If James Willstrop never hits a competitive squash ball again he’ll always treasure an extraordinary Commonwealth men's doubles gold on home turf.
The Yorkshire star and partner Declan James came through one of the all-time classic finals triumphant over team-mates Daryl Selby and Adrian Waller.
As the penultimate medal event of the entire Games it was a fitting crescendo and ranks among the former world No.1’s greatest days on court.
“This one is right up there,” said the 38-year-old. “A Commonwealth gold is one of the greatest things any player can achieve.
“I wanted another one and it’s elevated by working with a special player and a special person in Declan. It’s great to share it with him.
“We knew we were good enough, we’d proved it in practice all the time. It was just putting it all together this week - it doesn’t always work out but it did for us.”
Willstrop and James looked like they’d romp home after dominating the first game 11-3.
But in his final game in the sport Selby was in inspired form and shared plenty of physical battles with Willstrop on the right side of the court, taking the second 11-7 to force a decider.
The pairs went point-for-point in the last but Willstrop and James won the battle of wills 11-9 to clinch the seventh Commonwealth medal of his career and the second gold.
That outcome was in grievous doubt just days ago with James revealing he tore his quad two months ago and nearly missed the Games entirely.
He said: “ I was nearly out the game for six-nine months, so it was a very lucky escape. At the time, it was 50/50 as to whether I’d be able to compete here.
“But I’ve got such an amazing team around me, through endless rehab, to get me here. To get this result is extra special because of that.”
Uncertainty surrounds Willstrop’s future in the sport and he has no plans to play in any upcoming tournaments.
He said: “At 38, you have to take it month by month. I need to have a break as this was an intense few weeks. I love playing and I’m in decent shape so I’d like to keep playing after a bit of a rest.”
And women's doubles pair Sarah-Jane Perry and Alison Waters were proud of their performance after taking silver in the earlier match, losing 2-0 to top seed Joelle King and partner Amanda Landers-Murphy.
Waters had a successful week, also winning silver in the mixed doubles, and paid respect to their opponents from New Zealand.
"They are such a strong pair you must do it with 100 per cent of your potential to be in with a chance to win, and they were a little bit better than us today.
"I'm really proud of the way we fought. They were a privilege to share the court with.”
And Perry hailed the crowd at the NEC for the unwavering support they received throughout the Games.
"The sound and the encouragement coming from the crowd has been exceptional," said Perry. "We don't get to play too many big events in the UK, so it's been a particularly special privilege the last couple of weeks to play in such an enthusiastic and home crowd."