Baggies' Graham Dorrans: I was close to quitting football
Baggies star Graham Dorrans has revealed how he could have quit football when his daughter was seriously ill with meningitis.
Dorrans' daughter Ava fell into intensive care two years ago when she was just three months old.
Having now seen her recover, Dorrans, who lost his baby son Logan who was stillborn in 2010, has opened up about how close he came to quitting the game he loves.
The Scottish midfielder said his experiences had shaped him as a person and made him realise football isn't everything.
The 27-year-old, married to Yvonne, has been at the Hawthorns since 2008 and it was just two years later when he lost Logan.
He said: "We've been through some really tough times but, looking back, they've shaped me as a person and made me appreciate what I've got now.
"We had some horrible experiences to deal with.
"They made me realise that football isn't everything.
"We lost a baby boy while I was on Scotland duty and I had to rush back to be with Yvonne. That was four years ago now, I was only 23 at the time.
"And it changed me. It really did shape me up as a man.
"I was still really young and it was difficult to deal with.
"Then when our wee girl became ill in 2012, I just thought: 'Why me again?'"
Dorrans said he was stronger for the experiences he has endured, with included being traumatised by young daughter Ava going into intensive care with meningitis.
"I would have gladly chucked football, quit everything, for those times not to have happened," he said.
"When Ava was lying in a hospital bed and there was nothing I could do for her, football wasn't even in my mind. It really doesn't matter in situations like that – all that I cared about was getting her out of there and well again.
"Thankfully, she's fully recovered – and is wild now.
"We've come through it as a couple and as a family – and we're stronger for it.
"It's an old cliché but it does help put things in perspective."
Dorrans added: "Those are the kind of things that football fans don't see.
"People probably questioned me during that time, asking why I wasn't playing or why I wasn't featuring for Scotland. But we had a lot to deal with, issues that supporters don't see or hear about.
"I've been a fan myself and it's only when you speak to someone who's involved in it, suddenly it clicks that footballers aren't robots.
"We're just human beings with families – the same as everyone else."
Dorrans has 10 Scotland caps to his name and has become a fans favourite over the years for his tireless work rate. Despite nearly leaving the club last year, Dorrans is now a regular in the Baggies line up and enjoying his football again.
If he sees out his contract, which runs until 2017, Dorrans will be one year away from a testimonial with West Brom.
The midfielder said he still visits Glasgow regularly but after everything he's been through he feels at home in the Midlands.
He said: "I've been here seven years. If I see out my new contract it will be nine.
"So I will have spent almost my entire career at West Brom, apart from a few years at Livingston.
"In football now, you don't get many players staying at a club for that length of time.
"But as long as I'm playing and I'm involved, I really enjoy it here. If I'm playing football every week and my family are happy, that's all that matters."
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