Rochdale’s Joe Thompson believes destiny knocked on his door on Saturday, when he scored the goal that set-up a fairytale end to the season for himself and the club.
His 69th minute strike secured a 1-0 win over Charlton Athletic, which, coupled with Oldham Athletic’s draw at Northampton Town, saw Dale climb out of the relegation zone on a dramatic final day.
The 29-year-old has overcome cancer twice, the latest battle as recently as last year, and the goal was his first since making his return from the illness.
“Fairytales do happen, don’t they!” said Thompson.
“It has been a tough, tough 12 months for me – more than anyone can imagine. Coming back I thought ‘I don’t know if I can do it’.
“All the support, all the help from my family, the club, all the lads – it’s come down to one moment, and for me it’s my time to shine in a way.
“But the lads have done all the hard work all season, I’ve just had to spectate and watch. Fortunately, for me, I can say it’s come down to the last game of the season and I’ve had the opportunity to make sure we’ve stayed up.”