As success as professional footballer, notably for Brighton & Celtic, Adam Virgo has won his fair share of battles on the pitch. These days, Adam is a familiar face and voice on BT Sport where he commentates on National and European leagues. He also writes for a number of football publications. It is off the pitch however, where Adam has had to fight probably his toughest battle. That is working with dyslexia. After challenges at school, a professional football career meant that dyslexia was not much of an issue but now with a career in the media and public speaking engagements and interviews, it has reared its head again and Adam outlines some of the obstacles he has had to overcome in order to get where he is today. “I practice talking to myself every day and especially before a (commentary) game.” At the time of recording, this podcast interview is only the 2nd time that Adam has talked about his dyslexia in public and by doing so draws awareness to this much overlooked and underestimated disorder. “Even my employer has no idea of the challenges I have before each game”. Adam reflects on his time at schoolchildren are more protected these days but back then I was bullied and ridiculed a lot. I wanted to learn and paid attention in class but my dyslexia prevented me from translating my learning to the exam. I was always at the bottom. Yet at sport, I was an A star pupil”. At such a young age, Adam couldn’t understand why kids who weren’t good at sport were not ridiculed yet if you struggled academically, you were.” These days Adam goes the extra mile when researching and making notes for his commentary on games. “Because I want to and because I have to,” says Adam. “Football is a spontaneous game. I always have to be prepared for the unexpected”. The last thing Adam wants is sympathy and worries that the school model has not advanced much over the last century in terms of how information is delivered and that the experience if you’re dyslexic is much the same today as it’s always been. Adam is as compelling to listen to as he was to watch as player and I have now forgiven him for scoring all those goals against my own team back in the day! Adam talks proudly about the Academy he has created for aspiring young footballers in Brighton. “Hard work will always pay off in the end, “ he imparts. Get more by tuning in to this passionate and worthy podcast!

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