YORK CITY: Dyer's looking to repay faith

Three months ago Bruce Dyer thought his football career was over – 14 years after becoming the country's first £1m teenager.

Now the 33-year-old is enjoying a second coming at York City, thanking his religious beliefs and wife Janine for his KitKat Crescent renaissance.

Aged 18, Dyer had the world at his feet as a talented teenage striker at Watford and made national headlines with his 1.1m move to Crystal Palace in March 1994.

Productive spells at Barnsley and then Watford, again, followed but Dyer has been through a further seven clubs in three years since 2005, trying desperately to recapture his form and stave off a niggling back injury.

Frustrated to the hilt, he was about to quit football but, seeking advice, the striker spoke with his wife who felt the six foot striker could still make his mark.

Buoyed by those words and his own strong Christian beliefs, Dyer vowed to fight on and some three months later he made his York debut this week in Tuesday night's Setanta Shield win against Mansfield Town.

Integral to the turnaround was a spell with a specialist in Sheffield and a trial at Stuart McCall's Bradford City last month which Dyer says rekindled his enthusiasm for the beautiful game.

Now the Ilford-born forward has signed an initial two-month deal at KitKat Crescent and is delighted to be back in business.

"Obviously, it is a little bit different to the Football League but it is just nice to be playing again," said Dyer.

"I'd not played for a long while – I think this was about my second game in about a year and it was just nice to be involved.

"It's been frustrating and I've had problems with my back really but thank God I was given this opportunity. I am feeling good and now I just need to get my fitness levels up.

"To be honest, I was thinking of giving it up. I was having problems with my back and about three or four months ago I was just thinking of calling it a day. But my wife has been a big influence on me changing my mind and she just said 'look, why don't you give it one last shot?'.

"I thought about it and thought 'well I am still young and still in good health'. I went to see a specialist in Sheffield who gave me some injections, I got the all clear and then I went to Bradford to see Stuart McCall and I really got my taste back for football.I think I've still got something to offer."

Dyer is linking up with Colin Walker for the second time – the York boss being a coach at Barnsley during his days at Oakwell.

Walker signed Dyer in a bid to stop York's goal drought but the veteran front man hopes his experience can also bring valuable advice to KitKat Crescent.

"If I can come back and even just help some of the young people and give a bit of advice then that would be great," said Dyer.

"I've not really had a chance to look at the younger players and it is still early days and time well tell, but even if I just help one youngster and bring them along a bit and offer them some advice, then that's enough to satisfy me as a person.

"Even if I can just bring one person along then that will be mission accomplished.

"There were a few options for me but I was confident in the set-up at York. We'll just surf it and see what happens as, obviously, I have not been playing for a long time and I'll have to work back into it.

"The club can't afford to be signing me on a long-term deal if I haven't been playing and they have to look after themselves which is fair enough, but, hopefully, I can have a good run.

"I'm looking forward to it and I already know Eric (Winstanley) and Colin from my days at Barnsley and the chairman who is a really nice guy. Hopefully I can come good again."

Whatever his fate at KitKat Crescent, Dyer will always be famed for his million pound move as a teenager. Even now he admits it brings back very happy memories.

"It was good and like a dream come true for me," he said. "I was young and enjoying my football for Watford, getting in the team and then this big move comes along."

Dyer says that blessing and God- given talent is now a major reason why he remains a professional footballer despite several years of frustration.

"One of the main things that has kept me going is my faith," he said. "The ability to be able to play football is a gift from God and if nothing else I can use that gift to help people.

"You live a good life as a footballer and that is a blessing from Jesus and my faith in that is the number one thing that has kept me going."

Dyer now has the potential to bring York the gift they most require – goals. The striker is a proven predator having netted 139 times during his professional career.

York left it late to score on Dyer's debut against Mansfield through Mark Greaves' 94th-minute equaliser, but City's new recruit is in no doubt the goals will be forthcoming.

He also feels the next month or so can propel his new club into genuine promotion contenders.

"We've just got to score but we are capable of doing that," said Dyer.

"We've been creating the chances and it's just about putting them in the back of the net.But if you look at the table we are on 23 points and the team at the top is only on about 30.

"In the next few games we play some of the top teams so this could really be a turning point in the league season and I believe it will be.

"This next spell could put us strongly back into it and it really could be a turning point."