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'It Made Me A Better Dad': Dale Thomas Gets Candid On Difficult Relationship With Abusive Father

After yesterday's episode of 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!' saw Dale open up about his struggles with anxiety, the former Carlton player has again spoken about his past struggles.

After Miguel Maestre asked the 32-year-old if his parents didn't get on well during his childhood, Dale opened up about his difficult relationship with his father, even going as far as to label him a "deadset a**hole".

"He was a proper drunk," he told Miguel. "[He was] abusive physically, he was a bad man," he said, adding that his father later died when Dale was 20-years-old.

Image: Network 10

After Miguel apologised, Dale insisted that his experience ended up having a positive effect on his life today.

"It's good -- it's made me a better dad," he said, referring to his daughter Matilda who was born in 2015, whom he shares with former partner Hayley Robertson.

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Taking his anti-anxiety medication, Dale explained to Miguel he has struggled with mental health for several years.

The dad-of-one later explained to a shocked Miguel that after not seeing him for five years, his father showed up again unexpectedly only when he was drafted into the AFL.

"The day I got drafted into the AFL he rocked up -- I hadn't seen him for five years -- and he rocked out was trying to get photos with me in my gear being like 'This is my son!'" Dale said.

Image: Network 10

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Though his father was absent, Dale added that he found a better father figure in the form of his footy coach.

"[I had] no father figure -- so when I got to Collingwood, my coach Mick Malthouse and I became really tight and he sort of took me under his wing and was like a mentor," he said, adding, "Not just on-field but offered to show me the ropes."

Dale added despite his rough relationship with his father, his mother Kaye is "the best".

"The best day on my life was buying mum a car," he told Ryan and Miguel.

He continued, "It was her first car with leather seats and power windows -- I dropped it in the driveway with a big bow on it."

​If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, dial 000. If you need help and advice, call 1800Respect on 1800 737 732, or Lifeline on 13 11 14. A range of domestic and family violence resources based around the country can be found here.

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! airs Sunday to Thursday at 7.30 on 10 and 10 Play.

Image: Network 10