Burton Albion club captain Shaun Barker has revealed he would not be in football now if not for one person.
He was speaking head of Albion’s crucial game at Preston North End.
Barker, now 35, suffered a horrific injury back in 2012 for Derby, when he ruptured his medial, anterior cruciate and posterior cruciate ligaments, a potential career ending set-back.
He missed more than 16 months of action but manager Nigel Clough said he still had a massive part to play as club captain, despite being on the sidelines.
Barker was originally released from Derby in 2015 after failing to find his way back into the first team at Pride Park.
A year after his release, he was offered a route back into professional football. Former manager Nigel Clough was now manager of Burton Albion and called upon Barker’s experience to help keep the Brewers in the Championship.
He was made club captain again and Barker is thankful to Clough for keeping him in the game he loves.
“I wouldn’t be playing football if it wasn’t for the gaffer. Nigel kind of appreciated what I offered off the pitch as well as on it and that is one of the main reasons he brought me to Burton.
“He knew that my knee wasn’t really able to last 90 minutes of football but he knew the fact that if I was training and available I could play 10 or 15 minutes every game and he saw value in that.
“He is the reason I’m still in the game.”
Burton currently sit bottom of the Championship with nearly half the season gone but will surely look to Barker’s leadership to help guide them to safety for another season in England’s second tier.