A former Hornet revealed what led him to exploring his Christian faith when he appeared on Songs of Praise at the weekend.
Heurelho Gomes, who last year said he was going to give up goalkeeping for God, became the first current Premier League footballer to appear on the religious BBC show.
Gomes, who left Watford following its relegation to the Championship, spoke openly and honestly in the show about the journey he had been on with his faith.
He recalled back when he was aged 14 and his mum was said and he had asked her why she was sad.
Gomes’ mother told her son she wanted to give him a better life, with Gomes explaining they lived on a farm in Brazil that had no hot water.
Gomes told Songs of Praise presenter JB Gill that it was at that moment, he said he was going to be a footballer and he was going to give his mum a house – but faith played no part in his life at that time and he’d have to rely on his own determination to achieve his dream.
It was only when Gomes had achieved that dream that he started turning to his faith for guidance and support.
He said in the show that when he was at Tottenham, things “weren’t going good for him” and this was the “defining moment” that led him to exploring his faith.
Gomes said it was his time at Tottenham that led him to seek support from elsewhere. Credit: BBC
He said: “I had everything. Family and money but I was empty inside. I was missing him (Jesus).”
Later, Gomes said: “We need to speak out. Football is a game for everyone. It’s a game for Christians as well.
“If my heart is full of Jesus, I will speak good things because he is good.”
Gomes was filmed speaking his native language at a religious event. Credit: BBC
In spring 2019, Gomes said he was “99 per cent sure” it would be his last season and that he had his heart set on becoming a pastor.
He said: “I’m prepared for it, I got a call up from God to be a pastor, maybe I’m going to be a pastor,” he said of his future.
“I want to finish the season and think about it and speak to my family as well. They know and I have got a few plans to make involving football as well.
“My life will continue, out from the pitch but involved in football as well.”
Despite this, Gomes signed a new contract with Watford, but his six year spell with the club came to an end in July.
Watch Songs of Praise Faith and Sport on BBC iPlayer.