The 27 year-old reveals he contemplated deliberately crashing his car on the way to a match. He also claims he was physically assaulted and had his car ‘keyed’ just because he was Marcus Maddison
Maddison also disclosed his unusual pre-match dietary habits in an exclusive interview with SPORTbible.com here
Maddison, who shook the football world by joining non-league Spalding United last month, said: “It’s awful to say, but I literally just wanted to take a picture of my car in a ditch, just to say I couldn’t make it in.
“In this city (Peterborough), I become a villain for no reason. My car got keyed on my drive. I’ve been punched on nights out for no reason - just because of the way I play football. People don’t agree with it. They think I’m arrogant. People can’t differentiate between the man that’s a footballer and the man who is a normal person.
“I was quite fortunate that I joined Peterborough (in 2014) with Darren Ferguson in charge. He was quite relaxed on the training ground, say if you had a niggle or anything like that, he was cool with it. Because I’d just gone up the leagues, my body was a bit battered and bruised.
“I suffered a few injuries in that first season. He would give you time off as long as you could play on a Saturday, it didn’t really matter if you trained. He wasn’t like that when he came back to Peterborough. I can’t lie.
“I’d tuck into a chicken masala with chips, rice and a big naan bread on the night before a Saturday match. I loved it. It was my favourite. And it made no difference to my performance on a Saturday.
“Chicken Pasta pot, a flapjack and a Lucozade Orange. That would be my pre-match meal - a £3 meal deal from Tesco’s - and then I’d play.
“I played better when I was happy. When you do what you want, and when you enjoy life, it shows in performances. I always found when I tried to do everything correctly, and I did what everyone wanted me to do, my performances dipped because I was keeping everyone else happy and not myself.
“I’ve felt hard done by in the past. I believe if I had played in the Championship earlier, I would have gone on to play for a Premier League club. I believe I’ve had my time. I know I’m only 27 and this is meant to be my prime, but I’ve tried my hardest with my ability. If you’re not going up the levels, it’s not for you.
“I was getting 22 assists, 13 goals. Double figures, season after season. Doing that as a midfielder, you’d think surely, year after year, somebody was going to come in, but it was just constant disappointment. Eventually, I was just like: I don’t care anymore.
“Football has a very specific kind of banter. And if you don’t fit into that category, and you don’t enjoy that sort of banter, you’re not going to have many friends. I believe that was the case for me. I had a couple of people I got on with. But I don’t really have any friends in football. I’m my own man.
“The love for football probably hadn’t been there for a long time. It’s nice to come out of it, to be honest.”
Maddison joined Posh from non-league Gateshead and made 249 appearances for the club, scoring 62 goals, before joining Hull City on loan in January 2020.
He moved on a free transfer to Charlton Athletic in October last year before going to Bolton on loan in January, 2021.
Maddison quit Bolton and turned his back on proifessional football in April claiming ‘all the abuse, pressures and monotony of the last two years’ had got to him.
And then a former Posh teammate in Gaby Zakuani reached out last month and invited Maddison to join him at Spalding in the Northern Premier Midlands Division - the eighth tier of English football.
Maddison added: “Gaby reached out to me first. It was like a first-come, first-served kind of thing. I know him well. He’ll let me play how I kind of want to play. He’ll give me free rein.
“It’s part-time so it’s not a huge commitment. It’s everything I want from football at the minute. A relaxed atmosphere. Have a laugh. Play well and just get back to enjoying what football is actually all about.