Mukhtar Mohammed was once on the books of Sheffield Wednesday, but is now shooting for glory as an athlete.
It is not a turnaround as quick as the one that saw Adam Gemili go from Dagenham and Redbridge striker to Olympic sprinter in six months last year, but it was still a dramatic change.
The 22-year-old from Sheffield was good at both sports and developed a passion for running at the city’s Don Valley Stadium, where he still trains today.
Although he was a member of the academy at Wednesday, Mohammed chose running as his path to glory.
After progressing through the junior ranks and going close to a British indoor title in his home city last month, the 800m runner is a strong contender to make a breakthrough at this weekend’s European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg.
The Great Britain and Ireland squad member begins his bid for a place in the final in the heats today.
Leeds sprinter Richard Strachan, 26, is out to improve on fifth place in Paris two years ago when the heats of the 400m take place this lunchtime. Strachan also runs alongside York’s Richard Buck in the 4x400m relay on Sunday afternoon.
Middlesbrough’s Chris Tomlinson goes in the men’s long jump qualification tomorrow morning.