Prince William has made a surprising revelation in a new BBC documentary focused on men's health in the world of football. The father-of-three admitted that his eyesight became so bad that the faces of the audiences were just a blur when he made an address. However, he said there is an upside to his health issue – his poor eyesight allowed him to overcome the anxiety of giving important speeches. Asked by a grassroots footballer, who suffers from anxiety, if he ever worried or felt uneasy constantly being in the public gaze, the Duke replied that he did when younger, especially when it came to making big speeches.
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Prince William appears in a new BBC documentary focused on men's health in the world of football
"My eyesight started to tail off a little bit as I got older, and I didn't used to wear contacts when I was working, so when I gave speeches I couldn't see anyone's face. And it helps, because it's just a blur of faces and because you can't see anyone looking at you - I can see enough to read the paper and stuff like that - but I couldn't actually see the whole room. And actually that really helped with my anxiety," William candidly replied.
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William, 37, was followed for the past year for the BBC documentary – titled Football, Prince William And Our Mental Health - as he travelled around the country promoting his Heads Up initiative, which aims to raise awareness about mental health and encourage football supporters to speak about their problems or support a fellow fan.
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During a visit to West Bromwich Albion Football Club to meet players past and present who have experienced people close to them committing suicide, the Duke said: "It is one of the biggest killers of young men under 45. As pain and grief goes, and I've heard this from sadly too many families who have been bereaved by suicide, it is one of the rawest forms of grief because you're left with so many unanswered questions. Could I have done more, should I have done more, why did they do it?"
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The avid Aston Villa fan also revealed football has become more important to him as he has got older: "You know it's weird because, I've always loved football but I love football more now than I've ever loved it before and I don't know what it is, whether it's because I'm a parent now and I need football more in my life, I don't know maybe it is that."
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Football, Prince William And Our Mental Health will be broadcast on Thursday at 8.05pm on BBC One.