Manchester City’s head of media relations Simon Heggie worked on the Guardian sports desk for a year and a half before moving to London in 1999.
Following a spell with Reading Football Club, he moved back to his native Worksop and took up a job with City.
And after a thrilling end to the Premier League season, the former Valley student was delighted to see his colleagues come back from the brink to clinch the title.
He described the rollercoaster of emotions as City thought they had lost out to rivals Manchester United before two late goals made Roberto Mancini’s men champions.
“I’ve been here three years, I joined the same week as Carlos Tevez and I manage all the media aspects – taking Mancini to press conferences, briefing players on the club’s position, dealing with media requests,” he said.
“Winning the title was just unbelievable, the way we did it. All the pundits said this was the most incredible season and that was before the last day.”
“I was in the tunnel with my head in my hands thinking United had won it, and then we scored two and I jumped on the back of an FA anti-doping official who I thought was a steward.”
Heggie, whose uncle Bob McCall captained Nottingham Forest in the 1950s, had to snap himself out of celebration mode to fulfil his duties at the final whistle.
“I was torn between doing my job and getting players to do interviews with Sky, and hugging and dancing with them.”
“It was all a bit surreal.”
“I support Forest but you end up supporting the club that you work for as well, your job satisfaction is tied up with how the team does,” he added.