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“Nothing can prepare you for losing a baby”: Why Sky Sports presenter James Green is running in the Brighton Marathon

Next Sunday, Sky Sports presenter and reporter James Green is running in the Brighton Marathon for an important cause.

In the last two years, James and his partner have experienced three miscarriages.

Last year, he was appointed as an ambassador for Saying Goodbye. The charity supports anyone who is grieving the fact they have sadly not been able to have children.

When speaking about Saying Goodbye, James said: “They do amazing work with families who go through baby loss.

“They also do work to change government policy as well on a national level to ensure that families are being supported properly.

“At the moment, the policies are very outdated. The support isn’t brilliant and it needs to get better.”

Statistics on miscarriage

According to NHS figures, around one in four pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Recurrent miscarriages affect around one in 100 women.

“It’s a really emotional subject,” said James.

“There can be days where I’m absolutely fine, and then there can be days where I wake up and I feel completely crap.

“When I speak on podcasts and live events about it, it can get emotional, and that’s ok.

“I think, in this country, when somebody’s vulnerable and shows emotion, the audience are pretty damn good at picking you up and supporting you.”

Famous footballers speaking up on mental health

James spoke about how challenging baby loss can be, and how one Premier League player helped him specifically.

“Aaron Ramsdale had just done an article about miscarriage and a few other things that happened at the start of his Arsenal career.

“I was covering Arsenal at their training ground the day the article came out, so I took it upon myself to speak with Aaron about my own situation.

“I didn’t go into too much depth because at that point it wasn’t about me, it was about Aaron.

“It was really hard. Having to reflect in that environment, on that platform with that audience.

“It was important for me to breathe, keep calm, and not get too emotional. I just wanted to make sure I’m relaying the message and raising awareness in the right way.

“Three days later, Aaron played in goal for Arsenal against Tottenham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and he was unbelievable.”

Embed from Getty Images

Another footballer from the other side of North London who has recently opened up about his mental health is Spurs forward, Richarlison.

James welcomes public figures, especially men in sport, opening up about the adversities they face in day-to-day life.

“I think a modern-day audience appreciates that rawness. They like someone that’s just telling the truth and speaking from their heart.

“Not many men do it, but I’d love to see more men openly speak about their problems.

“It doesn’t matter how big the platform is, but if there are sports people who have gone through something, it’s so good when they do speak about it because they will help so many others going through the same things.”

Dealing with grief

Thoughts would be swirling around James’ mind, detailing how he views grief.

“You can never be ready to deal with grief. It’s never part of anyone’s plans. You never think about your journey going to that place.

“I never think about, okay, my parents might get to this age, and that will be it. We don’t know what age they’re going to get to.

“I had this reality last year. I lost three people very close to my age very quickly, so we know that life can take these turns, but you’ve got to deal with it.”

When speaking about his own situation, James was very open on the problems he and his partner have faced, detailing his coping mechanisms at his lowest point.

“I turned to drink many years ago.

“I’d literally get in after my day and I would open a bottle of wine and before I knew it, I would look next to my bed and there’d be 30, 40 empty bottles of wine next to my bed. I was like, ‘how the hell has that happened?’

“Now, I talk and share with my partner. We’ve also got a counsellor that’s helping us navigate through everything.

“I was someone for many years who would never, ever have dreamt of speaking to a counsellor. I’m now at the belief where every single adult should speak to a counsellor at some point.

“They find out why you’re going down a certain direction, why you’re feeling a certain way, that maybe you can’t process it yourself.

“It might not be for everybody, but it’s definitely worth trying.”

How to support James

The Brighton Marathon takes place next Sunday (7th April), and James’ JustGiving page raising money for The Mariposa Trust and Saying goodbye is attached in this link.

Author

  • Sam Sheppey

    Sam is a 22-year-old award-winning sports journalist from Hertfordshire with experience writing for club media with Stevenage Football Club, magazine articles with Greenways Publishing, and podcasting for talkSPORT and Birmingham City fan channel Blues Focus. Link to portfolio: https://muckrack.com/sam-sheppey/portfolio