THANKS to him, Wayne Rooney earns £200,000 a week - but Jean-Marc Bosman today lives on benefits and anti-depressants.
Bosman's five-year court battle ended in 1995 with an historic ruling by the European Court that shifted the power from clubs to footballers.
It allowed players to work freely within the European Union and walk away for nothing at the end of their contracts.
Players have since been able to run down their contracts and pocket huge signing-on fees or force their clubs to cough up sky-high amounts to extend their deals.
Yet skint Bosman pockets just £630 a month from the Belgian state, as he never reaped the rewards for his personal crusade.
Speaking to French radio this week, Bosman said: "I am on anti-depressants.
"Everyone has forgotten the man at the centre of the Bosman case.
"I have made the world of football rich and I find myself with nothing.
"I cried tears of blood because of it, I suffered enormously and I've never had recognition from players."
Rooney had 18 months left on his contract with Manchester United and threatened to quit Old Trafford before the Red Devils offered up a stonking £10m-a-year contract.
Bosman added: "Rooney increased his value by threatening to put the Bosman clause into play.
"Instead of going to Real Madrid, he stayed at Manchester United with a high contract.
"He earns £30,000 a day. I reckon someone should do something for me.
"I find it disproportionate to have to go to the Public Centre for Social Action and live on a benefit of £630 a month.
"Fifpro could give me a salary so I can look after my family. I'm not asking for £30,000 a day, but for around £2,500 a month."
Bosman sued FC Liege in 1990 in a bid to force a move to Dunquerque. He argued two points.
First that Liege should not be entitled to a fee once his contract expired.
Second that the quota of just three players from the European Union per club was against the established EU principle of free movement of workers.
He was vindicated. But Bosman's career was in ruins after five years of legal wrangling.
His marriage ended, he lost all his money and became an alcoholic.
Fifpro vice-president Philippe Piat said: "We will meet soon to find a solution.
"It's not easy because we've helped him financially in the past but that did not prevent him from finding himself in a complicated situation again."