3 Football Superstars who overcame serious medical conditions as a child
Football is not just a game, it is an emotion. Football is made up of agonies and ecstasies - it is 90 minutes of pure elation that stays with us long after the game is over. The powers of the beautiful game cannot be defined in words. It unites enemies, divides families and makes the impossible possible. Most of all, the game never ceases to inspire.
Through its journey of ups and downs, football teaches us many different lessons in life and perhaps the greatest lesson is learnt in the relentless pursuit of victory - never give up.
While football inspires, footballers, take up the mantle of real-life heroes. Today, we take a look at 3 such real-life superheroes in football, who overcame serious health conditions as a child and went on to become household names.
#3 Tim Howard - Tourette's Syndrome and OCD
The American is a well-known face in the world of football. He played for Manchester United in the 2003/04 and 2004/05 season, winning one FA Cup, one League Cup and one Community Shield. He then joined Premier League side Everton, where he spent 10 seasons, before rejoining MLS with Colorado Rapids in 2006. He is currently the goalkeeper as well as the Skipper of his club. Howard has had a hugely fruitful career both in club football as well as with his country. However, he had a very tough childhood.
He had enrolled in soccer school when he was six and that was where he discovered his desire to run and his love for the game. However, life became a lot harder all of a sudden, as Howard was diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
The symptoms had first appeared when he was 10 years old and the hics started when he had turned 11. He had trouble concentrating as his brain was diverted due to OCD and the tics; he also had a problem adjusting with the environment around him and his symptoms were often brushed aside as bad behaviour at school.
For little Tim Howard, it was like the world had crumbled over his head. Sadly, there was no reliable treatment to the disease.
When every hope failed, his passion for the beautiful game came to his rescue. Howard realized that while he was in goal and the opposition came running towards him, all his troubles left his body. He felt a strange responsibility to keep the ball out of his net and his concentration was so high that all the symptoms were wiped out. With time, Howard learned to relay those 90 minutes of concentration into his life and eventually became the champion of life.