By 90Min
September 30, 2017

Brighton star Anthony Knockaert has opened up on the crippling pain and grief which has consumed him since his father, Patrick, passed away suddenly last November after a shock cancer diagnosis only weeks prior. 

The 25-year-old has only been able to momentarily set aside part of his grief when he enters the field of play each match day, but away from the heights of the Premier League the passing away of his father, mentor, and best friend has taken a significant emotional toll which he admits he needs help for. 

With the anniversary of his father's passing approaching, Knockaert has admitted that he has been unable to cope for so long that now it is finally time to get some help. 

He told the Daily Mail: "Sometimes I feel I need to talk to someone just to help myself through. At the moment I just cry. I am not scared to tell you this because it's just life, you know.

"I have been speaking with the club about a counsellor and I think they will try to find someone for me. I still have a tough time and I need a person to help me.

Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

"I need to get stronger. I need to talk to someone about what is in my heart. I just didn't know it would be this hard.

The striker was Championship Player of the Year last season as the Seagulls won promotion to England's top flight, but admits life was not as easy as he made it look on the field of play.

He added: "I didn't really cope last season. What you see on the field doesn't always tell the story. I haven't got over it and may never get over it. Every day I think about my dad. Sometimes at night with sleep I am struggling.

"I tell myself I can cope by working hard for him. When he was ill, near the end, he said I had to get promoted for him. He wouldn't be happy if I gave up now, even if I did feel like it.

"My first game after he died I was really bad. Mentally I was gone. I scored about one month later against Birmingham and that really helped to make me feel I could still do it, but I am not going to lie, it's still hard sometimes.

"In one or two months it will be one year and I know I will be scared of that day. One year is nothing. Everything is still fresh and I am going to have another tough period, I know.

Knockaert however, knows that no matter how tough times get his club will always have his back as he added: "I recognise what the club did for me last season. It is important to feel loved and I do."

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