No Christmas present return for Wigan Athletic ace

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Charlie Wyke will be denied his perfect Christmas present this year - a return to Middlesbrough with Wigan Athletic.

The Teessider had made plans for the Boxing Day fixture to be a real family meet-up on home soil.

Read More
Wigan Athletic star 'never believed' he would make it back

But a knee injury has put paid to the big reunion.

Charlie Wyke has been denied a Boxing Day return to hometown club MiddlesbroughCharlie Wyke has been denied a Boxing Day return to hometown club Middlesbrough
Charlie Wyke has been denied a Boxing Day return to hometown club Middlesbrough

"That was the first fixture I looked for," admitted Wyke, who came through the ranks at Middlesbrough but left before playing for the first team. "When it was on Boxing Day I couldn't believe it.

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"All my family pre-ordered their tickets. My dad was going to get a box.

"That's the biggest disappointment of the season.

"That would have been my first time back at the Riverside since I left and would have been a proud moment, playing against my hometown club in front of a sell-out, all my mates would be there.

"That's a blow, but it's just another setback."

Having bounced back from the trauma of suffering a cardiac arrest on the training ground 13 months ago, the latest 'setback' is something Wyke – and his new perspective – will take in his stride.

"I've learnt a lot over the past year," he told the Northern Echo in a wide-ranging interview. When you have nothing wrong with you, you complain about everything, everyday things.

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"But you never know when your last day is going to be, so you need to grasp opportunities and don't put things off.

"One of my best mates is a big Boro fan and is going through a horrendous time right now, he's really, really poorly.

"I'm back playing football for a living and sometimes might complain about stupid things, little niggles, or my injury now.

"But when I think about what my friend is going through now, football is nothing at the end of the day.

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"I've always been a chilled out and positive person anyway but now I appreciate every day.

"A year ago I could have had it all wiped away. That would have impacted so many people.

"You take things for granted, we all do, but I've been given another chance and I cherish every day."