Many thought that the cricket world had seen the last of Darren Gough after a series of injuries, the worst of which was a knee problem which required three operations.
But the larger-than-life Yorkshireman bounced back to the top level and competed in the NatWest Challenge against Pakistan in 2003 and then the NatWest Series against Zimbabwe and South Africa.
He retired from Test cricket in 2003, which must have been a hard decision to make for a man who had taken 229 wickets in 58 matches.
Gough was equally prolific in the one-day game and added much-needed experience to England’s attack. A master of the slower ball and bowling at the 'death' of an innings, he was an integral part of England's side for several years.
Gough burst onto the county stage in 1989 by taking five wickets in his first match at Lord's and secured a place on the England Young Cricketers tour to the West Indies later in the year.
In 1993 Gough received his county cap and won a place on the winter A tour to South Africa, where he was the second leaidng wicket-taker and produced figures of 5-81 in the 'Test'.
The following summer New Zealand toured and Gough captured the prized scalp of Martin Crowe in his first over in international one-day cricket.
In the first Test match against the Kiwis he picked up the wicket of Mark Greatbach in his first over. Perhaps England had found another Ian Botham, someone with a so-called 'golden arm'.
Gough has never challenged Botham as a batsman but he has made some useful contributions, especially early in his career. In his first Test innings he scored 65 against New Zealand and later that year in Sydney he blazed his way to 51 alongside figures of 6-65.
Throughout his career he has been known for his wholehearted approach to the game and his genuine enthusiasm for playing it.
When fit he provided England with a potent new ball attack with Andy Caddick and was voted one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the year in 1999.
It is a great testimony to his strength of character that he forced his way back into the international one-day reckoning and was included in the one-day squad to face West Indies in 2004 after a controversial move from Yorkshire to Essex.
He then kept his place in the one-day squad throughout the summer, including the ICC Champions Trophy, and was selected for the tours of Zimbabwe and South Africa.
In South Africa Gough looked at his fittest since the first of his knee operations three years earlier and was England’s most impressive bowler, claiming 11 wickets in the 4-1 series defeat.
He was named in the England Development Squad in May 2005 -and the 14-man squad for The NatWest Series and the NatWest International Twenty20 against Australia.
The Yorkshireman started the international programme in style as England got their first taste of Twenty20 cricket, with Gough taking three wickets for just 16 runs as Australia were dismissed for 79 on their way to a 100-run defeat at the Rose Bowl.
He was even on a hat-trick at one point after dismissing openers Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden with successive deliveries.
His performances in The NatWest Series led to some calls for his return to the Test arena, although it was with the bat that he shone against Australia at the Riverside as he hit a career-best 46 not out.
He also shared a 50-run stand with Stephen Harmison, the highest 10th-wicket partnership for England against Australia in a one-day international.
Gough's unbeaten knock was largely responsible for his impressive batting average of 58 for the tournament - the third highest behind Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood - as England clinched a dramatic tie in the final against Australia at Lord's.
Coupled with his eight-wicket haul from the series, Gough proved he had plenty more to offer England in the one-day arena but he could not prevent Australia winning The NatWest Challenge 2-1.
He asked not to be selected for the winter tour to Pakistan in order to rest and spend more time with his children, although Gough made it clear he had not retired from international cricket.
During the winter period he entered the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing show and shocked everyone by coming away with first prize, beating Colin Jackson and Zoe Ball in the final.
Gough gained an England recall when he was named in the provisional 30-man squad for the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy, and also included in a 16-strong party for the NatWest Series against Pakistan, only to withdraw after two matches with a shin injury.
Barring injuries, he was a regular member of the Essex side which won the Pro40 Division One title in 2006, but he decided to return to Yorkshire at the start of the 2007 season after being offered the captaincy.
He enjoyed a resurgent 2007 and claimed 37 championship wickets at 23.67 as Yorkshire pushed unsuccessfully for the title.
Gough hinted that the 2008 campaign would be his last on the eve of the season, and a month later confirmed his retirement from playing at the end of the summer.