Dennis Bergkamp, a Dutch soccer player who was consistent star athlete for the Arsenal team, missed a lot of games. He suffered from a fear of flying, often preventing him from participating in away games, except when it was possible to travel by train or car to reach the match venue. His nickname was "The non-flying Dutchman".
During Champions League matches, he traveled several days before his teammates, so has to reach the venue by using a land route. The origin of this phobia is still uncertain. Its has been reported that his aerophobia originated from a reporter who made a bad joke about the presence of a bomb on one of the team flights.
Another version maintains that he decided not to get on a plane after the death of his brother in an air crash. Note that this is not the only football player suffering from a phobia of flying: the latest is none other than Paolo Guerrero, a Peruvian striker for Hamburg.