Footballer turned TV star Dion Dublin almost paralysed for life in horror injury

The biggest challenge in my life so far was… overcoming a broken neck.

I did it while playing for Aston Villa against Sheffield Wednesday in 1999. It could have ended my career or even left me paralysed, so I was very lucky.

My perfect evening is… cosying up with a Chinese takeaway, two beers and a box-set. I’m really into psychological thrillers.

When I feel down I love to… see my one-year-old daughter Ruby smile – my children are my world. That and going to
the gym.

The best thing my parents taught me was… the importance of having manners and values. They cost nothing.

My greatest weakness is… that I’m too generous. I get told off by my wife Cheryl a lot of the time for offering too much.

Dion has appeared on Celebrity Masterchef
(
BBC/Shine TV)

She says to me, “Why are you doing that? You did that last time. Why are you driving? I will.”

She tells me to stop being too kind and doing too much.

The bravest thing I have ever done is… a parachute jump for my son’s 21st birthday in Las Vegas. It was horrible.

I’m so scared of heights. I was like, “I don’t know if I can do it”, but they pushed me out of the plane – I screamed my head off.

It was amazing though. I’m so glad I did it and I’ve ticked it off my bucket list. I’m the kind of person who will put myself in uncomfortable situations to see if I can cope.

The one thing in life I was never prepared for was… losing my mum Rose. Bless her.

My biggest strength is… taking myself out of my comfort zone to find out what I can achieve and see how mentally strong I really am.

You have to do that to see what you are willing to do and how far you are willing to push yourself.

My proudest moment was… when I did a speech in front of Her Majesty The Queen and the Prime Minister years ago for The Prince’s Trust. That was nerve-racking, I was ridiculously nervous.

If you can push yourself when you’re feeling incapable, you can achieve anything.

The people in my life who inspire me are… my family. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them cheering me on. We are a team.

My childhood ambition was… actually to be a professional football player.

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