Kissock back after a spell in the doldrums

Date published: 01 May 2014

John Paul Kissock’s career has clocked up peaks and troughs aplenty.

Five years ago the former Everton midfield prospect plunged so quickly from the top flight to the 11th tier of the game he almost needed a decompression chamber. He even became a taxi driver for a time

No wonder the 24 year old smiles so much in the gym room at Boundary Park, while nursing sore muscles after a first appearance in seven weeks. When life knocks you to the canvas so often — as it did when Kissock broke his leg at the same time Everton dropped him — the options are either to cave in or battle back.

One of the driving forces in overcoming adversity, to climb back up the pyramid from Southport to Luton to Macclesfield and then Athletic, was the thought of having to go back to chasing taxi fares in Liverpool again.

“I absolutely hated it,” said Kissock, of his six-month spell as a taxi driver. “It was the worst job I have ever had — it was soul-destroying.”

Back in early 2009 as he warmed up hoping to get on to the pitch as Everton gained a 1-1 draw at Anfield, Kissock couldn’t have imagined how his career would bottom out.

Released by David Moyes without making a first-team appearance, Kissock took the news hard and thought of quitting football. Instead, he recovered from the injury and mounted a comeback.

Kissock’s route into Boundary Park came about thanks to a link with Athletic first-team coach Paul Murray, who was a team mate of Kissock’s at Gretna.

It remains to be seen whether Kissock — under contract at Macclesfield until the summer of 2015 — wins a permanent move this summer. But if he doesn’t, it won’t be through lack of effort.

“I have been at the top and the bottom and now I’m trying to work my way back up,” said Kissock, who joined Athletic in January.

“Hopefully, I can get the rewards if I put the effort in. There is a good team here, a manager who likes to play good football and good staff.

“I have just tried to put in 100 per cent, and hopefully that will be enough.”