Lee Noble has been praised for getting his life on track during a decade at Dartford.
Former boss Tony Burman admitted the midfielder was something of a bad boy when he signed him from Brentwood in 2008.
But Noble, who passed 450 appearances for the club earlier this season, is now a class act both on and off the field.
Burman said: “Lee is one of the toughest guys I’ve met. In his early days, he found himself on the wrong side of a bit of trouble when I was trying to sign him.
“He had a big tattoo that said ‘what goes around comes around’ and that typified him.
“Lee is a winner, he gives his all for the cause and he’s never caused me any problem at all when we go in to sign a contract for the following
“Don’t get me wrong, he’s on a good deal for us but I can’t understand why a Football League club haven’t taken him.”
Burman compared Noble to former Darts youngster Andy Hessenthaler, who he played with back in the 1980s.
He said: “When Hess was working in Bexley, at lunchtime you’d see him running round the roads. His attitude was second to none and Nobes has got that.
“They’re both hard guys and Nobes reminds me a lot of him. How he hasn’t been given that opportunity I don’t know.
“He’s improved so much as a person, he’s such a good lad to have around the changing room and it’s been a privilege to manage him.
“He’s turned into a real good person as well as a good footballer.”