Brett Ormerod can sum up the day he won his team promotion to the Premier League in one word: surreal.
The former Accrington Stanley hero netted the goal which earned Ian Holloway’s Blackpool promotion to the top flight last Saturday.
And in doing so, he completed perhaps the greatest football fairytale of recent times.
"To be honest, it’s only just starting to sink in what we’ve achieved," Ormerod told Observer Sport. "It’s fantastic that we’ve done it, and it’s all a bit surreal.
"I was asked after the game on Saturday how I would describe winning promotion, and I said it was as if we’d managed to land on the moon without a space rocket."
Ormerod’s goal, right at the end of the first half, turned out to be the decisive moment at Wembley as Blackpool beat Cardiff 3-2 in a thrilling Championship play-off final.
And it has providing an unlikely route back to the big time for a man who has enjoyed plenty of ups – and suffered a fair few downs – since his days with Stanley back in the mid-1990s.
The former Blackburn trainee spent two years at the Crown Ground before making the move to Blackpool in 1997 for £50,000.
A £1.75m switch to the Premier League with Southampton, from which Stanley received £200,000 thanks to a sell-on clause, followed in 2001.
His five years with Saints included an appearance at the 2003 FA Cup final, which they lost 1-0 to Arsenal, along with loan spells at Leeds and Wigan, before he returned north permanently to join Preston in 2006.
However, he broke his leg during North End’s play-off defeat against Leeds in 2007, and found it difficult to force his way back into the team when he was fit again.
Instead, he went out on loan to Nottingham Forest and Oldham, before jumping at the chance to rejoin Blackpool in January 2009.
He said: "I wasn’t playing at Preston, and Blackpool gave me the chance to pick myself up.
"I was happy to come back, because I’d had such an enjoyable spell at the club first time around.
"I’d have been happy if it had been half as good this time. Instead, it’s been even better!
"The 15 months or so since I came back to Blackpool have been incredible.
"I’d say that winning promotion to the Premier League with Blackpool has been the biggest achievement of my career.
"I know I played in the FA Cup final with Southampton seven years ago, but it’s so much sweeter when you win a big game.
"Going up through the play-offs is the best way to win promotion in terms of the high it gives you.
"It’s also the most nerve-wracking – but that’s why it’s such a great feeling if you do it."
Ormerod enjoyed the thrill of an open-top bus ride through Blackpool’s crowded streets on Monday, as the town gathered to salute their heroes.
It was all a far cry from the days when the young striker was banging in the goals in the Northern Premier League for Stanley, while earning £130 a week working at Hall and Letts textile factory in Great Harwood.
He has now earned his share of a reported £5m promotion bonus promised to the Blackpool squad if they made it to the Premier League.
"The factory’s not there any more, as it closed down a couple of years ago.
"If you’d told me back then that one day I would make it to the Premier League, I’d have thought you were mad.
"After the problems I’ve had with injuries, I just want to keep playing for as long as I can. I’ve been lucky enough to play and score at just about every level – from the UniBond League to the Premier League, so I suppose this is another step on an incredible journey.
"But I’d never have believed any of this was possible during my non-league days."
Ormerod still has plenty of affection for Stanley, crediting them for giving him the belief that he could make it as a professional after being released by Blackburn in 1995.
He said: "I was released when I was 18, and I went into non-league. I went to Accrington, and that was where I really started to enjoy my football again.
"It was a wrench leaving Blackburn, because they were the club I supported as a lad.
"And really, it was a case of having to start again. But Accrington gave me a massive boost. It’s a great club with a real family feel about it."
Saturday’s victory may have been the greatest day of Ormerod’s career, but it was also the most nerve-wracking, despite a bit of help from his superstitious dad.
Father Glynn, who lives in Rishton, stayed away from Wembley – as he thought it would bring the striker luck.
Ormerod senior missed Blackpool’s victory over Leyton Orient at the Millennium Stadium in the 2001 Third Division play-off final, in which his son scored.
But when he did go to see his son play for Southampton in the FA Cup final two years later, they lost.
This time, dad’s decision to stay at home paid off, as son proved to be the hero.
But the striker, who was substituted with just over an hour gone, still found the tense climax at Wembley too much to bear.
Ormerod confessed: "I couldn’t watch the game after I came off. I had to go into the dressing room, and one of the lads followed me in there for the last 20 minutes. It was the longest 20 minutes of my life."
The striker has gone off on a short family holiday to recharge his batteries after an exhausting season.
He said: "At the moment, I’m emotionally and physically drained. I’m looking forward to a bit of a break now.
"And that might just give me a bit of time to really take in what we’ve achieved.
"Blackpool were among the favourites to get relegated from the Championship at the start of the season. We had one of the smallest budgets in the division, and we were competing against teams with Premier League set-ups and Premier League money.
"We’ve done it thanks to a lot of hard work from a talented group of players, lads who grafted for each other.
"Those lads are severely under-rated, but I hope now that they will get the credit they deserve."