Not an example, More like hope; Demitrius Omphroy: The comeback Kid of Football

The story of Demitrius Omphroy should sit at the top of the shelf to serve as a light to a lot, if not all, of the aspiring footballers and professional players who, for one reason or another, have to give up on Football at an unexpected time either willingly or due to reasons beyond their control, and having to transition into a life beyond the game.

Where it all began

Some Demitrius Omphroy stories have come across in one way or another, but for those having a first encounter with his story, Demitrius Omphroy is an inspiration and a model character for player transition. The lad grew up in California but was scouted by Sporting Lisbon in Portugal and invited to their academy when he was just about 16.

Young Demitrius as a  footballer

He was due to put his pen to paper to sign his first professional contract just before turning 18 after an impressive display of quality and athleticism. His place was definitely at the top, but shortly before then, he started having a blurry vision, which prevented him from continuing his fairytale with the Portuguese side; he had to return to America, where he was diagnosed with optic neuritis. Optic neuritis is a condition that affects the eye and your vision. It occurs when the optic nerve is inflamed, which is a bit of a nightmare for the young player.

Everything he tried to accomplish and work towards was not an example; it was more like hope, Demitrius Omphroy. The comeback kid of Football was turned upside down overnight. When his sight improved, the genius thing he did was not at first give up but decided to return to playing and was scouted to go to U.C. Berkeley and play for them; not only did he play, but he also took his education seriously as a means of transitioning and to have an option outside of Football, he studied as an art major and In his last year at school, he got signed and was to play for Toronto FC.

Demitrius Omphroy playing football

Alas, the sickness that kept him out of Football happened again. This time, it was more serious. According to an article written by FIFPRO on Demitrius Omphroy, He gave the account of the injury and the impact it had on him “When I was playing at Berkeley, I developed a numbness in my foot. An examination found that I had MS (Multiple sclerosis is a disease that impacts the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves, which make up the central nervous system and control Everything we do as humans). And that the earlier blurry vision in Lisbon was an initial manifestation of the illness. It happened so quickly and so out of the blue. In a way, I was relieved as it helped me understand what had happened four years earlier. But it was also scary to feel there is this unknown and that I don’t know what this disease can do to me. The worst-case scenario, aside from dying from it, is that I can end up in a wheelchair and not be able to play the game I love.”

Demitrius Omohroy expresses his frustration at being constantly sick on twitter

Demitrus transitions out of Football

He went on to play for a year in Toronto and was then due to sign with DC United, but he walked away from the contract. As he needed to champion his effort and transition outside of the ball business, he became a National MS Advocate Speaker, talking to other patients and doctors to provide hope while educating himself about the disease. Midway through the year, he went on to represent the Philippines national team, for which he was qualified to play through ancestral connections, a country his grandparents came from. Although he retired at 24, he never stopped making his mark on the game by being an advocate of MS and serving as an inspiration to other athletes who have, for one reason or another, stopped playing the game at a very young age or a shorter career different from they expected or prepare for; indeed the kid came back like he never left, the Football they say is an art; indeed DEMITRIUS OMPHROYis the ultimate artist.

Life After the Game

Demitrius Omphroy’s life outside of the pitch is far more inspiring than his time on it; having decided to become an artist, he no longer scores goals with his boots; he does it with a brush in his hands, and his brilliance is reflected on his canvas. He has gone on to establish himself as a professional painter. He uses his social media page, especially Instagram, to promote his art, which sustains his economic and social needs.

Popular singer and Songwriter- Selena Gomez follows Demitrius Omphroy’s on Instagram

All of this didn’t come easy, but he got back on his feet and lived an everyday life outside of Football because he decided to go back to school and study; this part of his life is what young athletes should take a cue from. In an interview with fifpro.com, when he was asked how difficult it was for him as a player to transition outside of the game, “I asked myself if I wanted to continue playing. I felt I was so much more than a professional football player, and I started thinking about what was next to do once I finished. I always dabbled with things, but ultimately, I felt I would stick to Football because it was what I’d always done. Yet I always had a little bit of doubt.”

Conclusion

Of course, every athlete would not hope to not play the game or be miserable after they retire or stop playing it. Still, proper orientation and preparedness will make the transition story a fraction easier. The reality is that many people want to be professional footballers, but the fact is that not a lot of people make it. For Demitrius Omphroy, it is just as ambitious to say he wants to be an artist. He was ready to show everybody that he could; that way, he turned his feathers into flying objects.

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