GEORGE HORAN scored a record-breaking Champions League goal a week ago but that’s not the real story behind the Connah’s Quay Nomads captain’s night of glory.

The 39-year-old defender contracted Covid two weeks before the game with Horan admitting: “I’ve never been so ill in my life.”

Horan beat Italian giant Francesco Totti’s record of being the oldest player to score in the Champions League in the 2-2 draw with Alashkert.

After taking a Public Health Wales-sanctioned test the day before the game, he was declared fit to play and take on the Armenian champions at Aberystwyth’s Park Avenue ground.

“It’s been awful, it really has,” said the former Wrexham, Chester and Rhyl centre back. “Not just for me but for my family too, we’ve all been affected by it.

“I’m never ill but this totally knocked me out. I have never been so ill and was in bed for days. I couldn’t breathe, smell or taste. I had all the symptoms. In fact, I’m still not 100 per cent.

“I think some people, and I was one, were becoming a bit blase about how bad Covid was. But having had it, it’s so important you look at the bigger picture and I, my family and the club did everything right and went through the right protocols.”

Horan, who was in isolation for two weeks, added: “I’d only had half a game in preparation for last Wednesday.

“I’d tried to do a little bit at home on the treadmill but I was so weak.

“It was touch and go whether I played last week and after 20 minutes I thought I was never going to last out.

“I was sweating, sweating a lot more than normal but I managed to get a second wind and kept going.”

Horan scored a 79th minute leveller for Andy Morrison’s Welsh champions but little did he know the importance of that goal.

At 39 years and 147 days, Horan toppled Totti’s record of being the oldest scorer in the Champions League after the Italian’s great effort, aged 38 years and 59 days in 2014, was cancelled out.

“I thought someone was winding me up when it was first mentioned,” added Horan. “Somebody had looked into it though and it was right. I am the oldest player to score in the Champions League. Not bad considering I thought I was on my way out the week before!”