Brad Dwyer is an exceptionally talented hooker, but he didn’t have it easy growing up.
Every rugby league fan will probably know that Dwyer has a birthmark around his neck that goes down to his chest, and, the Leeds talisman spoke to the Out Of Your League podcast about its impact on his life.
“The way I was as a child was determined through my birthmark,” Dwyer said.
“Mine was very much a childhood of being embarrassed when I look back now – I didn’t think I had an issue with my birthmark but it was an embarrassment looking back.
“I sit back and think why was I a class clown or so immersed in rugby and when I look back it was the scars.
“Everyone was laughing at me because I was a joker or people were saying I was a good rugby player whereas it wasn’t Brad Dwyer with a birthmark.
“It’s linked to my personality away from rugby and 100% I believe if i didn’t crave that well done or laugh I don’t think I would have been a rugby league player – I’m not the biggest or fastest but I just wanted to impress.”
The 28-year-old professed that it was a breakup that prompted him to seek help.
“I went through a bit of counselling and player welfare at Leeds because I’d gone through a breakup and I was really upset with depression and suicidal thoughts and that’s why I reached out.
“I left school in year 5 because i got bullied, but I’d forgotten about that until therapy.
“Up to 25 I didn’t think I had an issue with my birthmark, but when I started therapy we went through all this.
“I wouldn’t meet new people and I wouldn’t be in environments I was uncomfortable in.
“I wanted to hit it head on and speak about it publicly.”
Dwyer will be in action tonight as Leeds host Castleford.