Liam Gibson admitted he was ‘buzzing' after making his Stanley debut – an extra special moment considering this time last year he was in a hospital bed.
The 21-year-old left back has signed on loan from Newcastle United and made his league debut in yesterday's goalless draw with Bristol Rovers.
Liam was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, when he was 17.
He was ill, and also had to cope with deep vein thrombosis just after, but he battled back to be fit for the 2016/17 season.
However, his health deteriorated again and the specialists said his bowel was in a bad way and he needed an operation – at the time billed as life or death.
Liam ended up having four operations and he didn't know if he would ever play football again so his debut yesterday was a milestone in his career.
“If you had said to me a year ago that I would be playing in League One, starting a game, I probably would have laughed at you and it shows how far I have come, I am buzzing,” said Liam.
“My family were here and they will be buzzing about me playing. Everyone at Newcastle, the doctor, the physios I would like to say thank you for getting me back.
“I never actually thought I would play again when I was sitting in the hospital bed so now I am back, it's unreal, it's weird.”
Liam was just gutted that Stanley couldn't grab the win at the Wham Stadium with Rovers keeper Jack Bonham in outstanding form.
“It's a shame we couldn't get the three points but a point is a point and it will stand us in good stead for the rest of the season.
“There is a sense of frustration as everyone wants to win but it's a clean sheet which is great on my debut and all the lads have chipped in with that as well. I think everyone is happy enough.
“It's been really good being here so far, it is very different to the U23 football.
"The manager has been great, showing faith in me to start straight away and hopefully I can kick on.
“All the lads have been spot on as well it's a bonus when you come into a place and everyone welcomes you.”