Turning down £15,000 a week!

I get a lot of Emails from people who are suffering or believe they are suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

I was struck down with this illness in 2000 at the height of my professional Football career. For anyone who is looking for a reference point for CFS I would suggest reading the article about the problems I had, including how it affected the end of my football career.

Nearly 6 Years after being diagnosed I am unable to resume even a semi-professional career in football and I am still trying to persuade my insurance company to recognise that this caused the end of my career, and to finally pay me. I wish they were as quick at settling claims as they are at accepting premiums!!!

At the time I was in my last year of my contract and negotiations had started to sign a new contract with Charlton that would have been worth in excess of £10,000/week and possibly as much as £15,000/week, an astronomical figure when I look back now, although in the year 2007 this probably isn't even the average salary of a premier league footballer.

I could have signed the new contract and sat on it for the next 2/3 years while I tried to recover from CFS. You cannot imagine how difficult a decision this was to make. Money vs my health. I suspect many players have taken the money option, and I played with a few who seemed to spend rather too much time off the football field than on it. However I knew something was wrong so I decided to opt for the (arguably) harder option, which was to change my lifestyle and take a total rest from Football. Of course this meant giving up my career at my peak, but no job is worth your health. Even if it is for £15,000/week.

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