Clarke Carlisle has revealed the incident which left him seriously injured three days before Christmas was a suicide attempt.
In an exclusive interview with The Sun, the former Cobblers captain admitted he spent his family’s savings in a casino after learning he was to lose his role as a pundit as part of ITV’s Champions League coverage.
Hours later, he was charged with drink driving and the shame of that led him to believe that suicide was the only option.
On December 22, he was hit by a lorry on the A64 just outside York and was in intensive care throughout Christmas, having been allowed to return home to his family last week.
He told The Sun: “I had to die. This wasn’t escaping or running away. This was the perfect answer.
“It made everyone happy and it ticked every box.”
Carlisle, who missed a Cobblers game at Southend through depression in the 2012/13 season, added: “I walked out of that police station having made the decision that I had to die.
“I sat in that cell and thought, ‘There is no way that I can let my children have a criminal father.’
“I thought: ‘All you do is inflict pain. All you do is cause problems.
“Your wife and family who love you don’t deserve that. Everyone will be better off if I wasn’t here.
“Gemma would get some money from the house.”
The 35-year-old is expected to make a full recovery from his injuries but admits to feeling shame at his actions.
He said: “I got overwhelming feelings of shame, guilt and embarrassment. Not at what I’ve done, but what I’ve been unsuccessful at doing.
“I woke up and wanted to go back to sleep immediately. I didn’t deserve to live. I’ve been hit by a truck and I’ve got cuts.
“Admittedly substantial cuts, my head went twice the size, my eyes were popping out and red, huge shards of windscreen in my face.
“I got a massive cut across my knee and road burns to my face — but I’m still alive. The laws of physics dictate that I should have died.”