Paul Flynn won six All-Irelands and four All Stars with Dublin, but a dream football career was almost ruined before it started by a freak childhood accident.
The Fingallians man announced his inter-county retirement in 2019 after 12 years wearing the sky blue jersey.
He enjoyed countless days of glory with the Dubs but, speaking to RTÉ Sport's We Become Heroes podcast, Flynn revealed that he could have lost his leg when he was a child.
"I was 12 and I had an accident," he said.
"I was staying at a friend's and we were running back to his house. The patio door was shut and I ran through the glass.
"The front door was open and the patio door was shut. The light was on. I couldn't see the handle and I ran straight through the patio door. I completely wrecked my left leg, lacerated right across the shin bone.
"I was lucky not to take the leg off. We didn't know. They lifted me up and when I I went to walk my leg literally caved in. Then obviously they saw the blood and all that.
"I had to have an operation and they reattached all the muscles and the tendons and whatever they had to do in there. They did say I'd never play sport again.
"I didn't play for 18 months, built it all back up and then I went back and eased my way back into it and it was okay. I had a lot of issues - and still do - with my left ankle as a result because there's not as much strength on that side of the leg to support it.
"That was probably the one moment where it could have gone either way."
"They said I'd never play sport again" - Paul Flynn is Marie Crowe's guest this week on We Become Heroes. Listen in full on:— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) May 4, 2021
Apple Podcasts: https://t.co/2VFRd5NxiH
YouTube: https://t.co/g1t9fScbhI pic.twitter.com/rN3gk4R9o5
In a wide-ranging interview Flynn accentuated how pure graft was the only way he climbed the ladder. His path to the very top was not always smooth.
"I didn't make the minor panel when I was a first-year minor," he said.
"I was disappointed with that. They'd a really good team but I didn't make it. I felt then that that was it, that I'd missed the boat.
"They were two setbacks that are nothing moments now when you think of them, but back then they were big deals.
"Some people will tell you they had a natural ability and they worked with it, I don't think I was that type of person or player, I had to work hard on every aspect of my game.
"There were some raw characteristics that were like my strength or my fitness, but I had to work on everything else."
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