Scott McLaughlin knows he should be dead.

But instead, everything is hazy. It’s dark in Glasgow’s city centre and he’s sat by the side of the road unable to move.

There are people surrounding him. An off duty doctor has his phone’s flashlight in his eyes.

To his side, a woman is arguing with someone.

It’s the driver, who almost just killed him by speeding through a red light and hitting him at high speed.

Yet all McLaughlin can think about is: ‘Are my legs still working’?

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The fear of paralysis from the waist down terrifies him.

This was last Thursday night. And right now, it feels like a miracle that he’s still here to tell the tale.

His broken ribs are still sore. The cuts and bruises on his face aren’t pretty to look at. And he’s exhausted.

But McLaughlin’s alive. And from this moment on in his life, for that he’ll be forever grateful.

The former footballer retired last year after a 20-year career in the game.

He won the League Cup with Livingston in 2004, the Challenge Cup with Airdrie in 2008, as well as promotions with Morton and Ayr United.

Since he stopped playing, the former midfielder has taken to running.

A month ago, he completed the Manchester Marathon in under three hours.

When he hits the roads, it liberates him from the stresses of daily, working life. It’s his release valve.

But just after 7pm last Thursday, he feared he’d never see his wife and kids again.

McLaughlin was on his usual route from Paisley into Glasgow and back again.

And on North Street, as the same junction he always crosses at, his life was about to flash in front of his eyes.

Scott McLaughlin
Scott McLaughlin

“In that split second before the car hit me, I thought I was dead,” he says.

I didn’t think when I woke up that day, I might die. But it’s that simple.

“I’m genuinely happy to be alive because I should be dead, I know that.”

McLaughlin was the victim of a callous hit-and-run, which is now the subject of a Police Scotland investigation.

But in an exclusive interview with Mailsport , he recalled the moments after he was knocked flying into the air - and his worry that he’d never run again.

He said: “I’ve done the route a million times. There are three lanes at that particular crossing.

“In the lane closest to me, the car stopped. In the far away lane, the car had stopped as well.

“The lights had gone red so I went. But the guy in question obviously made a decision from far back that he was going through it - and he’s f***ing nailed me.

“He came from nowhere and has absolutely skelped me up in the air.

“Unbelievably, after I hit the ground, I got straight up and walked. There must have been adrenaline still inside my body.

“But the next thing I knew, I was sitting down with people around me. A woman was there, saying she was a nurse.

“Then a guy came over who was a doctor. He got his phone out to flash my eyes and make sure I was alright.

“But all of this time, the blood was p***ing out of my head.

“At that point, the driver was still there but I was out of the game. I can’t remember anything he said.

“All I know is, one of the witnesses was going off her head at him. She was shouting, asking why he’d flown through a red light at that speed.

“I was just in a daze.

“And the main thing going through my head was: 'I wonder if I’m paralysed.' I just wanted to get up and walk to make sure my legs were still working.

“But the people around me were holding me down, telling me not to move.”

Scott McLaughlin, who is encouraging hundreds of people to take up a 5k running challenge, during the coronavirus pandemic.

McLaughlin was freezing cold by the time the ambulance arrived. And by now, the culprit had fled.

He’d called his wife Sarah to tell her. Then called her again, moments later, unaware that he’d already called.

The hospital medics who treated him were left stunned that he was still alive.

He said: “Someone said to me that I’d actually been hit TWICE.

“Apparently, I got hit up in the air but he kept driving and hit me again, launching me forward on to the road.

“I don’t have a clue if that’s true or not.

“I felt as if I still had my wits about me when I got to the hospital.

“But I made a point of trying to remember everyone’s name.

“It was to prove to myself that I was still all there and knew what I was doing.

06/08/13 SCOTTISH LEAGUE CUP FIRST ROUND PARTICK THISTLE v AYR UTD (2-1) FIRHILL - GLASGOW Scott McLaughlin in action for Ayr Utd

“The truth is, I’m not sure I knew what day of the week it was.

“Those doctors must have been sick hearing their names all the time!

“My ribs were sore but it wasn’t blinding pain. I think I was still in shock.

“All the time, I was worried about my legs. Because I was on a stretcher, I still couldn’t move them. It was frightening.

“The doctors told me they’d never seen anything like it. From what they’d been told - they couldn’t believe I was still alive.

“They were surprised at the minor injuries I had, given the severity of what had happened. When I was hit, my head crashed against the ground.”

Incredibly, McLaughlin spent four nights in hospital - one in their high dependency ward - before being discharged on Monday.

The near-death experience has certainly given him perspective, as well as three cracked ribs and a bruised lung.

But it’s a measure of the 37-year-old’s character and mental resilience that he’s already itching to get back out running again.

He said: “I got a real fright. In fact, I still can’t believe it actually happened to me.

“But I haven’t been put off running. I have no doubts. In fact, if I could go for a run right now, I would.

“I’ve realised that life is too short now. I know I should be dead but I’m not.

“So I have to try and enjoy every day I’ve got now.

“When that car hit me and I went up in the air, I thought that was it. I thought: ‘How can I survive this’?

“I could have ended up paralysed or in a wheelchair, anything.

“I actually can’t believe how lucky I was.”