Stewart Downing has moved to send his former England team-mate Aaron Lennon the best wishes of everyone connected with Middlesbrough Football Club after it was revealed that the Everton winger has been detained under the Mental Health act amid concerns for his welfare.

Downing, 32, played and trained alongside the 30-year-old Lennon as part of the England set-up and his path has crossed regularly with the former Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur man, most recently when Everton came to the Riverside in February, and Lennon featured for the final 17 minutes of the game.

That was the last time the winger was seen in a Toffees shirt and Downing expressed his shock at this week's news.

"I'm very surprised," he said. "I know Aaron well because we were with England together for years and we've obviously come up against each other a lot too. 

"I was devastated when I saw the news, and we send our best wishes to him from everyone here at Middlesbrough. I'm sure there is a lot of support out there and we're all here for him."

Downing praised the help and support systems in place at Boro for helping players with issues, and stressed that support is key.

"We've got help here with psychologists, doctors and support mechanisms in place," he added.

"Footballers often get tagged with having an easy life and how can something like this affect them, but you don't know what goes on in peoples lives. Hopefully Aaron will be OK. He's a good lad and he has a lot of support.

"Help is there and there's no shame in asking for it. We're all behind Aaron."