Jack Wilshere has revealed that worries over his son suffering seizures played a part in his absences from the Arsenal team as he looked to recover from a serious injury.
The midfielder, now at West Ham, credits Arsene Wenger for giving him time to spend with his family, but admits he found it hard to focus on football when his child was going through such a difficult time.
In an interview with Athlete’s Stance, he says it gave him perspective on what’s really important, and reminded people that there’s often a lot more going on behind the scenes than people know.
“It makes you realise that football is not everything,” he said after spending night after night awake, and at hospitals with Archie as he tried to come back from a broken leg suffered in training after a tackle from Gabriel.
“A few people knew. That’s why I speak so highly of Arsene Wenger as well because he was brilliant. He said to me, ‘Listen, you deal with your son, you take however long it takes’.
“This is why this injury took so long. People don’t realise that. They think you get injured and they say, ‘He’s always injured, he’s injury-prone, he’s never going to be fit’, but they don’t realise what goes on behind closed doors.
“For the first four, five months of that rehab I didn’t want to be rehabbing, I was in and out of hospitals.
“I wasn’t sleeping because of my son, and I didn’t really care, to be honest with you, because my main focus was him. I sort of switched off from the outside world a little bit.
“It makes you change the way you think about things and life, because anything can happen. And yeah I’m a footballer and it’s great – but family comes first, always.”
Jack endured another injury hit season after his move to the Hammers, but let’s hope he can stay fit and play regularly again. It’d be great to see him get a spell where he could remind people of his talent.