Youth player who took his life felt let down by Man City

Jeremy Wisten ‘did not believe he was receiving the right support from Manchester City to find a new club’ his father tells inquest after the youth player took his own life in 2020

  • Former Man City academy player Jeremy Wisten passed away at the age of 18
  • Wisten was tragically found unresponsive last year by paramedics at his home
  • An inquest is being heard into the former City player’s death last year
  • His father said his son felt City could have done more to help the teenager 

A former Manchester City youth player who took his own life after he was released felt the club had badly let him down, an inquest heard on Monday.

Jeremy Wisten, 18, a thriving City youth team player before a serious knee ligament injury cut short his progress, learned in June 2019 that he would be released within six months. After a five-year career with them, he was told he must find a new club.

The teenager’s father, Manila, said his son felt City did not give him the help he needed to continue his career. He told the inquest: ‘He did not believe he was receiving the right support from Manchester City to find a new club. It should have been that City did more. I know they did more for others.’

An inquest has been heard into the death of former Man City youth player Jeremy Wisten

City had promised his son they would arrange matches for other clubs to come to watch him. Trials were arranged with Bolton Wanderers and Cardiff City but Jeremy was so unhappy with the club’s efforts that he approached an agent to help him find a club.

After he was released, Manila and Jeremy’s mother, Grace, pleaded with him to see that he was young, talented and personable and there could be a life beyond City. But he had invested his life in the dream of making it. He had looked up to City captain Vincent Kompany since he was a child. The couple would hear him grieving in his room. ‘We could see the suffering in him,’ Manila told coroner Zak Golombek.

There was hope he had found a new path. He was on course for distinctions in his college studies and was applied for university. It wasn’t to be. Manila broke down as he described the moment his wife, concerned that Jeremy had not come downstairs for dinner, found their son’s body in their daughter’s bedroom, on October 24 last year. ‘I was watching TV,’ he told the inquest. 

His father said Wisten (left) felt he didn’t get the right support by Man City to help him continue his career after being released from the club

‘His mum checked in his room. He was not there. She went into the second room which had been locked. She ran downstairs to get the key. Then I heard a scream I would never forget.’

City academy director Jason Wilcox told the hearing that Jeremy’s knee injury would have had ‘no impact’ on the decision for them to end his contract. He said: ‘Jeremy’s injuries had halted his development and other players had progressed at a different rate.’

City say mental health screenings are carried out both before and after deciding to release a young player. No concerns were raised about Jeremy’s mental wellbeing. Wilcox added: ‘My understanding is that Jeremy was offered nine trials (at other clubs).’

The coroner concluded that Jeremy had intended to take his own life. Wilcox expressed his condolences on City’s behalf.

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