Emile Heskey has managed to keep an embarrassing episode from his childhood secret for 24 years, but now he has jetted off to join Australia's A-League it has been revealed publicly for the first time.
Yes, the goal-shy striker was once a contestant on the Rod Hull and Emu Show. At the age of just 11, Emile - or Emily as one presenter accidentally called him - took on an assault course and won £100 for charity.
In the rather surreal surrounds of Mr Hull's freaky TV arena, Heskey and friends took on a group of kids from Nottingham, who were watched over by notorious baddie Grotbags.
This unexpected discovery got us thinking ... which other sports stars enjoyed moments in the spotlight as kids?
The now Tottenham midfielder was famously used in a McDonald's advert prior to the 1994 World Cup. Just 13 at the time, Parker showed off the skills that would one day see him captain England before racing off, presumably to stuff his face with a Big Mac.
In one of the most famous incidents of a sporting star getting an early taste of fame, Woods appeared on 'The Mike Douglas Show' at the age of just two. The golfing phenomenon, who would go on to win 14 Majors and counting as an adult, even had a putting contest with Bob Hope back in 1978.
Following in Tiger's footsteps, young Rory was invited onto a chat show himself as a child to show off his skills to the general public in 1999. McIlroy was invited onto Ulster TV to demonstrate his chipping ability by knocking golf balls into his mum's washing machine, though he failed with the first few attempts.
The F1 hero once appeared on a German TV show and showed no little confidence as he spoke of his ambition to join the sport's superstars when he grew up. "Recognise me now?" he asks. We certainly did when, in 2008, he became the youngest world champion i nthe sport's history at the age of 23.
Before moving to Barcelona to undergo a course of growth hormone treatment and join the Catalan giants, Messi was turning heads in his home country of Argentina and even his very early exploits were filmed. Watch below as he demonstrates the sensational dribbling ability that has made him the world's best player.
Another member of Barcelona's star-studded line-up, Iniesta was also a bit of a child prodigy and his exploits as a 16-year-old at the Nike Premier Cup were thankfully committed to celluloid. Funnily enough, he collects the trophy from none other than Pep Guardiola, who would later coach him to Liga and Champions League glory.
A full four years before he won his first Olympic gold medal, the fastest man on the planet served notice of his intention by smashing the 200m world junior record with a time of 19.93 in Hamilton, Bermuda. The sight of Bolt streaking away from the field has since become standard.