Non-flying Dutchman had to accept loss of earnings due to phobia.
Dennis Bergkamp has revealed that his fear of flying cost him wages during his time at Arsenal.
The Dutchman spent 11 years in North London after arriving from Inter Milan in 1995 and is one of the club’s favourite sons.
The forward was famously scared of flying and missed away matches in Europe because of his refusal to board a plane.
In his autobiography, Stillness and Speed, Bergkamp says he had to accept that his phobia cost him money.
“In talks with Arsenal, if I said ‘a million’ they automatically deducted a hundred grand ‘because you don’t fly’. And I accepted that.”
Bergkamp also explained that he occasionally thought of flying during matches and says he will never fly again.
“It made me feel so awful and I began to develop such an aversion to it that it suddenly dawned on me: “I don’t want to do this any more.
“It got so bad I would look up at the sky during away games to see what the weather was like. Were there any clouds coming?
“Sometimes I was preoccupied by the flight home while I was playing football. It was hell.
“I’ve flown countless times in large planes, small ones, tiny ones. At Ajax, I once flew in a minuscule plane over Mount Etna near Naples when we got into a terrible air pocket – in terms of flying, I’ve seen and done it all and I’m simply not flying again. Ever.”