Colin Kazim-Richards has spoken of the positive reaction he has received after scoring for Fenerbahce against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday.
The London-born player came off the bench to net the equaliser which helped the Turkish side to a 2-1 win and so set up a mouth-watering second-leg at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
It is all a world away from Kazim-Richards' early career, where he played for Bury, before earning moves to Brighton, Sheffield United and latterly Fenerbahce.
The 21-year-old said the experience had been "deafening, overwhelming, unbelievable."
Asked about the messages of support he has received since the win, he told Sky Sports: "I turned my phone on after the game and just bang, 25 messages, 30 messages came through - I tried to reply to all of them but it was really hard. Everybody has been saying well done, good luck, carry it on at The Bridge. We just need to go and stay positive."
Asked how much respect Chelsea showed him coming off the pitch when he was pictured talking to lots of players, he added: "They showed me and the team a lot of respect, you know, shaking hands, swapping shirts.
"I got a few nice remarks from Drogba saying good goal, which is nice, one of the best strikers in the world to say that to you is a really good feeling, it is what you want as a player, other players acknowledging your abilities.
"But they showed a lot of grace in defeat but they are a good team, great players."
The player hopes to one day play in the Premier League, saying: "Don't get me wrong, the Premier League is the best league in the world so I'm not going to tell you the Turkish League is the be all and end all.
"Of course, everybody wants to play in the Premier League - ask anyone on our bus.
"It would be great if a big club like Chelsea were interested in me."
Kazim-Richards feels his story can act as an inspiration to players in the lower leagues.
"My life is very different, it's a long way from Withdean," he said.
"I'm a household name here. Maybe in England I'll be a household name too now.
"It's a fairytale, my story. But it just shows anyone can come up through the leagues and I hope more guys can do it now.
"If you believe in yourself, you can go anywhere."