Jamie O’Hara has told talkSPORT he has stopped going out in London out of fear he will be targeted and potentially attacked by football fans.
The former Tottenham midfielder’s comments come after Gary McAllister was hospitalised after an unprovoked attack in Leeds city centre on Saturday evening.
Ex-Liverpool and Leeds star Mcallister was waiting for a taxi with his wife, Hayley, when he was punched in the face by a yob. He was taken to hospital by police and needed ten stitches in his top lip.
The couple were out for dinner in Leeds, just hours after McAllister, Steven Gerrard’s number two at Rangers, watched a Liverpool legends team beat AC Milan in a charity game at Anfield.
News of the nonsensical attack was been met with widespread shock, but O’Hara – who was no stranger to off-the field controversy during his early career – admits it’s part and parcel of everyday life in the public eye.
Speaking to talkSPORT, the former Spurs academy graduate – now player-assistant manager at non-league side Billericay Town – said footballers being targeted by the public is commonplace and is often due to ‘jealousy’.
“There are certain places you just don’t go anymore,” he told Jim White.
“I’ve actually stopped going out in London a lot now, I’ll only go to restaurants just because I think it’s not worth it.
“I’ve had instances in the past where people have started on me, I’ve had my watch taken off my in a nightclub before, but you kind of have to accept it.
“If you react and become violent, you’re going to be the one everyone talks about. I’ve been culprit of that in the past, where you react to something and you’re the one who all of a sudden puts yourself in a bad situation.
“When you put yourself out there, there are a lot of people who want to put you down and see you fail.
“I put myself out there on a big scale in terms of the profile I created for myself – some of it good, some of it bad – and there are some people who are jealous.”