'Freeze the Fear' viewers left heartbroken by Patrice Evra's revelations about tough childhood

Watch: Patrice Evra opens up on childhood trauma in Freeze the Fear

Footballer Patrice Evra shared the traumatic story of his childhood in Freeze the Fear last night, leaving viewers stunned by what he had been through.

The 40-year-old from Senegal had huge success in his footballing career, captaining both the French team and Manchester United, but told his BBC One show co-stars that he had built it on the foundations of living through poverty and sexual abuse.

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In a chat on Tuesday's episode about first jobs, Evra revealed that he had sold drugs and begged in the street as a 13 year old.

Patrice Evra swimming in ice water
Patrice Evra has shared some of his traumatic childhood. (Hungry Bear Media)

He said: "Begging in front of the shop, that for me was like normal. Sometimes at midnight when they throw all the cold Big Macs out, we were going through the bin and eating all those cold Big Macs.

"When my dad left, it was like chaos."

Co-stars including Gabby Logan, Tamzin Outhwaite and Chelcee Grimes congratulated Evra on having lifted himself out of poverty to become an international football star, but he had further tough revelations.

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He said: "Some stuff I'm not proud of. I don't want to finish with a bad note, but when I was 13 I'd been sexually abused by my headteacher."

Alfie Boe, Patrice Evra and Dianne Buswell around a campfire
Patrice Evra spoke to his co-stars about his life. (Hungry Bear Media)

Evra added: "I live with the trauma, that's the way I am.

"We all as a man live with that toxic masculinity, you know, crying is a weakness, and I never let any people in."

He said that he had eventually been able to open up to his family, but that he felt guilty as police had contacted him when he was 24 and playing in Monaco to talk about other allegations of the same man abusing children, and he had felt unable to talk to them about his own experiences.

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One viewer tweeted: "Wow Patrice Evra just broke my heart."

Someone else added: "Patrice Evra. Everything he's opening up about. Laid bare. Extraordinary man. You never really know someone #FreezeTheFear"

Freeze the Fear cast in the snow
Patrice Evra is taking part in Freeze the Fear. (Hungry Bear Media)

Another viewer wrote: "Respect to Patrice, has become such a success in spite of the most horrendous personal trauma."

Someone else commented: "Incredibly brave & courageous of @Evra to speak so openly about #SexualAbuse. His openness on tonight’s #FreezeTheFear will help many others to speak of their ordeal."

The episode also included a moving chat with Professor Green about losing his father, his own struggles with depression, and how becoming a dad himself had made him think about the loss more.

One viewer tweeted: "Powerful stuff from Patrice Evra and Professor Green on #FreezeTheFear tonight. I am sure they will have done untold good for others in sharing their experiences. Very brave. Such respect."

Someone else agreed: "Hats off to @BBC and #FreezeTheFear for the stories they have touched on tonight! And thank you to @Evra and @professorgreen for being so open about your stories!"

Watch: Gabby Logan opens up on grief over brother's death in Freeze the Fear