A Worthing bachelor who appeared on Channel 4’s ‘The Undateables’ last night proved he was boyfriend material after he captured the hearts of many viewers.
George Dowell, 23, had big hopes of becoming a professional footballer but a near fatal car accident left him paralysed from the chest down five years ago.
Rather than be defeated George bought the football club he once played for, Worthing FC, and wants to apply the same ‘can do’ attitude to finding that special someone and making an appearance on the popular Channel 4 dating show.
The reality documentary follows the lives of people with challenging conditions who are often considered to be ‘undateable’.
George was watched by the nation on Monday night as he went on a date with Nathalie, an 18-year-old student on a gap year.
The date, as many do, started out with a few silent spells, but once both overcame their nerves, the conversation flowed and George managed to take her number before they parted ways.
He said: “I thought it would be awkward but it really depends on how you get on with that person.
“Before it aired I was worried but how it would come across, but people said I came across really well and I’m happy the way it turned out.
“It’s weird watching yourself on TV. It’s a bit cringy.”
Since the show aired, George said he has been inundated with messages from friends and viewers who thought he made a very good first impression.
He said: “It’s been mental. I can’t keep up with my Facebook and Twitter, it’s just constant.
“I’ve also had a lot of messages from people who are interested in me.
“But it’s all been positive, I haven’t come across any negative ones.”
Before his accident, George had a long term relationship but they split up a year and a half ago and he is now too nervous to ask anyone out.
He said: “My last relationship we just met as school kids down the park sort of thing – so I wouldn’t know what to do. I’ve seen people, but haven’t had the guts to go up and ask them.
“I’m not in a situation enough to meet people. I’m just at home or down the pub with friends. I don’t enjoy clubbing.”
Prior to the airing, George said he was ‘dreading’ to see the show but also excited.
“I definitely enjoyed the experience and I’m glad that I’ve done it,” he said.
Following his car accident in 2010, George suffered serious neck and spinal injuries.
After a ten-month recovery in hospital, George got back involved with football, firstly as a committee member at Worthing United, before he set up Worthing Borough in the West Sussex League.
He became a director of the Worthing Football Club last year and has the majority share-holding, which was passed by shareholders after it got the required 75 per cent agreement.His long-term aim is for Borough to play in the County League and link-up with Rebels.