Jonny Wilkinson - England's World Cup-winning rugby player admits to being obsessive and his fight with depression.
Many outsiders dismissed his behaviour as eccentric but Wilkinson was actually suffering from a crippling mental torment.
Ripping training tops in seething frustration, Bellowing obscenities at gym walls, Screaming his terrors away under water, Stamping his kicking foot until it hurt, Biting into his hand, trying to pierce the skin, were things that Wilkinson did before he became a national hero by scoring the winning drop-goal in the 2003 World Cup final.
Wilkinson's career has been interrupted repeatedly by a series of serious injuries.
The worst included a neck problem which required surgery, a fractured shoulder, a lacerated kidney and two bouts of major knee ligament damage.
Yet the fragile state of the Red Rose star's mind broke cover as far back as 2002 after he agreed with England boss Clive Woodward to take a summer off and miss the Argentina tour.
Deprived of rugby, of his teammates and the daily demands to excel that fuel his existence, Wilkinson nose-dived into a state of anxiety and self-doubt.
In his new book, Jonny: My Autobiography which is published tomorrow by Headline Publishing, Wilko admits: "A sense of helplessness dominated my summer days. Everything felt pointless, and my natural reaction was to treat the problem as I do my kicking, work it out and keep working on it until you do. But by focussing so intensely, I just made it worse."
After nearly two years out injured, Wilkinson asked Newcastle doctor Graeme Wilkes for sleeping pills and experienced panic attacks when he feared something serious had gone wrong in his life.
Finally, Wilkinson went to see Wilkes and rather than talk about injury, told him of the torment in his head.
Wilkinson, 33, who has just played in his fourth World Cup and is second in the all-time table of Test points scorers, said: "Graeme said what I needed to hear: I had an illness.
"He explained the illness was controlling everything else and that was far more important to deal with than the injury I had.
"I was referred to a therapist and he explained the illness was the cause of my depression and my panic attacks - and that it had a cure - he assured me I wasn't doomed."