Sam Allardyce has described the agony of losing his dream job as England manager after he was embroiled in a damning video last year.
What started out as joy quickly turned to despair for Allardyce, whose 67-day tenure was abruptly ended by mutual termination in September following alleged remarks he made in a video recorded by undercover reporters offering advice on how to circumvent rules on transfers.
The Daily Telegraph published footage claiming to be from a meeting in August of Allardyce telling two men purporting to be from a Far East firm that he could offer advice on how to "get round" Football Association (FA) regulations concerning the transfer of players under third-party ownership.
He was also alleged to have reached an agreement worth £400,000 to represent the fictitious firm to investors and be a keynote speaker at certain events, though he made it clear than any arrangement would need FA clearance.
Allardyce has since returned to management via Crystal Palace in the Premier League but the 62-year-old opened up on the mental and physical pain he suffered after his exit.
"Driving back that night, on my own, I had never driven so slowly in my life," Allardyce told Daily Mail. "A few people rang. I spoke to them.
"But that was a long, long drive. There was nothing on the road but I just sat at 50mph. Five and a half hours it took. Slowly, slowly. I couldn't turn the radio on; just drove in silence. It was just s*** … s*** … s***.
"And I wasn't just proud to be the England manager. I was ready. I felt comfortable being there.
"Our vision of changing St George's Park because we were going to work from there. All my staff were going to work from there to make things better. And we made a good start, winning that first game in Slovakia. And then all of a sudden it was over.' After 67 days. 'Apart from the last two they were very good days."
Allardyce continued: "It's worth remembering that the police didn't discover anything worthy of investigation. And before a parliamentary select committee Robert Sullivan from the FA said I hadn't been in breach of any FA rules. Or told anybody how to breach FA guidelines on third-party ownership.
"In fact, he said I was actually doing nothing more than stating the FA's position. When I went to Wembley I didn't think I was about to lose my job. I just thought it was going to be a discussion about how we navigate through it.
"But the process was not what I expected. People have told me that if it was a similar-sized business there would have been a lengthier HR process. I'm not criticising the FA because they felt they needed to make a decision. I didn't want to go but in the end there was a mutual agreement."
"When I got back from Spain, [Alex Ferguson] Fergie invited me to a game," Allardyce added.
"He told me to get up and get back out there. He's a man of great wisdom. The more people like that support you, the quicker you recover."
Allardyce was replaced by Gareth Southgate and of the World Cup qualifier against Malta in October, the former said: "I couldn't watch. I tried to. I maybe lasted 15, 20 minutes. But I couldn't continue. I had to turn it off and watch something else.
"It was Wembley and I hadn't even had the opportunity to get a game under my belt there. That would have been a big moment for me. It was a gut wrencher, that."
|Cassano: I could´ve been playing on Mars like Messi and Neymar|
|Neymar red card unfair – Emery|
|Kane can become like Ronaldo and Messi, says Kobe Bryant|
|MLS Review: Portland top west, Earthquakes reach play-offs|
|Kane pleased with Spurs´ spectacle for NBA legend Kobe Bryant|
|Zidane backs ´player of a generation´ Ronaldo to rediscover goalscoring touch|
|Cavani calls on PSG to keep improving after Classique draw|
|Conte agrees with Guardiola and Mourinho over EFL Cup|
|Pochettino lauds Spurs for delivering in front of Maradona|
|Marcelo lauds Benzema as Europe´s best striker|
|Even the Golden State Warriors lose - Guardiola dismisses City ´Invincibles´ tag|
|I am different to other managers – Why Conte does not fear Chelsea axe|
|Character is key for Cahill as Chelsea chase consistency|
|Marseille 2 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Cavani rescues visitors after Neymar sees red|
|Real Madrid 3 Eibar 0: Super Asensio spares Ronaldo´s blushes|
|Allegri thanks Mandzukic for red card in Udinese rout|
|CAF Champions League Review: Al Ahly advance to final in dazzling style|
|Liverpool deserve to be ninth, says under-pressure Klopp|
|Wrong news - Wenger rubbishes Ozil exit rumours|
|Klopp slams Lovren: I would have stopped Kane getting the ball!|
|Udinese 2 Juventus 6: Khedira hat-trick inspires Bianconeri rout|
|We could have scored more - Two-goal Kane hails ´unbelievable´ Tottenham|
|Tottenham´s Kane one of the best - Pochettino|
|Atletico needed win at Celta, says Simeone|
|Tottenham set Premier League attendance record|
|Tottenham 4 Liverpool 1: Kane double increases pressure on Klopp|
|Montella questions VAR, promises ´united´ Milan will deliver|
|Celta Vigo 0 Atletico Madrid 1: Fit-again Gameiro ends visitors´ winless run|
