Just days after he was fighting for his life, Ian Deakin is plotting an Ilkeston Town win from his hospital bed and considering a potential bid for the permanent manager’s job.
The former goalkeeper was rushed to hospital last Thursday with sepsis following an operation and in his own words wasn’t far away from ‘snuffing it.’
On Sunday, following the departure from league-leading Ilkeston by mutual consent of manager Martin McIntosh, Deakin got a visit from club officials and agreed to become caretaker boss, once he’s on his feet again.
But regardless of when he gets out of hospital or back on the touchline, Deakin plans to contribute to the club’s preparations for Saturday’s visit to second-placed Westfields.
“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind,” he said.
“I got rushed into hospital on Thursday and it’s happened over the weekend so I’ve just come round to it all.
“I was visited yesterday and given the news face to face.
“It’s one of those things, unfortunately, in football, it does happen, the chairman and the club made the decision to part company (with McIntosh), I think it was by mutual consent.”
Deakin could be forgiven for putting football to the very back of his mind after what he describes as a near-death experience.
“I got rushed in with sepsis, quite serious, I was fighting for my life really on Thursday, not in a very good way at all,” he said.
“I had a knee operation, it got infected and spread and it was quite serious.
“I wasn’t far away from snuffing it unfortunately.
“Touch wood I’ve made a decent recovery up to this point.
“Life is quite a lot more important than football.”
That doesn’t mean he’s taken his eye off the ball, however.
Deakin attempted to follow Saturday’s FA Vase game against Eastwood, in between doses of painkillers.
His former club came out on top against Ilkeston, but he was cheered by the support he received from both sets of fans.
“I tried to listen to the game, in between the drugs they were giving me for the pain,” he said.
“The fans have been great, giving me support, both sets of fans - obviously I played for Eastwood for many years and was very successful there.
“Regardless of the result, it was nice to see everyone so supportive.”
Deakin will take up the position of caretaker manager when he’s fit and able.
In the meantime, first team coach Craig Swinscoe will be in charge, with plenty of input from the man in hospital.
“I’m aiming to be back on my feet pretty soon, with a view to going home some point this week.
“I’ll hopefully try to be back at it next week.
“I’ve got to let my body decide when I’m ready.
“Craig will take the team this weekend with support from Martin Lench, Chris Shaw and Shaun Rickford.
“Obviously I’ll be on the phone talking to them, directing them, I’ll do what I can from my hospital bed but the lads will have their finger on the pulse at training.”
The job, on a permanent basis, is something that has cropped up before for Deakin.
This time round, he’s more open to it.
“The first time around I was approached when Steve left to go to Notts County.
“At the time it wasn’t right for me, my mum had passed away and I was having this operation the first time around.
“I’m still not in a much better position to be honest, but yes I’m a little bit more inclined, if it was available to me.
“We had a chat yesterday about moving forward for the football club.
“For the foreseeable future I’m just worried about getting back on my feet, making sure everything is okay at Ilkeston.
“We’re a football club at the top of our league, in an unusual situation in terms of not having a manager.”
The game, as ever, moves on quickly despite the departure of a manager.
Deakin admits he reacted to news of McIntosh’s departure with disappointment.
The Scot left his post after just three months in charge, despite having kept Ilkeston top of the table.
“I said yesterday, speaking to some friends about it, I’m disappointed more than anything.
“It’s something you don’t expect to happen.
“Nothing is certain in football, you see it in the Premier League, managers overachieving sometimes, like Watford sacking Marco Silva when he about ninth in the Premier League.
“Sometimes there’s a reason behind it and I’m sure that’ll come to light and be explained in due course.
“I think we did okay since he came in, he maintained us at the top of the league and the two losses we had in the league, away from home, we had men sent off in both.
“I’m sad to see him go.”