Ex-Manchester United trainee from Chorley backs Arthritis Research UK campaign (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Ex-Manchester United trainee from Chorley backs Arthritis Research UK campaign
AN ex-Manchester United trainee who ‘ran like the wind’ has spoken of the daily frustrations of living with arthritis.
Richard Flash, from Chorley, has suffered from the condition ever since his promising career was cut short by a severe knee injury in 1998.
Richard had shared a room with David Beckham as a teenager, before frustrating spells at Wolves, Watford and Plymouth in which he played just 11 professional matches.
But he has since been to university and now works as head of academic at UCFB sports and business college in Burnley.
And now he has backed a campaign by the charity Arthritis Research UK to raise awareness about the difficulties of living with the condition.
The 37-year-old said: “Fergie used to say I could run like the wind, but I can’t run at all now.
“The initial problem was caused by a dislocation of my kneecap while I was at United, but then it happened much worse at Plymouth Argyle. From that day it was an arthritic knee and there wasn’t a lot I could do. I’ve not played competitively ever since. It obviously took a few years to sink in that my career was gone and that was tough to deal with, but also that I was never going to be able to run a marathon or go for a jog. But I’m a positive person and I’ve made the best of things.”
Richard said there were dozens of daily movements which brought pain in his knee, and many people were unaware of how limiting and painful arthritis could be.
He said: “The knee does gives me pain but it’s just something I try and block out. It’s always there but it’s a case of whether I choose to acknowledge it or not.”
Professor Alan Silman, of Arthritis Research UK, said sufferers are faced with a huge range of daily frustrations, from difficulties with opening a food container to being unable to walk up stairs.
He said: “One in six people in the UK are living with pain. We are asking people to make an effort to find out more about what it feels like to have arthritis, and learn what they can do to help a loved one who is affected.”
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