Spending three weeks in bed might be some people’s idea of nirvana, but for Jermaine Beckford it was a nightmare and one that for a while he was worried might not end.
Manager Simon Grayson said on more than one occasion that they were worried that the Bolton Wanderers employee’s season might be over and the player himself had similar concerns.
However, sheer will and determination, as well as the obvious antibiotics eventually got him back up and on his feet and it is now time for the Lilywhites to reap the dividends.
Two goals in his first two games back, with less than 30 minutes on the pitch in the two games combined, have shown what North End fans have been missing, but when he sat down with The One And Only at Springfields this week he started by admitting that it had been a very long and difficult road back to his current state.
“It was very testing times; scary times,” he told the matchday programme. “I had the backing of my family, friends and the management. They just told me that as soon as I was able to come back I’d be welcome and I am just grateful to be back and things are starting to go my way a little bit.
“It was an inner infection and it completely knocked my balance off. I couldn’t sit up in bed without a severe case of vertigo, dizziness and feeling sick as well, so it was very difficult and scary.
“It just came on overnight from nowhere and after the first two or three weeks there was no improvement and I just couldn’t see myself getting anywhere, so it was very worrying. Slowly but surely I found a way to sit up, took one step at a time and eventually I managed to get out of bed.
“There is a mental side to it. After a while you feel like don’t want to try getting up because you know what it is going to feel like, but I am the kind of person that is quite determined and I like to try and push barriers to test things – not just in football, but in ‘real life’ as well.
“I just thought, if it doesn’t make me dizzy then it will make me sick, but I could put up with that and vice versa and as long as I was sitting down I didn’t have far to fall over did I? So I just kept pushing it to see how far I could go.
“Because it came out of nowhere it was strange to try and work out how I was going to get over it. After the second or third week, when I had made no improvement, it was worrying. With an injury after a while you can feel it starting to heal and you can feel yourself getting better and stronger, but I didn’t have that. My support mechanism of my wife, my kids and everyone else just got me to ease myself into things slowly and thankfully I was eventually able to get over it.”
You can read more from Jermaine in our extended interview with the Bolton Wanderers loanee in the 100-page edition of Saturday’s programme; this also includes features and interviews with Graham Hawkins, Jordan Hugill, Paul Grayson, Anthony McGrath, Josh Warrington and Daniel Johnson.
We also have a dozen pages about our visitors from Cheshire and we have some fantastic unseen images in our big picture section – all this and so much more packed into the 24th edition of the season.
It will be available on the night still for the fantastic value price of just £3. They will be on sale from Friday afternoon from the Club shop, online and in person from our sellers inside and outside of Deepdale.
Don’t forget; The One And Only is also available to download on your iPhone and iPad via the Matchday Digital app.
The Matchday Digital App allows you to view the North End programme anytime, anywhere. You can make one-off purchases or take out a season pass so you are subscribed to the whole season. If you can’t make the game, simply download the programme on the Matchday Digital app and be part of the game.
The slick digital version comes with all the content you would have in the printed programme, but with added features including:
• Programmes available to fans any time, anywhere
• Download back copies from past games
• Programmes will be made available for purchase worldwide
• Easy to use curl or slide ‘turn page’ technology
• Keyword search taking you straight to a particular player or feature
• Pinch screen feature to zoom into articles or images
• Add articles to Facebook or Twitter via the social media feature
• The Matchday Digital app is free to download on to your iPhone/iPad.
Preston North End supporters can download an individual issue at £2.99 or take out a season pass for £49.99.
Download the Matchday Digital app on your iPhone or iPad for free by going to the iTunes App store on your iPhone/iPad and search for ‘Matchday Digital’.