Dan Burn realised a dream he never imagined would come true when he scored in Newcastle’s Champions League triumph over Paris St Germain.
The Magpies defender was earning £9 an hour collecting trolleys when he got his break in football as a 17-year-old YTS trainee with Darlington.
On Wednesday night, his header put his side 2-0 ahead in their Group F clash with the French champions at St James’ Park, and they went on to secure a famous 4-1 victory to give themselves a genuine chance of qualification.Asked afterwards if he had ever dreamt of scoring in the Champions League, the 31-year-old said: “I dreamt of it. I never thought it was going to happen.
“I don’t think it’s really sunk in. The next few days once I’ve watched it back about a hundred times and managed to celebrate with my family, it probably will.
“But (it was) just a special night all round for the city.”
Burn’s big moment, which came after Miguel Almiron had fired the home side in front, was surrounded by drama after he headed home Bruno Guimaraes’ cross and immediately saw the flag go up to spark a lengthy VAR check.
But the 6ft 6in defender eventually got the answer he craved to spark wild celebrations on and off the pitch.
He said: “It spoiled it a little bit because as soon as I scored, I looked up and saw the offside flag and you’re a bit deflated.
“But as it went longer and longer, you think it might be a goal and just to have the lads jumping on you and looking around, and I’ve got all my family here as well…
“To be able to say that I’ve scored in the Champions League for Newcastle is amazing.”
Much of the talk before the game centred on how a Newcastle defence shorn of the services of key man Sven Botman would handle the threat of Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, Goncalo Ramos and Randal Kolo Muani.
In the event, Burn, Kieran Trippier, Jamaal Lascelles and Fabian Schar – who also got his name on the scoresheet – coped admirably to blunt a potentially lethal attack.
Asked about Mbappe, Burn said with a smile: “He stayed on the left side, so I was quite happy, to be fair. But even to say I was playing against Mbappe is crazy.
“As I said, he kept over to Tripps’ side more, so I was happy with him.”The Magpies will resume their campaign after the international break with another home tie against Borussia Dortmund, but will do so having made a significant statement about their prospects.
Burn said: “We don’t fear anyone. We worked very, very hard to get to this point and we want to enjoy it, but we’ll only enjoy that playing the way that we play.
“We’ve just got to keep the momentum going.”