A TENBURY man has revealed how he owes his life to a freak accident while playing football.

George Roberts has described how a twist of fate gave him a chance in life in his first novel that has just been published.

The book ‘From Ten Down To Three’ is a novel but based upon a real-life story – his own.

George, aged 40, who lives in Burford, says he would probably not be alive today or would at the very best be paraplegic but for a freak accident as a teenager when he fell during a football game and bumped his head.

He was taken to get checked over and this revealed much more than a touch of concussion.

A few days later, George was in the operating theatre at Birmingham Children’s Hospital having a tumour the size of a fist removed from a part of his brain that controls movement and other essential functions.

“I dread to think what would have happened had I not had that accident,” said George, whose main character, named James, explores fate in the novel.

“In one way, I was fortunate in that the tumour was benign although I needed radiotherapy. It still affects me with tremors but for the most part I am able to lead a fairly normal life,” said George, who is married with two sons in their 20s.

The discovery of the brain tumour came as a shock to George and his family but was also a relief in that it solved a mystery that had been troubling him for many years.

“As a boy, I suffered from a lot of headaches and some problems like dizziness,” said George.

“My mum took me to the doctors and we kept being told that there was nothing serious. At one stage it was put down to eating too much chocolate and cheese.

“It was tough for my mum because she was more-or-less told that she was being neurotic.

“I believe that we know our own bodies and know if there is something wrong. If people have concerns, they should keep pushing for answers even if the medical profession is dismissive.”

After leaving school George worked for 10 years in a shoe shop in Worcester where he met his wife Bernie.

They moved to Tenbury where he had the Harlequin Gift Shop in the town.

“We were flooded out three times ten years ago and then I could not get insurance so I had to find something else to do,” he added.

This has led to a career working with adults with autism and learning difficulties in Ludlow.

“I am sure that my own experience makes me a better care worker because it gives me understanding,” George said.

A lover of English and storytelling he first came up with the idea of a book eight years ago. Three years of receiving rejection letters finally ended in success when publisher Austin Macauley agreed to take the work that is now available in print at major book-sellers like Waterstones as well as online.

“The book is classed as a work of fiction but is based on my own life story so far,” said George, who hopes one day to be able to make a living from writing.

“Names have been changed and there is some fiction to enable my character to explore the impact of fate and writing as something other than straightforward autobiography has given me freedom to use my imagination.”