“I had a normal childhood. I grew up in Pill and lived with my great-auntie Sheila and my great-uncle Ted.

I was close with my mum, my dad and my grandad, but I wanted to live with them because they lived in Pill and that is where I enjoyed it most with my friends. It was good for playing football.

I have good memories of the Pill Leisure Centre, where we used to play football. We played five-a-side in the indoor hall and, in the Pill AFC pitch, we used to have 25-a-side against all different ages. I was probably one of the youngest. You had fifty-year-old men playing as well, so it really helped toughen you up. There was no feeling sorry for yourself.

I just loved football. I always remember when I was younger my uncle Ted took me to Albion Rovers. I went training and the coach went to my uncle afterwards and told him ‘he has done really well, but he is a bit small for ten’. My uncle had to put him straight and told him I was only six.

Unfortunately, I was too young to play so I went to Pill AFC - they were my first proper team. That is where I met a lot of my friends. We used to be cheeky young lads, but we always respected the elders.

I played for Pill for a few years and then I went to the Civil Service Football Club, in Bettws. We were the best team around, we won nearly everything. I was there for a while and then I went to play for the YMCA when I was about 16. I wanted to be back in Pill.

I finished off by going back to Pill AFC. People like Norman Parselle were a great influence on me, I still turn to him.

I went to St Joseph’s High School. I actually stopped playing football for a year to play rugby – and I was probably better at playing rugby than football. It was a bit frustrating, but my passion was always football. I did quite well in school without really revising.

When I left, I was playing for Newport County while being a postman. Playing for County was a part-time job and I wanted a full wage. They weren’t in the football league, but we had a good time.

I was there for about 18 months before I went to Barry Town. When I went to Barry, I stopped being a postman because Barry Town was full time – I never looked back.

I was there for about 18 months. We won the league twice and we won the Welsh cup twice – we were the first team to win the double back to back. We played against Porto in the Champions League qualifiers, where we won. We beat Porto in the second leg and I managed to score. That was brilliant – it is something which always stands out.

While I was in Barry, my daughter was born. She was born in 2000, just after I turned 20. I was very young to have a baby, but my daughter Dionne is a lovely kid. She is good as gold and she is someone I am very proud of.

You want to make sure you play at your peak at all times, but that is not always possible when you have a baby that needs feeding and changing in the early hours of the morning. Thankfully, due to being a postman, I was used to the early hours.

After Barry, I moved to Wigan – which was my first league club. I was there for nearly three years. Wigan were a club that were going in the right direction.

Luckily, in my time there, we had two promotions. The third year, when I left, we got to the Primer League.

I then moved to Gillingham. I wasn’t playing enough at Wigan so I thought it was best for my career. If I am honest, it is a decision I now regret. I had the chance of maybe getting another deal at Wigan and I probably rushed into the move.

Gillingham actually got relegated that season to League One. I was there for three years and it was a tough time – I had gone from Wigan who were trying to get to the top to Gillingham, who had a lot of cost cuts because they had been relegated.

When I moved to Gillingham, Dionne’s mum and her moved back to Wales. We had split up.

It was hard being away from Dionne, because before that happened, she was my shadow. We were really close.

After Gillingham I moved to Blackpool, in the championship. I was about 26 and it was difficult because I had just lost my great auntie. Shortly after I lost my grandad and my mum.

I left Blackpool and signed for Huddersfield. At the time I didn’t think I was struggling, but now, looking back, I think it affected me.

I was there for a season, but then a new manager came in and he wanted his own players, so I went to Bradford.

I had a very good first season at Bradford, but then I got ill – I was in hospital for four weeks because my stomach stopped working. I didn’t eat anything and lost two stones.

After the third season, Dionne was nearly starting high school, and I thought it was time to come back home.

I came back to Newport in the summer of 2012 and I think it was the right decision for Dionne and footballing-wise. We got promoted to the Football League, which was brilliant. It was the first time they were back in the Football League in 25 years.

At this point of 2015, I have four kids – Dionne, Charlie, Theo and Edward. I had also met my wife Victoria, who is amazing. She is so loyal, caring and thoughtful. We are a month away from having another boy together, which is exciting. We are still arguing over the name.

It has been a good year, we got married last year in Greece. We had an amazing time.

My last game for Newport was 2015. In that summer, Terry Butcher released most of the squad. When I left, I went to manage Undy FC.

I was in Undy for four months, until I was asked to come back coaching with the first team during the 2015/2016. I stayed until the end of the season, when I went to work for the club as a director of football and business development.

The season didn’t start great and I was asked to come back on the coaching side. I learnt a lot from Graham Westley. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for him and he left. Then, I took over as the manager from March 9, until the end of the season on a caretaker role. We were 11 points behind with 12 games to go.

Everybody thought we were relegated and, thankfully, we managed to do the unthinkable and managed to stay up in the last minute.

Saving Newport County from relegation meant everything. It was great for myself, my family, my staff, the players and, most of all, the fans of this football club. They have been through so much. They were out the league for 25 years – so to keep them in the league was huge.

I want this season to go as well as we can. I think we have very good players here, but they have got to be consistent and work hard.

Newport is a good place. There are loads of good people in Newport, with good values, with respect and they're hard-working. I am proud to be from Newport and I would be a proud honour for me to receive the freedom of the city.

I love football. It is a big part of my life – and now, it is just getting better.”