Troy Deeney has enjoyed many highs since signing for Watford from Walsall back in 2010.
His dramatic injury-time goal against Leicester City that sent the Hornets to the 2012-13 Championship play-off final will never be forgotten by the club’s supporters.
However, scoring a last-gasp penalty in the FA Cup semi-final against Wolves on Sunday afternoon might just be the biggest moment of his career so far.
Watford looked dead and buried after Raul Jimenez made it 2-0 to Wolves in the 62nd minute, following Matt Doherty’s first-half opener.
But Gerard Deulofeu’s wonder-goal gave Javi Gracia’s side hope, before Deeney was handed the opportunity to send the tie to extra-time when referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot.
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The 30-year-old held his nerve and dispatched the penalty with aplomb, sending the Watford fans wild.
Deulofeu went on to complete the stunning comeback with his second goal of the afternoon in extra-time - and Watford will now face Manchester City in next month’s FA Cup final.
Deeney is excellent value whenever he speaks to the press - you wouldn’t bet against him becoming a pundit when he hangs up his boots - and his heartfelt post-match interview after Sunday’s semi-final was superb.
The Birmingham-born striker, who spent time in prison back in 2012, reflected on his long journey to this point and recalled the days - around 12 years ago - when he used to pay money to play football.
Watch the interview here...
And here are the quotes in full...
“It’s weird because for the first time ever I looked at it from a selfish point of view,” he told beIN Sports. “I was literally just, had a little toast with my family, and it was just like ‘I’ve come a long way personally’.
“People always go back to jail, but before that, just grafting away watching my brother do all these things and trying to be a footballer, and I was just trying to support him.
“A long hard stint to get here, that’s kind of the emotion that come at the end. I’m not going to lie; I was holding back the tears.
“Because it’s like I used to pay to play football, 12 years ago I was paying 10 pound a week to play football, and now I’m going to be in the FA Cup final.
"Granted, against Man City, against a very difficult team but I think every now and again you just have that moment where it’s like a wave of emotion kind of hits you.
“I’m a big tough guy, that everyone knows, but it was just like this one’s for you and for everyone upstairs - thank you. I just had a moment with my mum, it’s just special.”
Asked if his journey should inspire people contemplating giving up the sport, Deeney provided another profound response.
“It’s not just this game, I’m going to go a little bit deeper, it’s just life in general,” he continued.
“There’s always going to be setbacks. Don’t believe in Instagram when people go ‘oh it’s all real life, everything’s easy.’ Everyone’s got bills, everyone’s got heartache, and everyone’s got problems.
"So it’s just one of them, if you can continue the course and you can stay true to yourself everything will be alright, and that’s kind of what I do.
“I still make mistakes daily, and I’m trying to be a better person, but personally this moment is everything to me. I’ve got everyone that believed in me and everyone that trusts me here today – and I’m just happy.”
Deeney also refused to talk about Man City, making it clear this was Watford’s moment to enjoy.
“This ain’t their moment, this is our moment, and we’ll worry about them the week before,” he added.
“This is everybody that came out and watched today, people who have been on the journey, people who went to Woking away.
“All those guys, people who like myself, that were here when the club was close to being in administration.
“This is our moment, no Man City, no one can tell us how we should feel now. We should literally sit down, bask in it and say do you know what, we’re a good set of lads and we deserve this.”
He’s not everybody’s cup of tea but that was a brilliant interview. Such honesty and openness.
And in another interview with beIN Sports, Deeney mocked Jimenez for wearing a mask after scoring his goal.
Watch it here…
Never change, Troy.News Now - Sport News