LIAM Dickinson is enjoying one of the most productive goalscoring runs of his illustrious career after coming out of retirement to help struggling Stalybridge Celtic.
The 32-year-old striker, who only returned to Bower Fold at the beginning of September, has scored 11 goals in 17 appearances to help Celtic climb off bottom spot and away from immediate danger in Evo Stik League, premier.
“The only better one I can remember was for Stockport County while I also had a decent one at Southend United,” explained Dickinson who cost Derby County £750,000 back in 2008.
Dickinson, who had the first of his three spells with Celtic in 2014, was deemed surplus to requirements at the start of the season.
He explained: “I trained pre-season and played a couple of games but the gaffer (Steve Burr) said he could not offer me anything.
“I decided to call it a day and hang up my boots and spend more time with my family as I have three children and another on the way.
“It was nice to spend time with the family and go to my young boy’s matches, though I missed playing.
“Celtic made a bad start and I got a call out of the blue from Briggsy (assistant manager Keith Briggs) asking if I would be interested in coming back.
“I scored on my debut and haven’t stopped which has been great.”
Dickinson, who was named the club’s player of the month for September, is puzzled why Celtic are struggling having been related earlier this year from National League North.
He continued: “We have some great players and great quality in the team and there is no reason why the club is in the position in which it is in.
“It is on our shoulders to turn it round. The club should not be in this league and hopefully next season we can get out of it.”
Dickinson is the most senior player in a young squad at Celtic and enjoys mentoring their rising stars.
He said: “I would like to think the players listen to me and respect I have played at a high level in the Championship.
“I am still learning and it doesn’t matter whether you are in our league or the Premier League, you are always striving to improve.
“I love the game and play each match as though it is my last one.”
Dickinson is aware that when he broke his ankle at Southend, an injury that kept him out for two years and ended his professional career, it might have been the end.
He has no problems, adding: “I can still run about for 90 minutes, but it is about managing myself.
“I am no spring chicken and play like I was 18, 19 or 20. Playing Saturday and Tuesday takes its toll but I look after myself.”
It is not as though Dickinson has an easy day-time job as he has manual work with an energy-saving firm that installs loft and cavity wall insulation.
And in his early days playing non league before he became a professional belatedly aged 20, he had worked as a labourer on a building site.
In his professional career for Stockport County, Derby County, Brighton, Barnsley and Southend, and loan spells at Huddersfield Town, Blackpool, Leeds United, Peterborough United, Walsall and Rochdale, Dickinson scored 66 goals in 237 appearances.