You only realise how precious something is when you fear it is going to be taken away.
It is small wonder that Keighley flanker Scott Dyson was a little emotional when he ran out onto the field for Saturday’s SSE Yorkshire One derby at home to Ilkley.
It was not just that he was playing in the first team for the first time since September 28. It was more that he thought he would never be able to play rugby again after suffering a head injury that day against Selby.
The back-rower said: “The blow was to the side of my head and there was swelling to the brain and constriction of one of the main arteries to the brain.
“Straight after the game, I went doolally. I was in Airedale Hospital for four days, I was on a different planet for six weeks and for nine weeks I was blacking out two or three times a day.
“Never mind rugby, I was wondering if I could ever fully function as a human being again.”
However, good news was around the corner for Dyson, who is group sales manager for Keighley-based steam sterilising company Autoclaves Ltd.
He said: “It was a matter of waiting for the swelling to go down and I lost about half a stone but I got the all-clear on December 19 and played for Keighley Seconds against Wharfedale’s development team two days later.”
For someone who used to go to the gym four or five times a week, it will take 26-year-old Dyson a while to get back to full match fitness and back up to his fighting weight of 16 stone – but he is ready to help Keighley in their relegation battle.
He said: “We are making mistakes in the opposition’s red zone but we have been working hard under Tom Rock, Kevin Young, Tim Brunskill and Michael Feather and we have done some video analysis, which has helped.
“Not kicking those three penalties on Saturday didn’t help but it is all about using our top two inches and executing moves in their 22. We have enough about us to stay up.”
Having lost replacement prop Sam Booker with a dislocated kneecap last Saturday, Keighley will also be without influential centre Ben Blackwell, who has decided to try his hand with Keighley Cougars.
Meanwhile, No 8 Elliott Barker has been chosen to represent Yorkshire under-17s.
* Former British Lions star Jason Robinson has agreed to speak at Keighley’s annual dinner later this year. But this means the original date of February 22 is no longer applicable as the club wait for Robinson to say when he is available.