Blackpool goalkeeper Matt Gilks has revealed he was on the point of quitting the game and finding work in a factory or a garage.
Fifteen months on from those dark days, his career is on an upward curve in a way he never imagined thanks to the stewardship of manager Ian Holloway.
Gilks finds himself playing in the Barclays Premier League after Blackpool's remarkable promotion last season. He was between the posts as his side drew 2-2 with Fulham on Saturday.
To cap it all the 28-year-old has been drafted into the Scotland squad for the first time for the forthcoming Euro 2012 qualifers against Lithuania on Friday and Liechtenstein.
The turning point for Gilks - who went on loan to Shrewsbury to get games - came in May 2009 when Holloway arrived at Bloomfield Road.
"I had lost faith in myself, I had lost faith in football, " he told Up The Pool. "There were times when I came off the training ground, went home and told everyone I was through. It was a personal thing that I had to deal with and I came back with a different frame of mind. If the manager hadn't changed though I would probably have gone away from football totally. He has been a massive influence on everyone."