Adam Dodd has thanked Bamber Bridge for helping him rediscover his love for football.
The 26-year-old left-back – who can also play in midfield – left the club this month to join fellow NPL Premier Division side FC United of Manchester.
His decision to leave – and join former Brig manager Neil Reynolds at the Red Rebels – signalled the end of a three-and-a-half year stint at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.
Up until arriving at Irongate in 2015, Dodd’s career had not quite gone the way he had planned it.
Although an appearance in a Scottish League Cup semi-final at Hampden Park in front of 40,000 spectators for Ayr United was certainly a highlight, the Kirkham lad certainly had his share of hard luck stories.
Thirteen years spent on the books of Blackpool ended with him leaving Bloomfield Road at the age of 21 without making a single first-team appearance.
An injury-plagued season at Chorley in non-league football did not help matters.
Feeling slightly down, Dodd was offered the opportunity of kick-starting his career by then Brig manager Neil Crowe.
The last three years have certainly been a rollercoaster ride from winning the NPL League Cup in 2017 to winning promotion the season after via the play-offs.
This campaign looked like it would end in dejection as Brig stared down the barrel of immediate relegation.
Fortunately, Dodd and his team-mates rescued themselves in the nick of time to maintain the club’s status amid jubilant scenes in the penultimate game of the season.
The marauding full-back admits it is a huge wrench to leave the club.
“When I was at Blackpool even though I didn’t play, it was still a great lifestyle.
“But I don’t think I really ever enjoyed it. At Chorley I got injured and I was out for a full season because I had to have an operation on my shoulder.
“But then I went to Brig and I started loving my football again. I am sad to be leaving. There’s a top set of lads there, the staff – I got on with them all.
“Crowey was the manager when I arrived and then Renno took over. Crowey had done well previously, but when Renno came in there was a big turnaround.
“We won the cup and then went on to win promotion.
“I have a lot of standout memories in terms of games.
“I remember during the promotion season playing South Shields at home. They went on to win the league but we beat them 3-2 after going 1-0 down.
“The play-off semi-final against Tadcaster Albion when we came from 1-0 down to win 2-1 – that had come after we had lost 4-0 to them at home earlier in the season.
“There were just lots of keys games like that which we managed to win.”
A pupil at Carr Hill High School in Kirkham, Dodd risked the potential wrath of his Preston North End-supporting family to sign for arch rivals Blackpool as a schoolboy.
His time with the Tangerines was an eventful affair – he was a young trainee when the club reached the Premier League in 2010.
“I was part of the club for the best years,” said Dodd.
“I was training with all those quality players like Charlie Adam, Brett Ormerod –players like that.
“It was unbelievable – they were all good lads as well.
“It’s true what they say when you have a good changing room – when there are no cliques –it breeds success. That was what it was like at Blackpool and Brig and Chorley, to be fair – I have never been in a bad one.”
Why Dodd never graduated to the first team at Bloomfield Road is not something he reflects on too much.
“Ian Holloway was the manager who gave me a pro deal and he really liked me,” he said.
“ But he then moved to Crystal Palace and Michael Appleton came in.
“He wasn’t interested in giving any of the young boys a chance, but he got sacked and Paul Ince came in.
“I had a chance to go and play for Inverness Caledionian Thistle in Scotland, but Ince wanted to keep me.
“He told my agent that he really liked me and wanted to give me another year.
“But then Ince got sacked and Barry Ferguson took over until the end of the season.
“We didn’t really have a manager and that summer, it was the secretary who said that I wasn’t going to be at the club next season.
“That was gutting, but I was ready to go – I just got sick of not playing.”
Dodd did go out on loan on a couple of occasions while with the Tangerines – the second of which was with Scottish club Ayr United.
“I played in some big games up there,” said Dodd. “A League Cup semi-final in front 40,000 fans at Hampden against Kilmarnock in a local derby.
“ I played in the Scottish FA Cup at Hibernian in front of 10,000.
“Playing at Hampden was like a dream really, something you dream of as a kid
“I made my home debut the game before and I scored a free-kick and set up one so I thought there was a good chance I would be playing.
“But I got named on the bench. I came on after about 68 minutes.
“The game was looking like it was going to extra time but they scored in stoppage time.”