Back in January, when most people were toasting the New Year, Andy Smith was going through heartbreak.
Told that he should retire, the 18-times capped former Northern Ireland striker had already started to consider his options outside the game.
That was until two important people intervened.
The first - and most significant - was a surgeon in Wales. The second was a striker whom Smith has partnered with three different teams spanning the last 17 years, namely Northern Ireland's record goalscorer David Healy.
Smith, who turned 27 last month, has had no less than SIX operations on his knees since leaving Glentoran for Preston North End in July 2004 in a £125,000 deal.
That restricted him to just 17 appearances for the Deepdale club and he hasn't found the net since his last appearance for the Glens.
Now, after signing a short-term deal with Portadown, Smith is relishing the prospect of playing football again and Healy had no small part to play in that happening.
"I was told back in January that I should retire from football," said Smith.
"I saw a few surgeons and one said that, as long as I kept doing my proper rehabilitation, I would be alright to play on.
"Seeing him was the best thing I have ever done.
"David Healy and Roy Carroll gave me great support too at a time when I had considered other things in life.
"David Healy is my best mate, we first played together when we were 10 years-old and we've been friends since then.
"He told me not to give up while there was still a chance that I could play on and I appreciate all the support that he has given me.
"I had a very frustrating three years at Preston with six operations on my knees and the physio told me that in two years I had only trained something like 34 days, but it has made me stronger as a person and I really appreciate what I have and the good things that football has given me that many players take for granted."
Smith will be with Portadown until at least January and, although he hasn't played since the end of April, Ronnie McFall is expected to throw him straight into tomorrow afternoon's league game with Armagh City.
Smith watched as the Ports beat Limavady United 2-0 last weekend, after signing before kick-off.
"When I look at the squad that Portadown have I see a lot of good players," said Smith.
"Myself and Michael Collins are available this weekend, but neither of us have played in a while.
"For me, though, I can't wait to get playing football again and at the minute that is what is it all about for me.
"After what I have been through I just want to move on, enjoy playing again and whatever comes after that will be a bonus."