NEWS
14/08/2018 15:28 BST

Barnsley FC Chief Praised For Writing Letter To Fan Who Tweeted About His Mental Health

'Keep supporting the Reds and we'll keep supporting you.'

Barnsley FC chief executive Gauthier Ganaye has been praised for reaching out to a fan who tweeted about his mental health.

On Tuesday, Chris Ryder shared a picture of a letter he received from Ganaye, alongside the caption “best club in the world”.

Ganaye opens the note by apologising to Ryder for sending a letter at random, and said: “I felt like I wanted to reach out to you and get in touch.

“I’ve noticed through social media that you’ve had a bit of a hard time recently, I’m not sure what it is but I hope everything improves for you as soon as possible,” he said.

“You’ve been a fan of the club for many years and always supported us, so we want you to know that if the favour needs returning and we need to support you, please do let us know,” he added. 

Ganaye continued: “You are welcome to swing by any time. My office door is always open and we’ve finally got a new coffee machine, a huge thanks to Alfie Mawson for that!”

Ganaye also urged Ryder to contact mental health charity MIND if he needs to, adding: “Alternatively, you may have noticed the squiggle on the back of the player lettering on the shirts? It’s for the MIND charity.

“They are an EFL [English Football League] partner this season and do some really great work. I’ve included their contact details below.

“Keep supporting the Reds, Chris. We’ll keep supporting you.”

Ryder had tweeted about “anxiety, stress and depression” on 8 August. 

Addressing the fact the letter has gone viral, a spokesperson for the club told HuffPost UK: “This was totally unexpected.”

“We feel that every comment we could make is in the letter, other than that obviously the door is open to anybody in the community that needs us,” they added.

Ganaye’s note was praised by Twitter users, with one writing: “Hope other EFL clubs are embracing their MIND partnership like this.” 

Numerous strangers also offered Ryder their support:

Ganaye became the youngest chief executive in the football league when he was appointed to the role in May 2017, at the age of 29. 

Before that, he was on the executive committee for French team Racing Club de Lens.