IF you look back at Dennis Lawrence's early career at Wrexham you would never believe he's about to make his 100th appearance for the club at Brighton tomorrow.
At the beginning of his Racecourse days he was a scapegoat for Wrexham's poor form, which eventually led to the man who bought him, Brian Flynn, being sacked.
And it was to get worse for Lawrence. The man who took over, current boss Denis Smith - a former centre-half from the old school - didn't rate him.
"I don't think it was any secret that I wasn't impressed," said Smith. "But the thing I learned about Dennis is that he's a man. He stands up to be counted. He'll answer you back and he'll always question things.
"Yes he was making mistakes when he first came here, but the thing about Dennis is he didn't let them bother him.
"He just got on with it and, most importantly, tried not to make the same ones again."
It's the measure of the man that he was able to confound his critics and become a mainstay of the Dragons defence.
"I never expected it to be easy," said Lawrence. "I heard people being negative about me at the beginning. But in the end you had to keep positive and keep going.
"To make 100 appearances is a good milestone. It's the sort of thing I wanted when I came over here. Now I want to create more."
And one of those may be goalscoring. Lawrence has already helped himself to five goals this season. The record for a defender belongs to Eddie May who hit 11 in 1971/72.
"It's just about being in the right place at the right time," he said. "Not being a striker, it comes and goes for me. But I'll be happy causing problems in the box and creating space for other people.
"As long as we're scoring it doesn't really matter who gets them."
The goals have helped Lawrence become a bit of a folk hero in Wrexham. Dragons fans have taken to him because he's unique.
Where else is there a 6ft 7in Trinidadian centre-half in the English game?
"It's nice when the fans like you," said Lawrence. "It's good to be respected. I like having a good relationship with them and my family are very settled in Wrexham. They've been here for two years and my daughter goes to St Giles school. We like it here."
That may just be enough for Lawrence, whose contract expires at the end of this season, to stay a Dragon and look for more milestones.
"We've not started any contract negotiations yet," he said. "In my heart I'd love to stay. The club have treated me very well since I came here.
"I know football is a business but I'd love to make another 100 appearances for Wrexham."