Paul Bignot enjoyed a career that took in Crewe Alexandra, Kidderminster Harriers, Newport County, Blackpool, Plymouth Argyle, Grimsby Town, Solihull Moors and AFC Telford United.
Now the former England C international, who runs his own business providing football highlights for players and clubs, has hung up his boots.
Here, the 34-year-old pens a poem to the game he loves.
The dreaded day has come and deep down inside you know when it’s time to go….
From the shy boy on the school playground at Colmore you helped me find my way.
It’s on that playground I learnt that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work.
My debut seems like yesterday when the Railwaymen beat Sunderland.
We silenced Elland Road and served Leeds some Humble pie.
You didn’t let me get to high and watched me get eaten by the Wolves.
Thank you to Dean Holdsworth who found the real me… ‘Newport’s Amber Army’ will always be music to my ears, the realist supporters that had my back through thick & thin.
My FA cup red mist made Plymouth’s Green Army lose their pasties yet I look back with pride as I helped them survive.
I witnessed Blackpool at Wembley knock on the famous Premier league doors but just like my move there it wasn’t meant to be.
We gazed at the Aurora lights in the peaceful Icelandic sky ‘Áfram Keflavik’ my mind was truly blown.
I had my first child while I was with the Mighty Mariners and blessed with my second as the Blue Birds sang their songs. You witnessed me generate a new meaning to my life.
Thank you to my wife the only person who saw the real highs & lows. Thank you to my family who set me on my way. Dad I now understand this was not possible without you.
I watched with pride as you took my brother from rags to riches and captain QPR a full house at Loftus Road an amazing atmosphere hard to find. I also watched with hurt as I seen you break him down.
One day I might forgive you but I’ll definitely never forget!
A massive THANKYOU to every single team mate along the way and any opposition I upset ‘it’s only a game – so I hear them say’
So the time has come to say goodbye a journey I’ll never forget. You have now managed to bring me back to the same playground where we first meet. I’ll use you as a tool to inspire children/people in whatever path they chose.
You’ll find me in my office providing football highlights for players around the world.
You’ll find me in the changing room but this time on the coaching side…
They say ‘Transition is when we are truly alive’
So I’ll book a date with you in 10 years’ time as I’ve learnt time truly flys!!!
Paul Bignot – Bigz – Biggie – Mc Pauly B