Former Scotland captain Darren Fletcher says he has received verbal abuse from supporters about his ulcerative colitis.
Stoke midfielder Fletcher, 34, had spells out of football for treatment during his time at Manchester United.
Fletcher told BBC Radio 5 live “players do restrain themselves fantastically” in the face of abuse from crowds.
“I’ve had fans, away fans, singing about my illness,” said Fletcher, who has won 80 Scotland caps.
“Derogatory and chanting stuff, whole sections of away fans to do with an illness I had.
“My family have had to sit there and experience that. I’ve had to restrain myself.”
Footballers being abused by fans has been in the headlines this week following the alleged racist abuse of Manchester City and England’s Raheem Sterling.
On Saturday, police in Scotland arrested two fans for allegedly directing racial abuse at Motherwell substitute Christian Mbulu during his side’s defeat at Hearts.