Why it doesn’t hurt to lie when you have a pouch
Sometimes we face situations where we have to be a little sparing with the truth with our friends and work-mates, as Manchester United footballer Darren Fletcher discovered.
However honest and upstanding we pouch-owners may like to see ourselves, there are moments when a little bit of, how shall we put it, economy with the truth is the best way to get on with our daily lives.
Take the story of Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher. He first noticed he had ulcerative colitis in 2008 but carried on playing Premiership football regardless and was even selected for Scotland during his illness.
Darren’s one remedy was to take medication to help control these tricky spells. Sometimes it meant lying to his teammates about why he wasn’t playing at his peak. “I found it very difficult making up stories; reasons why I wasn’t at training, why I was looking ill and why I was rushing off to the bathroom… Basically lying to people’s faces,” he told The Independent newspaper recently.
He says: “I stayed silent until around 2011 to 2012 because it’s not something you generally talk about, the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. My close family and friends knew, but nobody else knew at the club,” said the 30-year-old international who has played for Scotland 62 times.
Part of Darren’s problem was that as a professional footballer who had captained his country he felt invincible. He also believed his condition would eventually get better.
“I was going to the toilet anywhere between 10 and 30 times a day without much time to get there, losing a lot of blood in the process as well,” he said. As Darren’s condition worsened he had to seek specialist medical help and at the end of 2011, took an extended break from the game, eventually having colon surgery in January 2013.
After second and third operations later in the year, the midfielder returned to play for Manchester United in December 2013 and has kept a regular place in the side since then.
Fletcher recently joined up with Lewis Moody, the former England rugby player who has suffered from uc for years (as featured in the Christmas 2012 Roar) to launch a United for Colitis dinner for the Crohn’s and Colitis UK charity.
Now that he has “come out” about his uc, Darren says his teammates are happy to joke about it. “They’ve almost been a bit like ‘oh right, OK; you’re not dying are you? So get on with it,” he told The Independent.
“Once I started talking about it [uc] and making it public knowledge it was such a relief. It was the best thing I did,” said Darren, who is the father of seven-year-old twin boys.
“The surgery was a success, I’m better now and I’m living a normal life… Though there are no guarantees with surgery, it has enabled me to be back playing for Manchester United and feeling great.”