Wigan Athletic man has 'different perspective now' ahead of Sunderland return
Charlie Wyke admits he has a 'different perspective now' after receiving an unexpected chance to resume his career with Wigan Athletic.
It's almost a year since Wyke suffered a cardiac arrest on the training ground at Christopher Park - which threatened to finish his playing days at the age of 28.
Not only is Wyke back on the field, he's also spearheading the Latics attack, heading into this weekend's clash at his former club Sunderland.
After receiving dog's abuse from the home fans in the corresponding fixture last term, this time he'll barely hear it as he focuses on what's really important.
"I've definitely got a different perspective now," he said.
"I wouldn't want anyone to go through what I went through.
"I thought when I came back that things like defeats wouldn't bother me as much as it did before.
"As soon as we tasted that first defeat, it was every bit as bad as what it was before.
"But I've missed so much football...it's the best thing in my life, it always has been, always the number one thing."
Wyke has noticed a few subtle differences since his return.
"I can probably get away with a few more things now, like if I have one or two bad games," he smiled.
"But it's not all about me, it's about the team, and the manager, who I owe everything to.
"I just want to do well for them and pay back everything they've done for me.”
Wyke scored his first goal in almost a year last weekend against Cardiff, which he was quick to dedicate the goal to the Latics fans who he says have inspired his recovery.
"The fans have been absolutely incredible with me, inside and outside the stadium," he said.
"I live close by now, and they've been unbelievable with me, keeping my spirits up when I'm out walking the dog.
"It's a great club and I love playing here."
Wyke is not the only former Sunderland man going ack to his former club this weekend.
Max Power, James McClean, Nathan Broadhead and Ashley Fletcher have also previously played for the Black Cats.