He was put through the helpless highs and lows of a supporter for St Johnstone’s Scottish Cup semi-final.
And now Liam Craig is ready to take back some control and do his bit to help the Perth club complete a stunning trophy double.
The Perth midfielder was kept away from Hampden Park when Saints faced St Mirren in the last four of the competition as a result of the coronavirus crisis that gripped the McDiarmid Park.
The ordeal of watching from afar had a happy ending but it’s not one Craig would care to repeat.
“It was tough,” he admitted. “I barely slept the night before. I was up first thing in the morning and I was on the spin bike doing a bit of work.
“The positive I took from it was I felt like a fan again when I was watching it with my family. As players, you never get that moment to celebrate in the moment like that with your family.
“The neighbours must have been wondering what was going on when Kano (Chris Kane) scored —then even more when Glenn (Middleton) scored.
“I was on a Zoom call with a couple of other people from the club and fortunately it ran out just after St Mirren got one back because I think the laptop could have gone through the front window in those last five minutes.
“When big Liam Gordon went off, it might only have been 20 seconds but it felt like a lifetime.
“But I think the funniest moment in my house was me screaming at the television: ‘Blow the whistle, Willie’. For a 10-year-old, a seven-year-old and a three-year-old that’s the funniest phrase in the world!
“But it was brilliant. It just shows the togetherness in the squad that within an hour of the game finishing I’d spoken to three or four of the players and later that night I’d FaceTimed a few more of them.
“It was an incredible achievement by the boys and it gave those who missed out something to look forward to when they came back in.”
There was plenty of time for Craig, who returned against Livingston last weekend, to get used to the fact he wouldn’t be at Hampden a fortnight ago.
I had taken all the right precautions.
“I knew on the Friday before,” he said.
“The good thing for me was that there was nothing I could have done about it – like all players with this.
“I had taken all the right precautions. The club had. As a family, we had.
“It was just one of these things that had happened and there was no getting away from it.”
He added: “What I could do was still be a good team-mate, speak to the players in the build-up to the game.
“That’s probably why we have been so successful this year. Everyone has been a good team-mate. If you’re not playing, you support the players.
“When it is your opportunity, you’re wanting that support back from them. And we’ve had it this year.
“Everybody has played their part and Saturday will be no different.
“We’ve all got to realise, no matter what age we are, that this is an opportunity to go and cement ourselves not just in St Johnstone’s history but in Scottish football’s history.”
It seemed Craig was the man destined never to play in a final until that changed in February. Now a second London bus has arrived.
“It’s incredible,” said the former Hibs and Falkirk player. “You wait the best part of 17 seasons and then you get another one a few months later.
“We can all now draw on that experience of the build-up to the League Cup final.
“Over my career, there have been times when I’ve been a bit superstitious, so I still did that same drive round Perth that I did the last time and took it all in.
“I said before the last one, regardless of the result in the League Cup final, I wanted to remember that week and this one is no different in terms of how I train, how I planned my week and the things I’ve done on the build up to it.
“I’ve already told my wife Laura that I’m fully expecting a house full of balloons as there was before the last one.”
It’s now Murray Davidson’s turn to tick the final box.
“Muzz deserves this day,” said Craig.
“He showed in the semi-final of the League Cup just how big a player he was for us. He showed that on Saturday as well. I’m delighted for him. Hopefully we can go and win it.”