Luke Chadwick On Mental Health Struggles
Former Manchester United and Burnley midfielder Luke Chadwick has opened up on his mental health struggles after suffering abuse about his appearance. He was abused about his appearance every week as a running joke on the BBC show “They Think It’s All Over” which made him dread ever Friday as he tried to earn a starting spot with the Red Devils.
Chadwick, who was at Manchester United from 1999 to 2004 said, ” I lacked confidence and the barbs about my looks made the problem even worse at a point in my career that should have been the best time of my life. I was so shocked because I was quite naive back then, even if I was playing occasionally for Manchester United. I had been brought up in a little village south of Cambridge and I never realised that playing for Manchester United would make me that famous and that people would know me.
As more people started talking about the show, I made the decision to watch it the next week and I could see people laughing at these jokes about me. It was obviously funny to other people, but for me it didn’t feel like that. It was on every Friday and then the next day I would have a game in the Premier League with it fresh in people’s minds. I wasn’t a hugely confident guy and this just made it worse, I used to half watch it hoping & praying that they would stop, but they never did it just carried on.
It was silly and childish, but if it had happened once I don’t think it would have been that much of a problem. However it was a continuation every single week that really got to me. They would bring me up every week and I have always asked myself whether I should have tried to speak to them (the BBC) about it. As a young lad would it have been possible to speak to someone at the BBC and stop them talking about me or would they have just carried on anyway.”