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Notoriously outspoken footballer Marcus Maddison has opened up about his shock move to Spalding United after destroying his mental health in professional games for several years.
In an interview with SPORTbible, Marcus Maddison said he found himself in a very dark place during his time as a professional footballer and the 27-year-old hopes to fall in love with the game again now after leaving part-time.
The Durham-born attacking midfielder was tipped for big things during his six-year tenure at Peterborough United, but admits his love for football was slowly fading.
His career seemed to be all but over after a series of unsuccessful appearances in the Football League, but last month Marcus dropped four divisions to join the part-time team Spalding United in the Northern Premier League South / East Division.
He said, “In Peterborough I became a villain for no reason. My car was set on fire while I was driving, I was beaten at night – all because of the way I play football.
“People can’t tell the difference between a footballer and a normal person.”
Marcus is just that, a normal guy. He ate a chicken tikka masala the night before every game in Peterborough, and on game day he bought a Tesco meal for £ 3.
He points to a specific incident where he planned to crash his car in order to leave training. “I just didn’t want to be there,” he said.
After leaving Peterborough, he had disappointing times at Hull City, Charlon Athletic, and Bolton Wanderers, all of which entered the downward spiral of Maddison’s mental health.
His move to Bolton was canceled after just ten appearances, and Marcus says he was wondering what direction his career and life would be headed.
He added, “I’ve tried to adapt and be happy, but if I can’t be happy on a winning team fighting for promotion, that’s clearly something deeper.
“Football has a very specific kind of banter. And if you don’t fit into that category and don’t like that kind of banter, you won’t have many friends. “
He has earned a bad rap off the field with soccer fans, and a spate of online abuse has hit Marcus so badly that he is at a crossroads.
He announced that he receives abusive messages on social media every day, which contributed to his loss of love for football.
Maddison surprised everyone in the English football world when he was relegated to the eighth division in May to join Spalding United part-time out of Lincolnshire, primarily to remember why he plays football.
He joined the club because of his relationship with former Peterborough United teammate and current Spalding United manager Gabriel Zakuani.
Marcus said, “Gaby is a big deal to me. He spoke to me first. It was literally. It was like a first come first served thing. I know him well. He lets me play how I want to play. He gives me a free hand. “