'Paul Cook threw me a lifeline... I nearly quit football', admits Wigan Athletic newboy Jamal Lowe
Wigan Athletic newboy Jamal Lowe is thrilled to reunite with his former Portsmouth boss Paul Cook - who he credits for throwing him "a career lifeline".
Lowe, 25, signed for Wigan Athletic for an undisclosed fee on a three-year-deal today.
He was given his chance in the Football League by Cook at Portsmouth in January 2017, and explained the role he played in his promising career.
“This is the second time he's signed me," he said. "The first time was a lifeline for me because I was at a stage when I thought about stopping playing football. At that time it wasn't doing enough for my life and I needed to pay the bills.
“I wasn't really getting any opportunities anywhere in non-league until I settled down at Hampton and Richmond, and then Paul Cook signed me for Portsmouth and gave me that platform to go and perform.”
Lowe has been a wanted man this summer after his 17 goals helped Portsmouth win the Football League Trophy and secure a place in the League One play-offs last term.
Latics had to beat off competition from several other Championship clubs to land their top transfer target.
Lowe said: “It's been a long couple of months and there's been a lot of speculation with some discussions back and forth, but I'm happy that it's finally done with and I can concentrate on getting ready for the season.
“There was some relief when the pen hit the paper and also excitement because it's a great opportunity to play in the Championship under a manager who has shown his faith in me before.
“To play for a manager who has so much faith in me and has shown that in the past is a huge factor in my move."
The 25-year-old is hoping that he can be a part of something special during his time at Wigan Athletic.
“My message to the fans is that I'm happy to finally be here," he said. "I know it's been a long couple of months, but thank you for the patience and hopefully together we can do something special.
“I scored 17 goals and got nine assists last season, so I'd say it was a pretty productive year and hopefully I can replicate that this season.
“It's going to be surreal to step out and play in the Championship. It's going to be special to play at home and the opposition Cardiff have just been relegated from the Premier League. It's going to be a big test, but it'll be nice to finally test myself at this level."
Lowe scored 30 goals in 119 appearances for Portsmouth before his move to Wigan – including two in the 3-1 win at Notts County that clinched promotion from League Two.
The wide man also netted at Wembley for the Blues – scoring in the Checkatrade Trophy final win against Sunderland in March.
Lowe said that it wasn’t an easy decision to leave Portsmouth after he enjoyed a successful two-and-a half years at Fratton Park.
"It was a good run at Portsmouth," he said. "The gaffer here and Kenny Jackett both showed faith in me and I like to think I've paid them back with my determination to improve and perform on a Saturday.
“It wasn't an easy decision to step away from Portsmouth. Me and my partner loved it in Portsmouth, both of our children were born there.
“It is hard to move across the country, but that's part of the life that we live."