CHEADLE Town's Pete Johnson is making a surprise comeback after suffering horrific injuries in the Staffs FA Cup Final clash with Chasetown two seasons ago.
The game was brought to a close and had to be replayed after the former Leek Town player sustained a dislocated knee and a broken ankle.
"They were the worst injuries I've ever seen on a football pitch, and I've seen some in my time," said Alan Beaman, Cheadle Town's director of football.
"To be honest, I never thought Pete would play again after what I saw that night. It's a miracle that he's even is kicking a ball again," he added.
Johnson has been training with the Cheadle first team squad during the closed season and played in a practice match at the weekend.
It's unlikely that Johnson will be making a return to the squad just yet, as he is still working on his match fitness.
But Beaman said: "It won't surprise me if he isn't back in the reckoning before too long."
Cheadle start the new season in the County League Premier Division with a visit to Hilton Harriers tonight (Wednesday).
"We won't be at full strength just yet because of holiday commitments, but we've got a good squad of 18 players to call upon," said Beaman.
The squad includes newcomer Paul Callear, from league rivals Ball Haye Green, who is expected to slot into a central midfield role.
Beaman is delighted with the progress being made by some of the youngsters in the club's junior section
"There are around half-a-dozen from the successful under-16s/17s teams who could be knocking on the door of the first team soon, depending on how well they perform after stepping up into the reserves," he said.