The 24-year-old was a promising forward at Aston Villa before a serious knee injury halted his progress and he was released early in 2010.
McGurk was so disillusioned with the game that he did not seek another club but, pushed on by his family, he played a few times for non-league Hednesford Town and a successful trial with Rovers that summer offered him a way back in.
He has not looked back and, with striker Kyle Lafferty suspended for the next World Cup qualifying game against Russia next month, McGurk is hoping to play his way into contention.
He said: "I didn't really know what to do, I was in a bad place at that time. I eventually got a chance at Tranmere and I took it. This is where I am now so I'm just grateful.
"It was my family who got me back into it. I didn't really have any interest myself being honest, but I didn't want to disappoint them.
"They went through as much as me and it was just to try to please them was the only reason I went back in. Luckily it's paid off."