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Luke Ayling Bravely Opens Up On Dealing With A Stammer After Years Of Avoiding Interviews

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Luke Ayling Bravely Opens Up On Dealing With A Stammer After Years Of Avoiding Interviews

Luke Ayling used to "shy away" from interviews when he first arrived at Leeds United because of his stammer, but the full-back is now doing more in front of the camera to find his own voice.

The 30-year-old defender, who joined the ranks at Elland Road in 2016, has bravely opened up about his stammer in an interview with the BBC, where he speaks candidly about the consequences it has on his every day life.

Image credit: BBC
Image credit: BBC

In a chat with presenter Emma Louise Jones, the former Yeovil player speaks about having his partner order a meal from the drive-thru because of "insecurities" and the reaction from his previous interviews online.

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“When I first came to Leeds, I wasn’t comfortable at all doing interviews,” Ayling said in an interview with BBC that is set to air on Thursday.

“And I’ve kind of got to a point now where I just don’t care. If I do an interview and I have a stutter, I see a lot of things online when people say that I say ‘then’ and ‘like’ a lot but that’s my safety blanket kind of thing.

“Because I know that I can get those words out. I see a lot of people who maybe don’t know that I’ve got a stutter say ‘all I hear is then and like’. I just got to a point where I just thought, do you know what, I’m doing an interview with somebody who wants to speak to me and who actually wants to hear what I’ve got to say so why am I scared to do it? Because I shied away for so long from doing it.

“But I will still go to a drive-thru and I’ll be sat in the driver’s seat and I’ll still make my missus order it because I don’t want to do it. So, I still have those insecurities.

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“It’s horrible because I sit here and I’ve got loads of things that I want to say but I know I can’t get them out so I just ramble on. That’s probably why I’m quite loud in the dressing room and just don’t care because I just say what I feel.”

Ayling, who failed to make the grade at Arsenal as a youngster, says his decision to join Yeovil Town in 2010 was the right one.

"I got released at 18 and knew I had to fight to make a career for myself. Whether that was in League One, Championship or whatever," he said.

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"The biggest thing for me was getting out and playing men's football. I was comfortable in Arsenal reserves but it wasn't doing much for my career.

"So I decided to take the step to Yeovil and I certainly feel I made the right decision."

The full-back has since made over 200 appearances for Leeds after a four year spell at Yeovil.

Featured Image Credit: BBCMOTD/Twitter

Topics: Leeds United, Premier League

Jack Kenmare
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