Welcome back

Wednesday 27 March 2002

From Paul Thorpe

Against all the odds Chris Coleman will pull on a Fulham shirt once again later this evening at Woking.

After his horrific car accident there were many that wrote him off saying that he'd never play again. And to be fair, most people in his position would have chosen the easy option of retirement and a comfortable PFA pension. Not our Cookie...

The Club's internet office sits right next to the training pitch at Motspur Park and there's been many a day when the weather has been so horrid that we've sat inside coats on, heating full blast, watching Chris go through the pain barrier on his own in the wind and rain. You could only watch in admiration.

During his rehab Chris' attitude has always remained the same - determination with a smile. Not once has he refused an interview, even during the difficult times. He's never shown us the pain that he's clearly been through and not once has he moaned about a thing.

I hope that Kingfield is packed to the rafters this evening. Chris deserves a full house and a standing ovation for his efforts. We might only get to see him for five minutes, but it'll be worth the longest of journeys, none of which could possibly be as long and as hard as that of the man himself.

Welcome back Chris. You've given us all something to be proud of and you've taught us all a lesson in self-belief and determination.