Former Carlisle United star Matt Jansen has revealed how a hair transplant has boosted his self-esteem after a motorcycle accident left him crippled by depression.

The striker, who grew up in Wetheral and played in the Premier League for Blackburn Rovers and Crystal Palace, was at the height of his powers when he came off a scooter in Rome in 2002.

Having been on the brink of an England call-up, the crash left him in a coma for six days and he was subsequently racked by anxiety and self-doubt which left him unable to reach his former heights.

Jansen, 41, documents his struggles in his new autobiography What Was, What Is and What Might Have Been. The book was written with the News & Star’s award-winning Carlisle United reporter Jon Colman.

Jansen, a father of three, has revealed how restoring his locks aided his psychological recovery. He underwent a transplant at Manchester’s Farjo Hair Institute last November.

He says: “I’ve definitely benefited from it. It’s really helped me. My confidence has clearly taken a real knock in the past. But doing something like this simply helps you to feel good about yourself. Where’s the harm in that?

“You want to look your best. For me, a hair transplant is like wearing nice clothes - it’s nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about.

“You never know how you’d feel if you didn’t have it done, but I definitely feel more confident. People might say, ‘Oh, I can’t believe you’ve had a hair transplant’. But thankfully they are becoming the norm and people are a lot more accepting of them these days.”

Jansen follows in a long line of footballers who have had hair transplant surgery, including Wayne Rooney, David Platt, Michael Gray and Ashley Barnes.

Jansen played 54 times for Carlisle, scoring 13 goals, before being sold to Crystal Palace in 1998 for £1m. His career faltered after the moped accident, when his confidence hit rock bottom.

He said: “I was on the floor, where I used to be ultra confident. In 2002, the prevailing view was that if you went to see a psychologist, you were weak. You were ‘crazy’. I was hamstrung by self-doubt and it had a massive impact on my career.”