Back in November, 17-year-old Worsbrough Bridge Athletic defender Matt Pinder did not know if he would walk again but on Saturday he made an emotional appearance for the first team.
On Saturday he made his comeback to a football field after five months of intensive rehabilitation as a late substitute in the 2-0 defeat to Pontefract Collieries.
Ardsley-based Matt had contracted the rare Guillain Barre Syndrome – a treatable condition, but one that occasionally becomes life-threatening or leaves people with long-term problems. Ex-Liverpool defender Markus Babbel is a former sufferer.
Matt refused to let the condition affect his future so his ten minute cameo in the Toolstation NCEL Division One game shuts the door firmly on a “traumatic” past six months and opens a new one on a bright future.
“(Worsbrough Bridge manager) Josh (Wright) asked me two weeks ago whether I wanted to play in the last game of the season and I just said ‘yeah, maybe one or two minutes’,” Matt told Non League Yorkshire.
“But I managed to get ten minutes. I was very emotional when waiting to come on because I could see my dad and I know it has been hard for him. Him and the rest of my family have been there for me every single day.
“Those ten minutes were the best ten minutes of my life.”