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Luke Chadwick talks honestly about how jokes about his appearance affected him

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  • Luke Chadwick talks honestly about how jokes about his appearance affected him

    Luke Chadwick talks honestly about how jokes about his appearance affected him


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    “I was always so anxious about going out. Even if people didn’t say anything to me, I was worried they were thinking that about me or that someone might say something. All I would really do was go training, then come home and stay in my flat. And if anyone asked me if I was all right, it was always, ‘Yeah yeah, I’m fine, it’s just what I want to do’.

    “I wouldn’t say it affected me on the pitch or that it was the reason why I didn’t have an incredible career at Man United. It was more how it affected me off the pitch. I would be anxious going out. Even going to the Trafford Centre, it was always in the back of my mind that someone might say something negative to me or that people would be looking at me a certain way.

    “Everything was about my appearance and the way I looked off the pitch. I just found it really hard to deal with. I was a really quiet, shy boy. I didn’t speak much anyway and it really stunted my growth as a person.”

    “They Think It’s All Over was such a hugely popular show back then,”

    “When they started bringing it up, they were bringing me to the attention of millions of people.

    “I remember the first time and someone texting me to say, ‘Nice appearance on They Think It’s All Over‘. I was so shocked because I was quite naive back then, even if I was playing occasionally for Man United.

    “I looked at that text and I thought, ‘Oh no, what’s this?’. Then more people started talking about it. I watched it the next week and I could see people laughing at these jokes about me. It was obviously funny to other people but, to me, it didn’t feel like that. It was on every Friday and then the next day, when the game was on, it was fresh in people’s minds.

    “After that, I would dread every Friday. I wasn’t a hugely confident guy anyway and this just made it worse. I used to half-watch it, hoping and praying that they would stop. But they never did. It just carried on and on. Because it was silly and childish, if it had happened once, I don’t think it would have been that much of a problem. It was the continuation every single week that really got to me. They would bring me up every week.

    “I have always asked myself whether I should have tried to speak to them about it. As a 19 or 20-year-old boy, would it have been possible to speak to someone at the BBC and stop them talking about me? Or would they have carried on anyway? You’d like to think it would have stopped. But I don’t know. At the time, it was just accepted.”

    "One of the disappointments was that, as a kid, I remember watching England in the World Cup and Lineker was one of the heroes of the team.

    "So to hear him saying negative stuff about me, even if it was something silly about the way I looked, was sad for me.'

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