has said she is "overwhelmed" by messages of support following her husband's injuries.

Mr Carlisle, 35, - a former York City, Leeds United, QPR, Burnley and Northampton Town defender - remains in hospital with serious injuries today after he was hit by a lorry on the A64 near Bishopthorpe on Monday morning.

York City director Sophie McGill told The Press: "The club was shocked and stunned by the news and Clarke Carlisle is in our thoughts and prayers. We are all thinking of his family. He is somebody we know well as a former player and it's really shocking news."

Yesterday, his wife Gemma took to twitter to thank the public, their friends and family for their messages of support. She later wrote: "Clarke's very poorly but he's alive and stable. Best Christmas gift we as a family could wish for. Thanks again."

His injuries are understood to no longer be life-threatening, and he is reported to have undergone surgery today.

York Press:

Many football clubs and fellow players have also taken to social media to offer their support to Clarke Carlisle and his family.

Burnley have announced there will be a minute's applause in the fifth minute of their match against Liverpool on Friday in support of Mr Carlisle, who wore the Number 5 jersey for the Turf Moor club.

York Press:

York Press:

York Press:

At a press conference today ahead of Friday's match against Accrington Stanley, York City players paid tribute to their former teammate and offered their thoughts and best wishes to him and his family.

City manager Russ Wilcox, who was assistant manager at Burnley when Carlisle played for the club, said: "I hope he makes a full recovery and then, if he needs it, I hope he gets the help and assistance he needs from professional people and his family. Clarke’s had issues before, which he’s spoken openly about."

Football has been rocked in recent years by the high-profile suicides of German international keeper Robert Enke and former Leeds United midfielder and Wales manager Gary Speed.

Mr Wilcox said support for mental health issues in football was now very good, but the problem could often be detecting symptoms.

He said: "They can be hidden well but, for now, we are all just thinking about Clarke, his family and his three children and keeping our fingers crossed that he will be okay."

York Press:

York striker Michael Coulson, who played with Mr Carlisle during his three-month spell at Bootham Crescent in 2012, said Carlisle had been supportive on and off the pitch.

He said: "I spent quite a lot of time with Clarke because he helped me out with some issues and problems I had.

"He’s a great guy and a real gentle giant. He had so much time for everybody here and used to come in every morning and shake everyone’s hand. He went out of his way to give me advice and my thoughts are with him and his family at this time."

Carlisle joined York City in August 2012 and made ten appearances under manager Gary Mills, before leaving to join Northampton Town. He has also been chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association.

Mr Carlisle has been an ambassador for the mental health charity Mind. Earlier this year he presented a BBC documentary called Football's Suicide Secret, exploring the issue of mental health within the game, and wrote candidly about his own past struggles and a suicide attempt in his youth. He was named Britain's brainiest footballer in 2002 and gained a wider profile outside the sport, when he became the first footballer to appear on Question Time.



The Football Association tweeted today: "The thoughts & prayers of all at The FA  are with Clarke Carlisle & his family at this sad time", while anti-racism organisation Kick It Out - for which Carlisle is an ambassador - posted "The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Kick It Out are with Clarke Carlisle and his family. Stay strong our dear friend - keep on fighting."

Mr Carlisle joined Mind to try to highlight the effects of mental health problems, and encourage professional sports clubs, governing bodies and community organisations to work together at all levels to help sportsmen and women who live with mental health issues.

Speaking to Mind in August, he said: "There is a great appetite to address mental health issues within sport and things are improving, but the support for athletes is nowhere near adequate."

Paul Farmer, chief executive of the charity, said today: "We are all shocked to hear about Clarke’s accident and wish him a speedy recovery. Our thoughts are with him, his wife Gemma, three children and his entire family at what must be a very difficult time, especially just before Christmas.

"Clarke is a wonderful ambassador for Mind, speaking eloquently about his own experiences of mental health problems, encouraging more people to speak out and seek help. It is a privilege to have his support for our work, and we hope to see him back to full health in the near future."

A section of the A64 was closed in both directions for several hours on Monday to allow the Yorkshire Air Ambulance to land and transport Mr Carlisle to Leeds General Infirmary. North Yorkshire Police are still investigating the accident.