The physical, emotional, and legal toll of playing through pain

Gareth Bale rifles home the third goal for Real Madrid in yesterday’s 3-1 win over Japan’s Kashima Antlers in last night’s Fifa Club World Cup semi-final clash at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Photo: Francois Nel/Getty Images.

Gareth Farrelly, the former Ireland international who played with Aston Villa, Everton, and Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League, and with Bohemians and Cork City in the League of Ireland, is now a sports lawyer of some renown.

A solicitor based in England, he sits regularly on arbitration panels for the FA.

I know Gareth from the sports law world but did not know about his time as a youth player at Aston Villa and the toxic, bullying culture he alleges was present at the club in the early 1990s.

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