Dave Edwards was more relieved than ever to find a ‘Doctor in the House’ at Wolves’ team hotel near Blackburn on Saturday morning.
But it was Club Doctor Matt Perry’s driving skills rather than his medical acumen that the Welsh international midfielder required.
Edwards had made the trip North with Wolves on Friday hoping to turn out for Wolves at Ewood Park.
Events however back home in Shrewsbury made it a far different weekend than Edwards, and indeed his partner – the then heavily pregnant Emma - had been, quite literally, expecting!
The 26-year-old midfielder takes up the story.
“I had a phone call from my partner Emma at 8 o’clock in the morning saying she was feeling a bit of discomfort but she didn’t think she was going into labour,” he says.
“She said she would phone the midwife and let me know if it got any worse.
“She then phoned back at 9 o’clock when I was at breakfast and said the pain had got worse and she was going into hospital.
“I made the decision then that I needed to get back and spoke to the manager who was fine with that.
“I was told the M6 would be manic so didn’t want to take a taxi back and started looking at the train times.
“The train from Blackburn was going to Preston first and then a change to get to Shrewsbury.
“The Doc offered to take me to the station but we realised we’d have missed it in Blackburn but might still have a chance to get to Preston in time with the stop for the change.
“Using his driving skills the Doc rushed me down the M65 I think it was and then through the streets of Preston without a sat-nav just following the signs.
“He got me to the station five minutes before the train left which was big thanks to the Doc because without that it would have been another hour!
“Luckily there were no delays and just a short wait for a change at Crewe.
“The train from Crewe was absolutely packed and I was sat on my suitcase outside the toilets for that part of the journey.
“I’d told my Mum who was at the hospital to ring me if Emma had given birth.
“When I got to Crewe I phoned and she said she didn’t think I was going to make it because Emma was almost there and in the late stages of labour.
“I kept looking at my phone from there and there was no call which I was happy with.
“I wasn’t going to risk a taxi from the station so rang my mate in advance to pick me up from there for the five minute dash to the hospital.
“Then I met my Mum halfway through the maternity ward at the hospital when I was running through in my Wolves tracksuit with my suitcase!”
So now arrived at the hospital, what next?!
“I got into the Delivery Room as one of her contractions had finished,” continues Edwards.
“I’d been in there for maybe 90 seconds or so and the midwife said she could see the baby’s head and the next contraction would be the one.
“I was only there for one contraction and one lot of pushing from Emma and the baby came.
“The midwife said I arrived at 11.49 and the baby came at 11.52.
“It was something like a movie – amazing – and I owe a lot of thanks to people, especially the Doc, for helping me get that train.
“I wouldn’t have liked to have missed it that’s for sure.
“The midwife had told Emma she couldn’t wait for me and had to keep pushing and I think her reply – in perhaps different language – was that she certainly wasn’t going to wait around!
“She was on the gas and air at the time and I was just so happy that I managed to make it.
“It was all so manic at the hospital and then getting people to look after our little boy Jack it wasn’t until about 6pm that I managed to catch up with the score.
“To find out the boys had won in such style summed up a really good day.”
The new arrival, Evie Mai Edwards, a sister for two-year-old Jack, checked it at a healthy nine pounds.
She was a week overdue, but Dad had made the trip North 24 hours earlier with his partner’s blessing given no major signs of her impending arrival.
As it was she wasn’t even the first Wolves baby born over the weekend, with the partner of goalkeeper Dorus De Vries giving birth to their first child – a boy – on Friday evening.
“I’d spoken to Emma before travelling and had been tempted to take my car up just incase,” says Edwards.
“But on the Friday she hadn’t had any pains and was due to see the midwife again on the Sunday.
“She said she was o-k for me to go and so I travelled with hopefully being ready to play the game.
“I’d said I’d be ready to come back if anything should happen and spoke to the manager beforehand who said that football should come second fiddle to football in those situations.
“Me and Dorus have been rooming together this year so we’ve been waiting for phone calls overnight from our partners on trips this season.
“Dorus’s baby arrived two weeks late on the Friday night.
“It was really nice for him that he could be there and everyone’s just grateful everyone is doing well and the babies are healthy.”
For footballers it is a case of very quickly back to the day job despite the happy event of becoming a Dad, but the arrival of a second child has meant Edwards will not play any part in Wales’ forthcoming World Cup qualifiers with Scotland and Croatia.
Edwards has spoken with Wales’ manager Chris Coleman who accepted his request to withdraw from the squad, and will instead maintain his fitness levels by figuring for Wolves’ reserves away at Manchester City this evening (7pm).
“I spoke to the Wales manager when he named the squad and told him the situation,” says Edwards.
“I said I’d like to be there at the birth and he said that was fine and just to let him know, which I did on Sunday.
“I said I’d never ever want to pull out of a Wales trip unless it was anything major and he was very understanding and also said that family has to come first.
“I just felt like I could have pushed myself to go later in the week.
“But with having Jack as well it was going to be hard to leave Emma at home with two young children for ten days.
“I think it is a very important time as a family to bond when you have a new baby and is something I didn’t want to miss as much as I love going away with Wales.
“Playing for the reserves will help keep my fitness going.
“I’ve not done much work over the weekend having missed the game.
“It was good to get into training yesterday and I’ll only be away for half a day with the game.
“It will be good to get that under my belt and keep the fitness levels up.”