FA Cup: Brighton's Dan Burn aims for fifth-round glory
Brighton defender Dan Burn went from pushing supermarket trolleys to beating Manchester City.
It is a remarkable rise that has continued this season, with Burn completing his £4m move from Wigan last month. (He actually signed for them in August but was loaned back to Wigan until January.)
Burn, 26, admits a decade ago he thought playing in the Premier League was a pipedream.
He said: "I totally thought I would have to look for a different career. At 15 and 16, I didn't get signed by anyone. I was working at Asda pushing trollies.
"I was playing football for local teams and in the sixth form doing a BTech. It was good at the time because I was earning money to do what I wanted to do at the weekends.
"I knew in the long-term I didn't want to be there but if someone had told me then I would join a Premier League team, I would have laughed at them."
FA Cup dreams
Burn has a chance of reaching the last eight of the FA Cup for the second season running when Brighton entertain Championship side Derby at the Amex Stadium in the fifth round on Saturday.
He didn't make it to the semi-finals last season as Wigan were beaten by Southampton.
But he has been to one, in 2000, to watch his boyhood team Newcastle get beaten by Chelsea at the 'old' Wembley.
Burn will start against Frank Lampard's men as Seagulls boss Chris Hughton continues with his policy of rotating his squad for FA Cup ties.
And, with only seven top-flight sides left in the competition, and one of the three remaining heavyweights certain to be knocked out as Chelsea play Manchester United, Burn knows Brighton have an opportunity to emulate their memorable run to the final in 1983.
"It is a chance," he said.
"No disrespect to Derby. They are flying in the Championship but there are a lot tougher rounds that we could have had."
Washing your own kit
A year after pushing trollies, the former Newcastle academy player joined Darlington, who were then fighting relegation from League Two.
Such was Darlington's chronic lack of cash - they went bust in 2012 - Burn was thrust into the first team at 17, and two years after that was signed by Fulham.
"At Darlington I was washing my own kit and bringing packed lunches in to eat," he said.
"I do think it has helped in the long run. It has made me more determined and more focused.
"When I have had down times in football, I have kept thinking 'it could be worse, I could be doing that'."
Beating Man City
After spells on loan at Yeovil and Birmingham, Burn spent two-and-a-half seasons at Fulham before joining Wigan, where he won the club's player of the year award in 2016-17.
It was last season when Burn really impressed though, particularly in an FA Cup run when the Latics beat Premier League Bournemouth in a replay, and West Ham, before a never-to-be-forgotten night against Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, when Will Grigg's winner ended their hopes of an unprecedented Quadruple.
"It didn't really sink in until the end of the season," said Burn.
"Manchester City were the best team in the world at the time. It was a great way to showcase yourself. The whole FA Cup run worked to my advantage because I played against four Premier League teams and ended up getting signed by Brighton."