Sarah Rhind

Sarah Rhind was in hell. She suffered from severe self-esteem issues throughout her childhood that she couldn’t shake.

By the time she was in secondary school, she was self-harming and became a heroin addict in her early 20s.

Despite a loving and supportive family, her world disintegrated and she was left not wanting to live.

That’s when she rediscovered the only pursuit that had given her any kind of happiness when she was a child.

Sarah, 34, from Aberdeen , said: “I never thought I was good at anything. But I was good at football and I loved it.

“There were a lot of years of just hating being me and it was all about trying to escape from it all.”

For several years, she had worked to complete a nursery nurse qualification and function as normally as possible while fighting an addiction, but things spiralled out of control and she became homeless.

“At my lowest point, I was terrified. My whole life revolved around drugs and finding money for drugs.

“I didn’t want to live. I didn’t want to die, but I didn’t know how to fix things.”

When her loving father was killed in a car crash in 2013, Sarah managed to stay clean for seven weeks, proving to herself that she could make a change.

After entering rehab, she was given the opportunity to change when, two years later, she was referred to Street Soccer, the charity who help homeless people through football, and the Celtic FC Foundation.

She won a place in the Homeless World Cup squad for the Amsterdam tournament that summer, and then got a spot on the 10-week Celtic course, in which people spend the morning taking lessons in employment and healthy living and spend the afternoon playing football.

Sarah said: “The fact I’m alive today is the impact they had. It saved my life. I don’t doubt for one second that I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that.

“People accepted me for who I was. Having that helps build up confidence and realise you are a worthwhile person even if I’d made a lot of bad choices in life.

“I didn’t wake up one day and decide to be a heroin addict. Stuff happens.“

After completing the course, Sarah worked as a coach with Celtic and last year got a job as Street Soccer’s Aberdeen co-ordinator.

She has also been representing the Celtic FC Foundation at charity dinners.

Sarah said: “I spoke at the Celtic charity sporting dinner and that was the first time that I felt proud of myself.

“My mum said she could see my dad in me.