Stuart Dallas has opened up about the family support that has helped him make it to the Premier League.
The Northern Ireland hero has been revelling in the celebrations after Leeds United were promoted from the Championship but, true to form, the humble 29-year-old has not forgotten those who set him on the road to glory.
Growing up, a young Dallas dreamt of playing in the top flight of English football and following in the footsteps of fellow Cookstown native Aaron Hughes, who was playing with Newcastle.
Dallas showed great potential at Coagh United before Crusaders snapped him up a decade ago and, after starring in the Irish League, he earned a move to Brentford, then in League One. Following a loan spell at Northampton, Dallas established himself with the Bees prior to Leeds signing him in 2015.
Since then, he has gone from strength to strength at club and international level and will fulfil his dream next season.
"It means everything," Dallas told Sunday Life Sport.
"As a kid growing up, you dream of playing in the Premier League, and to hopefully get that opportunity with Leeds is dream come true stuff.
"When I was at Coagh, and with Aaron Hughes being from the town, I always thought I'd love to get where he is and probably never thought it would happen, but now I am hopefully going to get the chance.
"It has been an unbelievable journey from playing at Crusaders and before that with Coagh, and there are so many people who have helped me along the way and I want to get round to thanking them because I'm very grateful.
"There has been a lot of hard work and dedication that has gone into it. I have never had anything handed to me and I am very, very proud of the journey I have been on.
"I moved over to Brentford when I was 21, and at the start I wasn't playing. I didn't just go straight into the first team and had to work my way up. I went on loan to Northampton and had to put so much hard work in and now to get into the Premier League with Leeds is just incredible.
"Throughout everything, my family have been there for me. We have a small family and they have all done so much for me and I can't thank them enough.
"There will be no prouder men in Northern Ireland than my brother Marcus and my dad (Alan). Marcus supports me all the time and I think back to the work that my dad did with me when I was younger, taking me from A to B which was difficult for him at times because he was out working.
"There's also my granda Jimmy, who has been there for me and is someone I can talk to. He will be very proud as well. He has had a difficult time in the last few years and I am so pleased he got to see us win the League and will hopefully see me play in the Premier League.
"And of course my wife, Juneve, and our kids. Where would I be without them? They have been there through thick and thin. When things haven't been going well, they have been there to pick up the pieces and keep me happy. This is for them as well. They deserve it. I am so grateful for their support.
"I also look back to managers I played for. Stephen Baxter at Crusaders did so much for me and so did Noel Mitchell at Coagh United.
"A lot of people don't know but when my dad couldn't take me to places, Noel took me. He was always a family friend and was one of the first people I contacted when we got promoted to say thank you because without him none of this would have been possible.
"Leeds have waited a long time for this.
"There has been a lot of hurt over the years and lows and not too many highs, but hopefully this is just the beginning of what this club can achieve."