Andre Gray is preparing for the biggest game of his life as Brentford prepare to face Middlesbrough in the Championship play-offs but it could have been so different just five years ago.
The Brentford forward, who was 18 at the time, was stabbed in the cheek in Wolverhampton as he became enveloped in the wrong crowd.
And the striker admitted his actions had allowed him to get into a place where that could happen to him but now he's three games away from the Premier League.
He said: “I didn't deserve it but I was putting myself in certain situations where it was bound to happen.
“I was worse when I was a kid in gangs and stuff like that. I started to grow out of it a lot. It was just the wrong people more than anything.
“I slowly started to grow out of it by the time it happened. I was already coming out of that sort of stuff but it’s best thing that has happened to me.
“I was in clubs with the wrong crowd who were still in bad trouble with other people. But sometimes it’s hard when they’re your friends to get away from it.”
From that moment on, Gray, who was struggling to make it as a professional footballer at the time vowed to turn his life around before it was too late.
“It's part of where I was from and part of my life but I'm behind it,” he added.
“I woke up the next day and instead of dwelling on it and thinking ‘Oh my God I’ve got a big scar on my face’ I thought it could have been my eye or my neck. It could have been a lot worse.
“It made me get up and get on with it. I had to move on with my life. And I haven’t looked back since then.
“I signed for Luton in March which gave me another kick up the backside to get out of a situation where I don’t need to be. I’ve got something to do with my life unlike a lot of people.”
Gray credits his mother and close friends for guiding him through the difficult times into a place where he could perform in the Premier League.
He added: “I’ve got a lot of friends and my mum is one of the main ones and my nan and my granddad were but he passed away a few years ago and it’s been a while since that now. So it’s probably more my mum and my close friends.”
Gray is keen to help younger brother Cody and be an inspiration for other people in need of guidance.
He added: “I’d like to think so. I’ve seen a lot, I’ve been through a lot and where I’m from it’s not the easiest to do.
“Where I’m from there are still people doing the same stupid things but that’s people thinking that’s the life they want to live.
“But I’ve got a lot of people that I’m around now who have a lot bigger ambitions.
“Hopefully (my brother Cody will) be at the game. It’s hard with my mum having to work and he’s only just turned five, but hopefully. He’ll definitely be there at Wembley.”
Gray still retains a friendship with some people he was with that night but only at certain times.
He explained: “I’ll never forget where I came from or who my friends are. But I know there is a time and a place to be with them.
“That’s not being with 20-30 people in a nightclub or walking around the streets with them.”