Oldham forward Josh Crowley, who come through the ranks at Warrington and Widnes, thought his rugby league career was over when he was cut by the Vikings at the end of last season.
Crowley, 20, found himself a victim of the changes to structure below first team level, and was ready to turn his back on the game, before an approach by the Roughyeds ahead of their 2013 campaign.
He has since impressed in his first three games for Oldham, scoring a hat-trick in Sunday’s 34-16 win over Gateshead in the Northern Rail Cup.
He said: “It was over. I had quit. I never wanted to see a rugby ball again.
“Then I got a call out of the blue from Chris Hamilton (Roughyeds chairman) and he persuaded me to go over to Oldham and have a chat with them.
“Widnes’s decision to let me go devastated me because I felt I was on the verge of breaking through. I thought I was so close to making it.
“It was tough to take, but Chris and Scott (head coach Naylor) were full of enthusiasm and optimism and i agreed to give it one more go and to sign a one-year deal with Oldham to see how things worked out.”
Crowley, who never made a first team appearance in Super League, spent two years at Warrington and three at Widnes, before being released.