A COURAGEOUS man can now speak eloquently in public after struggling with a stammer for 30 years.

Pete Daly was left with a speech impediment after being struck in the classroom when he was only six.

"A teacher was trying to get me to understand some sort of mathematical concept and couldn't understand why I couldn't grasp it," said Pete, 45, from Knutsford.

"He hit me over the back of the legs with a steel ruler.

"I went from being a confident, happy child to one barely able to communicate. It took me a year to tell anyone what had happened."

The assault didn't just affect his speech, it left him emotionally and psychologically scarred.

Pete is sharing his experience to encourage others to seek help as international stuttering awareness day is on Friday.

Pete Daly

Pete Daly whose life was transformed when he completed The McGuire Programme at the age of 30

"It was horrendous," he said. "It leaves you with guilt, shame, embarrassment, anger, anxiety and self hate.

"These emotions stop you saying what you want to say and you start to avoid speaking."

Pete's life was transformed after he completed The McGuire Programme, intensive treatment sessions run by people who all have stutters.

Singer Gareth Gates, who won Pop Idol and has had a stammer since he was three, was his speech coach.

Practising how to breathe like an opera singer is one of the lessons.

"You learn physical techniques," said Pete, now a speech coach himself. "The work I do every single day keeping control of my speech is no different than a footballer warming up before a premier league match.

"It is a very emotional process going from an out of control stutterer to someone who can speak fluently."

After settling for menial jobs, Pete embarked on a new career as a pensions administrator.

Northwich Guardian:

Pete Daly is a qualified speech coach and now helps other people to overcome this debilitating condition


"There are lots of things I can do now that before would have been impossible, church reading, best man speeches, chairing meetings, job interviews, hospital radio broadcasting and speaking on the phone, " he said.

"That is why I am so passionate about this cause.

"I'd like to say to anyone who has a stammer to remember you are not on your own, help is out there."

For further details visit mcguireprogramme.com