Murray Wallace: FA Cup dreams, Dreamgirls and becoming a hero at Millwall
"Do you want the bad news now?"
Millwall hero Murray Wallace had absolutely no idea why club captain Steve Morison was greeting him with such a negative question. It was Monday morning. Wallace was buzzing. His goal against Wimbledon less than 48 hours earlier had put the Championship side through to the FA Cup quarter-finals.
The Scot had netted the winner for the second consecutive round for the south-east London club, after Premier League Everton had been on the receiving end of an added-time strike from the 26-year-old. So a last-eight tie to look forward to at The Den against another Premier League outfit, and the captain is looking glum?
"You're suspended for Brighton," continued Morison.
Wallace didn't believe him, initially, thinking it was a prank. But then it started to dawn on the former Falkirk defender. Yellow card against Everton. Yellow card against Wimbledon. One-match ban.
"I think it's quite harsh to have to miss a game," he told BBC Scotland. "I was surprised and gutted because the next round is massive, it's the quarter-final of the FA Cup. We've got a great tie and I fancy us. Hopefully I'll get a chance to play in a semi-final."
'I even heard from my old high school year head'
It's been seven years since Wallace left Scotland, first for Huddersfield Town before moving to Scunthorpe. And despite the immediate disappointment of the suspension, he can smile as he reflects on some of the attention his FA Cup heroics created back in Eaglesham in East Renfrewshire.
School was Mearns Castle High, where surprisingly for him, news of his dramatic goal against Everton registered. "I even heard from my old head of year at high school, Mrs O'Donnell," Wallace says. "She doesn't have my number or anything, but she knows one of my sister's friends and she passed on a message to pass to me.
"I just found it quite funny and lovely that these people still wanted to congratulate me. I was surprised and thinking, 'I can't believe she knows who I am'. When I was at Rangers as a kid and asked for a day off school to do a full day's training, she wasn't too happy - so it's interesting to see she's a bit more supportive now."
From FA Cup dreams to Dreamgirls
In the meantime, Wallace has plenty to occupy him. Keeping Millwall clear of the relegation zone in the Championship is one thing, a potential FA Cup semi-final is another.
Then there's soaking up life in the big city. School of Rock, Motown and Dreamgirls are West End musicals he's already taken in. The latter, he insists, was a present for his other half.
"There's so much to do in London," Wallace added. "I've got my girlfriend down here and when we get our days off, we like to go and explore the city. I think we've seen about four or five shows already, and I didn't realise how many parks and green areas there are in London. I'm trying to pretend to be cultured."