Devizes darts player Mark Hiscock is warning heavy drinkers to get help after he was told last year to give up alcohol or be dead within five months.
Mr Hiscock, 40, from Roseland Avenue, Devizes, admits to having had a drink problem since his brother Garry died of leukaemia 15 years ago.
He said: “I got in with the wrong people and used to drink far too much.”
Mr Hiscock was well known to the local police and was regularly in court for being drunk and disorderly. But his wife Nikki has stood by him.
The couple have four children and are expecting their fifth in September.
Mrs Hiscock said: “Mark is beginning to realise what he was like when he was drinking. But he has turned over a new leaf and is so much better for it.”
Mr Hiscock suffered liver disease as a result of his drinking. Consultants at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital told him that his liver was badly scarred by the effects of alcohol abuse and, if he continued as he was, he was likely to die within five months.
Mr Hiscock said: “That was enough for me. I gave up drink there and then. I have started playing darts again and I always drink Diet Coke when I’m out.
“I want to thank everyone who has given me support over the last few months. A lot of people say they respect me for what I have done, but I have done it for my family as much as for myself.
“My GP is happy with me and my liver is recovering well. I feel so much better in myself.
“I would say to anyone with a similar problem to get help as soon as possible. If you leave it too long, it may be too late.”
Mr Hiscock is also seeing a counsellor at Green Lane Hospital in Devizes for the anxiety that was at the root of his drinking.
Mr Hiscock used to play darts for Wiltshire and was highly regarded in the sport.
He now plays for the Cross Keys pub in the local league and also in Swindon.
He said: “I play darts three times a week now and I am finding my touch again.
“I couldn’t have done any of this without my wife Nikki.
“She is the best wife anyone could ask for and she has been a tower of strength to me.”