Premier League

Former Man Utd star Karel Poborsky contracted Lyme disease after getting a tick stuck in his beard and was hospitalised

HIPSTERS watch out.

Karel Poborsky looked like he was loving retirement, even growing a thick trendy beard befitting of those gorgeous curls he wore during his playing days.

In 2016, Karel Poborsky was hospitalised after contracting Lyme disease

But in 2016, the former Manchester United winger’s hirsute looks almost became his downfall.


The Euro 96 star had to be hospitalised after reportedly contracting Lyme disease.

Worst still, how he caught the debilitating disease was equally as unpleasant.

It was alleged by Expres that a tick lived in the ex Red Devil legend’s facial hair and when it was snapped, the nasty parasite bit and infected him.

Poborsky, now 46, immediately required medical attention and was kept in hospital and given antibiotics to fight the infection.

It momentarily left the Czech midfielder with a paralysed left cheek as he began his rehabilitation, the tabloid claimed.

Quick to reassure his concerned fans, Poborsky took to Facebook to share a photo that he was out of the worst.

The pic also showed that his decorative beard had to make way for a more clean-cut look.

Karel Poborsky
An infected tick lived in Poborsky’s beard
Karel Poborsky
After snapping the tick, Poborsky was bitten
Karel Poborsky
Hipster Poborsky sports his thick beard that was the beginning of his downfall


But after his ordeal, we’re sure he didn’t mind that.

Poborsky isn’t the only sports star to catch Lyme disease.

Former England captain Matt Dawson had to undergo heart surgery after being bitten by a tick while taking a stroll in Britain.

And high-profile Hollywood stars including Ben Stiller and Richard Gere have been struck down with the devastating condition over the years.

Ticks burrow into the host’s skin and live off their blood
Karel Poborsky
Poborsky was hospitalised and suffered paralysis in his left cheek
Karel Poborsky
In the 90s, Poborsky starred for the Czech Republic
Karel Poborsky poses for amazing underwater photo shoot
Karel Poborsky
From 1996-98, Poborsky became a fans’ favourite at Old Trafford
Karel Poborsky
Poborsky scored one of the goals of the tournament at Euro 96
Karel Poborsky
Although Poborsky’s time with the Red Devils wasn’t as fruitful as he hoped


Lyme disease itself is a bacterial infection that is spread to humans by infected ticks.

The most common sign of infection is a circular red skin rash around the initial tick bite.

But not everyone gets the rash, with other side effects including high temperature, headaches, muscle and joint pain, as well as tiredness.

Doctors usually prescribe a months-worth of antibiotics to fight the disease, but some sufferers can go years of suffering from Lyme disease symptoms.

Karel Poborsky
Despite his illness, Poborsky still plays today
Karel Poborsky
Poborsky turned out for Man United Legends in 2017
Karel Poborsky
Poborsky helped the Czech Republic reach the Euro 96 final
Karel Poborsky
After his ordeal, Poborsky’s kept his hirsute looks
Karel Poborsky
After playing second fiddle to David Beckham, Poborsky left United for Benfica


Despite Poborsky’s horror story, it didn’t stop him from regrowing his beard and continuing showcase his skills.

In recent years, he’s been spotted playing several charity games, including for Man United legends in 2017.

However, he’ll always be remembered for starring for the Czech Republic in the 1996 European Championships in England.

His infamous lob goal in the quarter finals against Portugal was one of the best of that tournament.

It encouraged Sir Alex Ferguson to splash £3.6m on Poborsky, who despite playing second fiddle to David Beckham, managed to become a fan favourite from 1996-98.


Poborsky is not the first sports star to be hit by Lyme disease.

Former England rugby star Matt Dawson contracted the disease after he was bitten by a tick.

Dawson is now free of the disease, having undergone multiple heart operations and endured 18 months of treatment.

He said: “I still have regular check-ups, I seem to be a lot better after my surgeries, but I still have an irregular heartbeat that I have to monitor.

“My lifestyle has changed, I can’t do as much exercise, I can’t socialise as much as I would like to, and you just have to adapt accordingly.

“It’s absolutely on the increase. It is incredibly scary because a lot of people will have it and they don’t realise they have it. It manifests itself in lots of different ways.”

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