|Wenger: Ozil back to his best for dominant Arsenal|
|Dolberg double sinks Feyenoord in De Klassieker|
|We´ve let him down – Keane backs Koeman after Arsenal capitulation|
|It´s not time to be crazy - Koeman calls for calm after Everton thumping|
|Mertesacker lauds compatriot Ozil after Everton thumping|
|AC Milan 0 Genoa 0: Bonucci sees red as 10-man Rossoneri fight for point|
|Guangzhou Evergrande claim seventh straight Chinese Super League crown|
|Everton 2 Arsenal 5: Koeman on the brink as hosts capitulate|
|Ipswich Town 0 Norwich City 1: Maddison gives Canaries more derby glory|
|Gary Neville thinks he is done as a football manager|
|Ibrahimovic has ´minimum´ five or six years left, claims Raiola|
|A-League Review: Vargas injury mars Newcastle Jets win, late winner gives Perth Glory first victory|
|Maybe the Premier League title race is already over - Klopp|
|Pochettino accuses Walker of ´alarming lack of respect´ over Tottenham exit|
|Pochettino: Mourinho put Dier in compromising position amid United interest|
|Sarri: Napoli care more about Serie A than Champions League|
|My goal was legal against Malaga, insists Barca´s Deulofeu|
|Valverde does ´not see any problem´ with Suarez´s sour substitution reaction|
|Ignore the noise, says under-fire Ozil|
|It´s like playing against aliens - Inter´s Spalletti hails Napoli players after draw|
|PSG duo Alves and Lucas to miss Marseille clash|
|CAF Champions League Review: Wydad Casablanca book final berth|
|Napoli 0 Inter 0: Handanovic heroics put an end to Partenopei´s winning streak|
|Barcelona 2 Malaga 0: Controversial win sees hosts extend LaLiga lead|
|Weidenfeller to end Dortmund stay at end of season|
|Pellegrino wants patience from Southampton saviour Boufal|
|Sad day for democracy - Guardiola gives latest take on Catalan crisis|
|Heynckes awaiting news on Muller injury|
|It was a penalty - Silva hits back at Burnley boss Dyche|
|Hamburg 0 Bayern Munich 1: Tolisso sends Heynckes´ men joint-top|
|Southampton 1 West Brom 0: Boufal stunner ends Saints´ winless run|
|Appleton still happy in caretaker role after Leicester sink Swansea|
|Guardiola ready to dine out on Aguero record|
|They should do a press conference to explain – Mourinho furious with Manchester United players|
|Bosz bemoans dropped points after Dortmund let two-goal lead slip|
|Montella calls for courage against Genoa|
|Championship Review: Wolves stay top as Terry scores for Villa|
|One of my proudest moments – Wagner revels in Manchester United win|
|Damage was done in the first half, admits Hughes|
|Conte will ´never´ fear the Chelsea sack|
|Herrera questions Manchester United´s ´passion´|
|Benitez impressed by Newcastle´s perseverance after narrow win|
|Monaco 2 Caen 0: Keita opens account as hosts get back on track|
|A bad team deserves punishment – Mourinho blasts Manchester United display|
|Zidane rejects tag of ´world´s best coach´|
|Stoke City 1 Bournemouth 2: Howe´s men pick up first away points|
|Manchester City 3 Burnley 0: Aguero levels record as Guardiola´s men stretch lead|
|Swansea City 1 Leicester City 2: Mahrez shines as Appleton enjoys winning start|
|Newcastle 1 Crystal Palace 0: Merino leaves it late to sink Eagles|
|Huddersfield Town 2 Manchester United 1: Mourinho´s men suffer first defeat as Lindelof error proves|
|Eintracht Frankfurt 2 Borussia Dortmund 2: Bosz´s men stunned by comeback|
|Immobile, Strakosha pen Lazio extensions|
|Conte hails Chelsea´s ´desire to fight´ for Watford comeback|
|Aguero becomes joint-top scorer in Manchester City history|
|Chelsea hero Batshuayi relieved to end ´difficult moment´ against Watford|
|Verratti admits he had doubts over PSG project|
|Bartomeu offers assurances over Barcelona´s LaLiga status|
|AC Milan will sell ´top players´ if they miss the Champions League|
|Chelsea 4 Watford 2: Batshuayi, Azpilicueta spare champions´ blushes|
|Darren Fletcher makes 100th consecutive Prermier League appearance|
|Carrasco´s attitude not a problem, says Simeone|
|Allegri happy to win ugly at Udinese|
|Barcelona approve €897million budget following record revenue in 2016-17|
|Lineker´s Benzema criticism embarrassing - Zidane hails Madrid striker as ´the best´|
|Bayern Munich announce record €640m turnover|
|A-League Review: Brillante completes comeback in thrilling Sydney derby|
|Bakayoko starts for Chelsea against Watford|
|Not many teams can stop us scoring – Smalling hits back after United criticism|
|Bakayoko: I´m not Chelsea´s new Matic|
|Manchester United fan Werner still dreams of Premier League move|
|Manchester City playing like Brazil, says Jesus|
|Mbappe, Dembele and Jesus named Golden Boy top three|
|Valverde: Barcelona couldn´t sign Mbappe|
|Kane: I´d love to spend whole career at Tottenham|
|Bolt wants to begin football career in 2018|
|What the f***? – Pochettino reveals Madrid selection questions|
|Mourinho plays down Conte spat|
|Liverpool must make Coutinho, Can want to stay – Klopp|
|Barcelona star Suarez granted rest by Uruguay|
|I don´t want to hide - Bilic takes responsibility for humbling West Ham defeat|