Paul Robinson has revealed all on his near death experience and return to the Premier League
Now, Robinson is finally ready to reveal the true motivation that transformed him from a wheezing invalid struggling to keep pace with his 92-year-old gran into a top-flight footballer again.
It was so his nine-year-old son Jack could see the hero he one day hopes to emulate actually playing in the Premier League.
By the time Jack was five, Robinson had been frozen so far out at Blackburn that he was spending his days playing badminton with the physios. As a result, he decided to get a long-term problem with two slipped discs sorted out once and for all.
However, the weekend after the operation Robinson felt chest pains and started coughing up blood.
The club doctor said he needed a scan so he took himself into A&E on April 1, 2013, only to be told initially that the blood was from where the tubes used in his operation had been removed.
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"I kept repeating, 'I just want a scan'. They were quite expensive though," Robinson recalls.
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"Finally, after five hours, I was told, 'Congratulations, you've won yourself a scan' – as if I was some sort of lucky competition winner. That was the moment that changed my life.
"As soon as he had the results, the doctor said, 'We need to start your treatment straight away – you have got a blood clot in your lung'. It does not bare thinking about what would have happened if I had gone another 24 hours."
The lower half of his right lung had been put completely out of action, meaning a dangerous course of blood thinners.
"My nanna left me trailing going up hills," Robinson grimaces. "Football was all I had ever known and I didn't want it to end like that."
He made his comeback eight months later but after playing only sporadically in 2014 he subsequently announced his retirement, having fallen out of love with football.
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It was another 18 months before Robinson called in a favour to train with Nottingham Forest.
Sean Dyche got wind he was back in the game and enquired as to what sort of shape he was in to understudy Tom Heaton at Turf Moor.
In a word, impressive. His 6ft 4ins frame dominates the quaint, low-ceilinged reception area of the Hotel du Vin in Harrogate near his North Yorkshire home. He is leaner now than at any point in his career.
Flicking through his mobile phone with a giant paw of a hand, he stops suddenly.
"Here! Talk about a chip off the old block," Robinson smiles, offering up a picture of a robust-looking nine-year-old in football kit, who does indeed carry a remarkable family resemblance.
"Jack does not remember ever seeing me play. He has to look me up on YouTube! That was a massive influence on my decision to get back to the Premier League for one last spell.
"He loves his football and plays for York under-9s – in goal, though I've tried to dissuade him! He's actually very good and is developing quicker than me.
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"I started playing about the age of eight and he was already playing for York under-9s by then. He is a good year ahead of me. Perhaps we can be the new Schmeichels!"
YouTube research is not kind to Robinson – so many of the videos are of his bobbling mis-kick in Croatia. Yet that notorious game in October 2006 was one of only six occasions during which Robinson conceded a goal in 25 competitive internationals.
The finest moment of his career is not on YouTube anywhere; mainly because it only ever existed in his mind.
"When we got through to penalties against Portugal in the 2006 World Cup, I thought, 'Brilliant! This is it! This is what my career has been building to!' I was so sure I would save them," he said. "I had done so much homework."
It may not have worked out quite as Robinson imagined but the dream to play in the Premier League again certainly has come to fruition.
He has played three League games as Heaton's deputy – Jack watched the first against Manchester City in November – and Robinson has no intention of "trawling the lower leagues". The 37-year-old insists he has "definitely one more year, maybe more" left in him at the top of the game.
Many goalkeepers of course play into their forties, by which time Jack will be fast approaching his 14th birthday. That is the age at which a fresh-faced Robinson first signed for Leeds all those years ago.
And so life finds a way to go on.