CHARLIE WYKE became so depressed he almost quit the game six months ago.
The Wigan striker had survived two cardiac arrests and six heart operations as well as having a defibrillator inserted in his chest.
Like Christian Eriksen before him — who suffered the same life-threatening attack — he made a miracle comeback.
But the sacking of boss Leam Richardson last November and a knee injury suffered two days later took him to a lower point than ever before.
Wyke is happy again having been named League One player of the month for August after scoring five goals in four games.
But while the Latics were dropping out of the Championship last term, he believed he was already down and out.
The 30-year-old admitted: “I got to the stage late last season where I wasn’t sure that I wanted to play any more.
“I had been through all the problems with my heart. Leam, who I had become so close to for helping save my life, got sacked and then I had the knee injury.
“I had lost my mojo, my whole desire to play football — and I began to think that it would never come back.
“I was all over the place. I spoke to my missus and to my family all the time, about just packing it in.
“Even my agent said: ‘What’s the point? You’ve had a good career, why not just call it a day?’.
“It was horrendous. I was in my first year in the Championship, I’d come back from cardiac arrest.
“But losing Leam and then doing my knee — it felt like it just wasn’t meant to be. My body couldn’t handle it any more. I was overweight — up to 90 kilos — my knee wasn’t right, my head wasn’t right and I was thinking, ‘I don’t want to do this any more’.”
Wyke was given his life back after collapsing on the training pitch in November 2021.
Richardson performed CPR before handing over to club doctor Jonathan Tobin — who had saved Fabrice Muamba’s life after he “died” for 78 minutes following his collapse on the pitch during Bolton’s 2012 FA Cup clash at Tottenham.
Former Sunderland frontman Wyke suffered another attack in April 2022 — also during training.
But with the help of a new Beta-blocker, he is now banging them in as Wigan fight back from an EFL eight-point deduction for failing to pay players’ wages on time.
The tears and sorrow of the past two years have been replaced by joy, with Wyke stressing: “The difference in me from a few months ago is crazy.
“Things were so bad at the end of last season that I just went back home to the North East.
“I had made only four sub appearances after the knee injury and was telling the lads in the dressing room that this was me done at the end of the season.
“But our physio, Jimmy Barrow, told me I was taking out my anger on the wrong people — to start focusing on myself and get my head and body straight.
“He was right, too, so I decided to give it one last go and came back 6kg lighter.
“I can’t explain the relief I felt when we kicked off with a 2-1 win at Derby and I scored both goals.
“Except to say that, for what felt like the first time in forever, I finally felt normal again.”
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