Mark Mayambela is one of South Africa's football darlings because of his talent but his behaviour off the pitch almost dimmed his career.
Mayambela, 30, has now turned over a new leaf in life and says it's all thanks to his close relationship with God.
The Chippa United dribbling wizard, affectionately known as Professor, told Sunday World from his Cape Town home this week that he has become a full member of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC).
The player, who once turned up for Swedish elite league side Djurgarden, says his days of partying hard are over.
"I am grateful to God for opening my eyes. If it wasn't through His grace, I would have long disappeared from the game like many of my peers. I am proud to be a member of the ZCC and this badge has helped to cleanse my bad boy image and made me a whole new person. Now I am guided by God's words and He is the shining light in my life and my career," he says.
The former Bloemfontein Celtic, Orlando Pirates, SuperSport United and Ajax Cape Town player says it was during the ups and downs in his career that his mother Lungiswa, 49, sat him down and persuaded him to join the church.