FA Cup: Stacey Freeman on why men talking about their emotions is a strength

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Stacey Freeman (center) is wearing a white wristband in honor of Connor Saunders

Stacey Freeman will face Stockport County this weekend in one of the most important FA Cup games in Stamford’s history. He will remember his friend who was shot and killed while out on a night out.

In memory of Connor Saunders who was attacked on the streets and died from head injuries, the former reality TV contestant wore a white wristband.

Freeman said that they played football together and shared the same school. He also had the same friends. Freeman broke down when he was featured on the E4 reality series Shipwrecked external link in 2019.

The defender, who is 28 years old, wants men to be open about their feelings.

Freeman says that you don't really say how much someone loves you until they are gone. He will be lining up at Edgeley Park for the fourth qualifying round of the Northern Premier League Division One Midlands team Stamford in Saturday's fourth round.

"It had an enormous impact on my life and that of my friend group."

Freeman, who was a former model and bodydouble, believes that men should talk about their emotions. It is not weakness.

He struggled to express himself before appearing on reality television. However, he says that the show helped him to be more open about his feelings.

He says, "Never put things down and be comfortable being yourself."

Stacey Freeman (right), a model, was a body double in an advertisement for Tottenham defender Ben Davies. Freeman says, "People believe you must look exactly the same." You don't. They had to remove the tattoos from my arm."

"I didn't care about watching TV and crying"

"I grew-up boxing with my older brothers. Although I have learned how to manage myself, I was still crying while watching television.

Freeman recalls the moment he fell on the shipwrecked set, a show that was set on the beautiful beaches of the Cook Islands and featured tasks, eliminations, and blazing rows.

He was given the task of sending two people home, and had to choose who.

He says, "I was crying because these people were having fun and I felt connected with them." "I thought to myself, "I've been crying for a good 15-20 minutes and it will be on national television."

"I was not afraid of how I would be depicted. Shipwrecked opened up a part of me that I didn't know existed.

It made me realize that I am an emotionally driven person. Is there anything wrong with expressing your emotions and crying?

"Prior the show, I struggled with opening up. Growing up, I was a tough guy. I would break up with a girl and not care."

Connor, Freeman's friend, was tragically killed in a single punch in Brighton in 2012. external link Freeman, a former Whitehawk, Eastbourne Borough, and Lewes player, is still emotional about his death nine years later.

He wears a wristband during matches that features his initials and favorite shirt number. It also includes the number of lives he saved through organ donation.

"He made the selfless choice at 16 to be an organ donor. Freeman says that five lives were saved by his generosity.

"Every game, I pray a little prayer for Connor."

Stacey Freeman is just one win away with Stamford in the FA Cup First Round. Stamford started this season's competition during the extra preliminary round.

"I was punched in my face"

Six years after Connor's death, Freeman was attacked while out on a night in Brighton.

After a successful trial at League Two club, he was celebrating with his teammates at Lewes.

The contract was not signed. Freeman sustained a severe ankle injury in the 2018 incident that required extensive treatment.

He says, "I was devastated at that time."

Freeman, who was a student of criminology at a university in the United States added: "Someone called me and as I turned, I was punched in my face.

"A police officer intervened and landed on my ankle. My foot was the size of a rugby football when I woke up the following morning.

"A few days before, I had played an In-House game for Stevenage. A call came from the recruiter saying that they would offer me something.

"The offer was never made."

Five wins and a 40-year old - Stamford FA Cup Run. Stamford's FA Cup ran began on August 7th with a 2-0 victory at Oadby Town, in front of 60 people in the additional preliminary round. They won five matches to reach the fourth qualifying round, including a 2-1 win at Telford, who play in two tiers higher. The club's third manager is Boss Graham Drury, also known as the Daniels. After leading them to the first round of the 2016-17 season, he beat Wrexham (from three leagues higher) in the fourth qualifying round. They then lost 3-0 at League Two Hartlepool. Cosmos Matwasa, a winger who attracted interest from higher clubs, has scored three of their eleven goals in FA Cup qualifying. This season, Stamford has earned at least 16,944 dollars in prize money. Stamford's team also includes Jon Challinor (40), a defender who helped York City earn promotion to the Football League. He was also part of York's FA Trophy win over Newport at Wembley that same season.

'I'm forever grateful'

Freeman emerged from Shipwrecked armed with thousands of more Instagram followers and a modeling contract that took him to Cape Town in South Africa for three months.

Reality TV stars from the past have spoken out about the negative effects that reality TV shows can have on their mental health.

Freeman says that his five weeks aboard Shipwrecked was a life-changing experience. He learned to be open about his feelings and it changed his life.

It taught me so much about myself and gratitude. He adds, "For that I'm forever thankful."

He has no plans to return to reality television two years after the original program aired.

Darren Freeman, Stacey's father, scored a hat trick against Mansfield in Brighton & Hove Albion’s first league match at Withdean Stadium - a council owned athletics track – in 1999

To be with Terri, he has moved to Lincolnshire from the south coast. They have been engaged. Freeman is now focusing on his construction-related recruitment agency, while Terri is still modeling.

His new club Stamford, which plays in the eighth level of English football and is the last team to start this season's FA Cup at extra preliminary stage stage, is a world from the Cook Islands where Freeman sought fame and fortune.

He says, "I have put everything behind me."