FOOTBALLER John O'Shea has revealed how asthma nearly ended his Old Trafford dream.
The 28-year-old Manchester United star, who has been out all season from a freak leg injury he suffered in the Thierry Henry Paris game, admited that his football career nearly ended before it began.
Waterford man O'Shea is one of half a million asthma sufferers in Ireland and will reveal his battle with the disorder on RTE's Health Of The Nation show tonight.
The condition is responsible for around 80 deaths a year as people suffer from severe attacks and stop breathing.
John will talk tonight on the affect asthma had on his career. "Without a doubt I was worried it would affect my career," he said. "There's a bit of an embarrassment factor as well, before games when you are in a dressing room with friends and teammates and you have to pull out a little blue inhaler and take a puff."
He explains that many of his teammates stare at him wondering exactly what he's doing. "Everyone is saying 'what's he doing, what's he taking there?' but it's something you have to get over, really."
Ireland has the highest level of asthma in Europe and the fourth highest in the world.
John has managed to become a finely tuned athlete despite the condition, helped by the assistance of medical professionals at Manchester United.
"It's kept me out of games," O'Shea admitted.
He went on to advise kids not to be ashamed of their inhalers because they are designed to keep them safe and free from the risk of severe attacks.
"My advice to kids would be not to be ashamed of the inhalers that are there to help you and to make sure it (asthma) is just a small thing in your way," he added.