Andrew Flintoff, or Freddie, as he is lovingly known to his fans and colleagues, has always been controversy’s child.

He was also the happy face of English cricket and his swashbuckling ways, on and off the field, were loved by most. He was England’s captain when the team brought home the Ashes trophy in 2005. He was also the captain the following year when the Aussies whitewashed their side 5-0.

Following that, he went into clinical depression and hasn’t faced the media or answered any questions about what happened during that period.

This year, he gave press statements explaining what had happened. After the shameful series defeat without a single win, he was never the same player again. He was having a drink with his father one evening after the tournament was over, and he suddenly broke down. He told his father that he had tried his best, but just couldn’t do it. He didn’t want to play anymore.

He was the captain of England, successful and financially well off. But all of that was little solace for the fun-loving, carefree Freddie Flintoff. He didn’t want to get out of bed and face the Aussies.

His friends and family saw his condition and believed he was going into depression. This was weird, considering that just over a year back, he was reveling on the streets following their victory in the Ashes. He also won BBC’s Sports Personality of the year award and received an MBE.

As he speaks about the phase in his life when nothing appealed to him, not even the sport he had grown to love since childhood, the BBC follows his life story in a documentary titled “Freddie Flintoff: Hidden Side of Sport”. The documentary airs on 11th January on BBC1 and promises to provide an insight into what went on in one of the country’s greatest sporting icons.