Tim Tebow has an unlikely admirer in the shape of former Major League Baseball all-star Daryl Strawberry.

The former New York Mets and Yankees star was famed for his partying lifestyle as a player – a complete contrast to Tebow’s religious message.

However, the life of Strawberry has taken a turn since he ended his MLB career, with the 51-year-old now an ordained minister.

And, he has nothing but respect for the recently acquired New England Patriot, who is famed for his efforts off the football field.

"I look at Tim Tebow. He gets bashed because of his faith. Let 'em laugh. Let 'em talk. He's a greater man than anyone who might be greater than him as an athlete. He's a real man,” said Strawberry in an interview with USA Today.

"He gets challenged about his faith all of the time, but he never wavers because of opinions, or what the media is writing about him. 

“His reward later on in life is going to be even greater because he stood in the midst of everybody criticizing him being a Christian and playing sports at the same time.

"I admire him more than he could ever imagine."

Tebow’s background is the stuff of legend, becoming a high-school star after being home-schooled by his parents.

The 25-year-old became a household name at college with the Florida Gators, winning a Heisman Trophy and two national championships during his final four-years in Miami.

Denver selected the player in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft, but after two-seasons with the Broncos he was traded to the New York Jets.

He only started twice at the MetLife Stadium last season, and has subsequently been snapped up by the Patriots following his release by the Jets.

It’s his work off the field, most notably in the Philippines, which is more likely to have struck a chord with the new Strawberry, however.

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