Gareth Seddon has been reflecting on his Chester FC departure – and how it led to him earning celebrity status late in his career.
The striker, 35, was one of the star turns in the recent BBC1 documentary Class of 92: Out of Their League, about how former Manchester United stars Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt were involved in a takeover of his current team, Salford City.
Since the two-part programme aired, Seddon has been recognised in the street and on nights out, while his number of Twitter followers has risen to 14,300.
The well-travelled forward joined Chester from Halifax in 2013 before a surprise call from a Red Devils legend prompted his departure from the Blues last summer.
“I couldn’t have scripted it any better,” he said. “I’d done all right at Chester but I was in a struggling team, I was 34, and I just didn’t want to end my career battling relegation. I wanted to have one last challenge and to show everyone that I could still score goals.
“I did think I might have to drop down a couple of levels but you get the call from Gary Neville and all of a sudden, a year later – dare I say it – you’ve starred in a documentary, scored 30-odd goals, and won the league. It’s Roy of the Rovers stuff.”
The BBC documentary charted Salford's championship-winning 2014-15 season, when Seddon's goals fired them to the Evo-Stik League First Division North title. His teammates included former Blues players Jason Jarrett and Paul Linwood.
The striker, who is a part-time model, says his career away from football means he is "prime meat" for dressing-room jokers.
“I’m used to having stick with the modelling,” he admitted. "I’m used to everyone taking the Mick but since the documentary it’s been crazy.
“It’s been a bit overwhelming how many people have come up to me but, touch wood, everyone has been so supportive, saying I came across well and that they’d like to have beer with me.
“I went out the other week and by 11pm I was steaming from all the free drinks that everyone got me. ‘Come on, let’s have a shot together!’"
Seddon, who lives in Ramsbottom where he has just taken over a cheese and coffee café with his partner Melissa, has not played since September 12 due to a knee injury, meaning he has missed Salford's televised FA Cup clashes with Notts County and Hartlepool United.
The second-round replay against Hartlepool takes place on Tuesday evening and Seddon, now back in training, is hoping for a place on the bench.
“It’s been so frustrating,” said Seddon. “It’s not like I’m 21 and I can miss half a season. I need to be playing every single game because I’m coming toward the end of my career. I feel like I’ve got to prove myself every week to prove that I’m good enough for that extra year.
“Hopefully against Hartlepool I can come on for the last 10 minutes and nick the winner.
“With the way things that have been going for me at the minute that would be the perfect scenario.”