Date: 21st March 2018 at 12:50am
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Former York City favourite Matty Blair has spoken about the difficulties of coming to terms with the recent loss of the man he calls his “hero”.

The popular winger forever wrote his name into Bootham Crescent folklore when scoring in a couple of victorious Wembley finals during nine glorious days in May 2012. For good measure he’d already struck in both semi-finals.

But just over five years later, Blair was to tragically lose his beloved older brother Ross at the age of 32 due to a brain tumour. And he admits to the struggle he then found in dealing with such heartbreak, highlighting one particular incident of randomly fainting while out walking his dog as the trigger for finally seeking help.

“I didn’t realise what I was going through and just carried on,” Blair told BBC Sport. “The mental side was taking me over, physically. I wasn’t able to understand my own feelings.

“I’d put them on the backburner and all of a sudden they caught up with me and I ended up fainting,” he explained. “That was the turning point, when I realised ‘hang on mate, something’s not right’. A couple of weeks later, I went to seek help.”

Almost six months on, Blair now makes a point of giving back as much as he can at current club Doncaster Rovers, and is already nominated for the PFA Player in the Community Award while also fronting their mental health charity partnership with the Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm).

“My brother was my hero and still is. I’ll always take a little bit of him wherever I go,” he added. “He was a very good man and I’m just trying to be the best person I can be.”