A letter to football – By Luke Chadwick

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When my football career came to an end it brought about great personal challenges accepting my playing career was at an end. To help get over this I was encouraged to write down my thoughts and feelings, I decided to do this in the form of a letter.

I stumbled across this letter on my laptop and thought I would share it in this week’s blog, reading back through this enlightened me and showed that even our greatest challenges give us the opportunity to develop and progress in life when at the time it may not feel that way.

Dear football,

I wanted to write this letter to let you know that even though I’m really hurting at this time that you’re no longer part of my life in a playing capacity I’m still so grateful for everything you have done for me and the life you have given me over the years and allowing me to live out my dream.

From the moment I first started kicking a ball about, I have been encapsulated by you and can’t imagine how much time we must have spent together. I still remember vividly the first live game I went to in a stadium and the profound effect that had on me, the atmosphere, the excitement, the thrill! The players out on the pitch felt to me like Gods and in my young mind if I ever got to be one of them my life would be complete!

Since those early experiences you have taken centre stage in my life, I couldn’t get enough of you and you have always been a constant. We’ve certainly had some ups and downs over the years like any relationship and I’ve certainly questioned at times if we were really the right match during the injuries and challenges that come with being a footballer player but through every rocky patch I would always go back to those earliest days and why I started playing in the first place and that was always for the fun and enjoyment and being part of a team. This always brought great comfort and pride that I was living my dream and although hard at times I was doing something I loved.

At this time I’m feeling a little lost without you, I don’t really know where I sit in the world anymore, it feels so strange not getting up every morning to go into training and run around. I am not feeling much motivation to do anything else and am not really sure where to turn. I feel upset and angry with myself that I haven’t prepared for not having you in my life and don’t really know what else I can do.

I know I have so much of my life left to live but at the moment my negative mindset just feels like the best part of my life is over and without you moving forward feels so scary. I hope in time I can move forward with greater confidence and positivity and I’m sure the great memories and lessons you taught me can support me with this.

Despite all of these feelings at the moment I still love you and am sure I always will and again I am so grateful for everything you have done for me. But I now know the path forward is without playing this wonderful game day in, day out and I have to accept that to move forward to the next stage of my life.

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