He said: “There were quite a few people within the game who told me that it was perhaps time to give up. I had the possibility of getting an insurance pay-out had the worst come to the worst. But I kept putting that off trying to get back.
“It was getting very close to the time limit expiring on that policy and I had to make a decision on whether to continue trying to play or take the money and run.
“To get the pay-out I would have had to officially retire and not play any form of professional football. The paperwork was all looked out, I had spoken to lawyers and it was very far down the road to happening. So I turned my back on a very large sum of money to give it another go.
“Things could have gone wrong after that, but I wanted to give myself that opportunity. In my old age, if I had taken the money and not given myself that final chance, I don’t think that would have sat well with me.”
Gordon has enjoyed a successful return to action, helping Celtic clinch a league and League Cup double as well as returning to the Scotland international fold.
He added: “Getting tthe Player of the Year award is unbelievable, really. Coming back into football not knowing if I would even play one or two games, and then end up playing 50 games, winning two trophies and now to top it off with this award – it’s beyond anything I could have ever have imagined coming back. It’s incredible.
“My first thing was just to get back playing football again. I never thought it would lead here. It’s been an incredibly journey. Not one I would like to do again as I’d like to stay where I am now, but it’s been great to get back to this level.
“It was special enough the first time coming through the youth ranks and to work hard to become a professional in the first place. To go away, play one game in three years, then come back from that and do it all over again makes it more special for me.
“For me to get back into a team playing well enough to win trophies and awards is something that I had thought had probably passed me by.”