Jay Bothroyd goals keep Chanathip Songkrasin's Consadole in J.League
Just two weeks after a worrying collapse on the training ground, former England striker Jay Bothroyd struck the two goals that guaranteed Consadole Sapporo's survival in the J.League.
Bothroyd suffered a blackout during a training session that caused great concern among teammates and saw him rushed to hospital. But the ex-Cardiff City and Queens Park Rangers striker was soon released and explained that it was "nothing serious".
The 35-year-old put his health problems firmly to one side as his two first-half goals helped Consadole to a 2-0 victory at Shimizu S-Pulse.
The result moved them six points clear of their opponents and, more importantly, nine points above the relegation zone, with just two games to play.
Consadole were promoted from J2 last year, and their consolidation of a place in the top tier owes much to the eight goals Bothroyd has scored since joining in August. This followed a successful spell at Jubilo Iwata, where he was J2's top scorer in 2015.
The striker is best known for a prolific spell at Cardiff City, which led to him winning his one and only England cap against France in 2010.
Fans in Thailand will also be delighted that Bothroyd's teammate Chanathip Songkrasin will feature in J1 again next season. Chanathip has firmly established himself as a first-team regular since he moved to Japan on a loan deal from Muang Thong United in June.
The success of the Thai playmaker has led to much speculation that J.League clubs would be making moves for more Thai international players, including left-back Theerathon Bunmathan, another Muang Thong man.
With Bothroyd also having played for Muang Thong United, the journey from Thailand to Japan looks like it could become more well travelled over the next couple of years.
Bangkok-based Paul Murphy has lived in Asia for a decade, writing for ESPN FC since 2014. He is a former Daily Express sub-editor. @PaulMurphyBKK