Grant Holt's professional career was barely in its infancy when he was forced to take a job in a food factory.
Now the 32-year-old is hoping to be a key ingredient for Villa in the Barclays Premier League during his temporary stay.
Holt's hopes of making the grade at Carlisle United were dented when his hometown club went into administration back in 2002.
It left him with little option but to drop back into non-league football, combining a part-time deal at Barrow with a job as a storeman in a local factory.
Fortunately for Holt, Sheffield Wednesday came calling a few months later and he set about his remarkable rise to the top flight.
The Cumbrian - who scored 15 goals in his first Premier League campaign at Norwich - says those early days in the semi-pro doldrums have helped him deal with knockbacks in his later career.
"I did a few jobs but I was mainly a storeman," recalls Holt.
"I didn't do it for that long - it was around six months and then fortunately I went to Sheffield Wednesday.
"I've always said that it has moulded me. It has made me realise no matter who you are, you have days when you don't want to go in, but then you cast your mind back to where you were and you think 'well I could be doing that and look what I'm doing now'.
"I think the one thing it has given me is that desire, drive and willingness to succeed at whatever I do, and I think in football I've done that."
Holt took the scenic route to the big time, starting off in the non-leagues at Workington, Halifax and Barrow before his ascent through all four divisions of English professional football.
Having dropped out of the Premier League to join Wigan in the summer, Holt is once again ready to show his ability to bounce back by seizing his opportunity at Villa.
"There were times during my career when I wasn't playing and people told me to stay but I left and it proved to be the best thing I did," he added.
"I'm sure now there is a similar opportunity there. I dropped down to the Championship and now I've got the chance to go again in the Premier League again.
"It's up to me to take it again and hopefully I will."
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