My Story – By Luke Chadwick

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I know you probably won’t believe this but I very often find it really hard talking about my football career, I get a little awkward and am always very conscious of what other people think, getting worried that I will be perceived as big-headed and arrogant. But once I get going it feels quite natural and straightforward as I’m talking about the subject I know most about, me!

Over the past few years, I’ve delivered a few talks in both corporate and educational settings about my career in football, some of the challenges I encountered and the lessons I learnt along the way. When I have done this I have always felt a bit self-conscious and vulnerable wondering why people would want to listen to my story, but rather than shy away from that I embrace it because a lot of my story is about an inability to show vulnerability that saw me suffer greatly at times in my life.

There’s no better feeling in the world than helping others and after sharing my story with others I have been both shocked and blessed to have received messages from people that have listened to it tell me it has helped and supported them work through challenging times. When I say shocked it’s because it’s just my life I can’t imagine it being any different but at that same time when I reflect on it I am in a position to tell quite a powerful story, a story I wouldn’t change for the world, a story of incredible highs and the lowest lows that have shaped me into the person I am today.

I’m so excited to now be sharing my story on a larger scale with the Football Fun Factory in the hope it can help others who may be able to identify with situations that I have experienced and understand that every challenge is an opportunity to grow and develop to be the best possible version of ourselves. I of course don’t claim to be some sort of guru but I do know the power of shared experience and hearing about somebody else’s challenges and their thoughts and feelings towards them can normalise it and help people not feel alone.

My story starts with a shy little boy falling in love with football, finding a place on the pitch to feel free to express myself, going on a journey into professional footballer starting at the biggest club in the world and finding fame in the way I looked more so than what I did on the pitch before working my way through the leagues as journeyman pro but privileged to do what I always wanted. Until it came to an end feeling lost and broken not knowing what the future holds, forced to work through my demons to come out the other side!

I couldn’t tell you if it’s an interesting story but I can tell you that it is my story and it’s a completely honest account of how I found the real me!

You can listen to a bit of my story here!

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