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Former Premier League star Greg Halford fights back tears as he reveals autism diagnosis

Former Premier League star Greg Halford fights back tears as he reveals autism diagnosis

Greg Halford played 28 times in the Premier League for the likes of Reading, Sunderland and Wolves.

Former Premier League star Greg Halford fought back tears as he revealed his autism diagnosis in a brave new interview.

Halford played 28 times in the Premier League, representing the likes of Reading, Sunderland and Wolves.

He turned out for a total of 17 clubs, including the likes of Portsmouth, Nottingham Forest, Brighton, Birmingham, Aberdeen and Waterford and made more than 500 career appearances.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

But until now, the defender hid that he is on the autism spectrum after a recent diagnosis which came after his son, who was "exactly the same" as him at the same age, was discovered to have the condition.

Halford disclosed his autism diagnosis on the Under the Cosh podcast when talking about his move to Roy Keane's Sunderland in 2007.

He made a £3 million move to the North East just six months on from a switch to Reading and struggled to settle.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

"I haven’t told anyone this in the football world or anything but I’m on the spectrum of autism," Halford said.

"So, change, and not knowing at that time, fitting into a new group of people and changing, the way I live, where I live, being away from my family, my girlfriend at the time. I found it very, very hard.

"It was hard to interact with people. After training, I never wanted to go into the cafeteria because I didn’t want to be around. I felt awkward. It was just a weird sensation so I would just go home."

Halford was visibly emotional during the section of the chat, explaining how difficult he found it to socialise away from the pitch.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

He added: "Being on the pitch is completely different, that’s my area, I can control myself there.

"But when it’s small intimate groups, I found it very difficult at that sort of time."

The former England youth international is now playing for ambitious Hashtag United and helped them secure promotion to the seventh tier last season.

He says he still would not have told anyone had he been diagnosed earlier in the peak of his playing career.

Halford stated: "If I’d known that diagnosis at that time still wouldn’t have told anyone because I wanted to learn for myself.

"I wanted to grow as a person and make the mistakes that I needed to make in order to be better in the future."

Halford's courageous admission comes after former Sunderland and West Brom winger James McClean revealed he has autism.

Featured Image Credit: Under the Cosh

Topics: Premier League, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Nottingham Forest, Reading