OMARI PATRICK is proving that athletics’ loss is football’s gain at Wrexham.

Patrick, on-loan at The Racecourse from Bradford City, was determined to play football once he got a ball at his feet, but he could have easily ended up wearing spikes rather than studs.

Father Adrian won gold in the 4x400m relay at the 1994 Commonwealth Games, while sprint legend Linford Christie is the attacker’s godfather.

With that calibre of athlete to look up to, Patrick admits that a life on the track could have been the road he took before his love of football took over.

“I grew up in an athletics background, there aren’t any footballers in my family, but I took a different turn,” said Patrick.

“When I was younger I ran because I wanted to be like my dad.

“For some reason I didn’t really fall in love with it or anything else until I got a ball at my feet and I was like ‘this is what I want to do’. I just went football crazy from there.

“I did 200m once and I tried to go to 400m like my dad, but after the race I said I was never doing it again.

“I went to the 800m and I was the best at that, so I don’t know whether that is showing my football endurance.

“The 400m was horrible. I got way more respect for him after that. It was the first race I lost so I said never again.”

On his links with Christie, gold medal winner at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Patrick explained: “I know him very well.

“My dad was a Commonwealth Games athlete so he was always in Linford’s camp and they became close friends and he chose him to be my godfather.

“I used to see him quite a lot. He’s a very busy man and I think he’s out of the country most of the time, but I could get on the phone to him.”

Patrick has certainly hit the ground running at Wrexham, scoring three times in back-to-back victories over Eastleigh and Solihull Moors.

But the 23-year-old is still finding his way in the professional game after only joining Bradford City in May 2017.

On turning professional, Patrick explained: “It was quite hard to begin with.

“I think 2017 was my Bradford debut and that took off like a rocket because I didn’t expect to start or score.

“Before that I wasn’t really at any academies or youth teams, so I was taken aback by it.

“You get good times and bad times and learn how to deal with certain things like social media.

“It’s definitely a learning process and I am still learning about things - like loan moves.”

Patrick looks set to feature for Wrexham at The Shay on Saturday as Halifax lie in wait in the FA Trophy with his one-month loan spell ending next Wednesday.

Asked whether he would be happy to extend his stay in north Wales if the two clubs could agree an extension to his loan move, Patrick said: “I will do what’s best for myself.

“I haven’t really played much football, I think I’ve played more minutes now than the whole of last season.

“Playing football is definitely my priority. I set out to help the team and score a few goals, and at the moment I’m doing that, so I’m happy.”