Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has opened up on the "dread" he felt every Friday thanks to jibes about his appearance on a BBC panel show.
Chadwick said the running jokes about him on sports comedy show 'They Think It’s All Over' even affected him on matchdays as he tried to earn a starting spot with the Red Devils.
The 39-year-old, who was at United from 1999 to 2004, said he lacked confidence and the barbs about his looks made the problem even worse at a point in his career that "should have been the best time of my life".
“I remember the first time and someone texting me to say, ‘Nice appearance on They Think It’s All Over’," Chadwick said in an interview with The Athletic.
"I was so shocked because I was quite naive back then, even if I was playing occasionally for Manchester United.
"I’d been brought up in a little village south of Cambridge where nothing really happened. I never realised I was famous and that people knew who I was.
“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."
Chadwick added: “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."
Chadwick made 25 leagues appearances for United, scoring two goals and winning the Premier League title in 2001, before joining West Ham in 2004. He went on to play for Stoke City, Norwich, MK Dons and Cambridge United.
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