A tearful Peter Ebdon revealed after his World Championship defeat by Ronnie O'Sullivan that he pondered retirement following his father's death last year.
The 2002 champion was beaten 10-4 before telling how his father's passing had left him "broken-hearted".
"After dad passed away I didn't know if I would want to play again," he said.
"But I know he would have been so proud of me that I achieved 21 consecutive years at the Crucible. Now I can really look forward to the rest of my career."
Before his opening-round match with three-time winner O'Sullivan, Ebdon told how his new vegan diet and commitment to fitness resulted in an upturn in form.
Earlier this month, Ebdon became the second oldest winner of a ranking event when he won the China Open, his first ranking title for three years, before qualifying for the Crucible.
The 41-year-old - who has featured in three World finals - also revealed that it was his father's death from cancer that had triggered the change in lifestyle.
"I miss my dad so much," said Ebdon, "I'm so gutted he's not here. I'm very, very happy, really settled in my life and things are going forward. But I've had a really tough time.
"I was just absolutely broken-hearted and I gave it everything I had in China. I had a really tough draw but I dug deep and found something every time I needed to.
"[His father's death] got me focused on diet and nutrition for the first time and I know if I keep doing the right things I can come back and be champion here again. I really believe I can and will do it."
Meanwhile, Ebdon said O'Sullivan would have to improve markedly to have a chance of progressing any further in the tournament.
"It's very disappointing because I don't think Ronnie has really had to play that well to beat me," said Ebdon, the world number 21.
"He'll certainly have to improve a lot in his next match [against either two-time champion Mark Williams or China's Liu Chuang].
"But you can't write that man off, the man's a genius, one of the greatest players of all time.
"And even though he didn't play particularly well, there were four or five moments of sheer brilliance and inspiration. It's just fantastic to watch."