He stood a few small steps away from the top of the world when he joined Sir Bobby Charlton and Gary Lineker as the only Englishmen to score a goal in football's ultimate semi-final.
And for England's Kieran Trippier the journey to the World Cup semi-final in Russia, with a stop at a Skegness caravan park along the way, now seems more significant than ever.
'It would be me and my mum in the caravan. We just used to travel around,' he says of the days more than 10 years ago when the two of them would roam all over the north to watch his brother, Kelvin Lomax, whose football career was taking off at Oldham Athletic.
'Any chance to watch him, I'd take it,' says Trippier. 'Three days a week it would be — me and mum. I'd just watch him play, watch him train. He'd be in the youth team, reserves, in tournaments...'
In time, the FA Cup would be part of it, too. Lomax, a right back like his younger brother, was a significant member of the Oldham team who beat Everton 1-0 at Goodison Park in January 2008.
Ten months later an injury brought it all crashing down. Lomax suffered a broken leg and knee damage against Brighton — injuries from which he would never really recover and which would leave him washed up in non-League football by the age of 25.
Lomax's experience seems to underpin Trippier's burning determination never to waste a day.
'You can't take anything for granted,' he says. 'Kelvin's injury made me realise I had to make the most of every moment.'
Trippier, three years younger than Kelvin, was a Manchester City academy player but can still recall the first sight of his brother in plaster.
A grim struggle ensued after Oldham released him — a number of loan moves, including Shrewsbury Town, semi-competitive football in Australia and then, finally in 2014, an acceptance that it was over.
Lomax now works in administration for a friend's construction firm.
'It was devastating because he's been playing from such a young age just like me,' says Trippier, who will be 28 on Wednesday.
He knows for himself how fickle football can be. Trippier had been at City since he was nine, and was part of their 2008 FA Youth Cup-winning team.
He also played in City's pre-season tour of the United States in 2012 when he was told he was going on loan to Burnley, having already had a year at Barnsley.
His references to City academy coaches Jim Cassell and Alex Gibson, who converted him from central midfielder to right back, reveal how important they were to him. 'If not for them I wouldn't be sitting here,' he says.
But his description of how it felt to be sent away echoes unforgotten grief.
Sportsmail understands that Trippier was then considered the academy's best player but a reluctance to send him to train with the first team too early led to the purchase of Pablo Zabaleta.
'He got lost in the system and should never have gone,' says one source who was at City at that time.
Trippier knew none of that. 'I was devastated,' he says. 'I thought I was going to get an opportunity. But things aren't meant to be for a reason.
'Going to Burnley was the best decision I ever made. I was playing every game and maturing as a player. I was happy. I had to take a step back to take a step forward. Everything started from there.'
You measure the hours differently if you have seen professional life from both sides of the lines.
Trippier arrives early at the Tottenham Hotspur community event at a primary school near the club's new stadium. He explains his surroundings to his social media followers before joining in a PE lesson.
There is deprivation in Haringey and the club's involvement — providing coaching and mentoring one day a week — helps 'keep children away from the less desirable influences and brings out those who struggle to engage,' says head Stephen McNicholas.
Trippier knows about that kind of environment. He is a regular visitor to his old secondary school, Woodhey High, in Bury on Manchester's northern outskirts.
He has views about how those who have known nothing but a gilded football academy existence can lose perspective.
'They have all the ability in the world,' he says. 'They're the best players from the youth system, come to 19 or 20 and then fall off the radar.
'They're getting all the hype at that age. It's difficult to control. They need the right people around them. Just live every day to the full, and don't take anything for granted.'
It is the absence of a sense of entitlement which is most striking. When Trippier joined Tottenham in 2015 there was an 18-month wait for regular Premier League football. Trippier makes much of the way manager Pochettino dealt with him at that time.
'If a manager wasn't communicating you would be thinking, "I must be doing something wrong'," he says. 'The manager was always saying, "Your chances will come".
'I just waited. The way he handles his players when they're not playing is crucial — just that little pat on the back.'
One of those who knew Trippier well at City cites his intelligence as well as a rare capacity to attack and defend and deliver immense pace.
It was England manager Gareth Southgate who brought Trippier's now-trademark dead-ball skills into the open this summer, though.
'Gareth worked a lot on set-pieces with (strikers' coach) Allan Russell and (assistant coach) Steve Holland,' Trippier says.
'He knew what I could do because I've hit a few for Tottenham though not on a consistent basis because everyone knows what Christian Eriksen can do with a dead ball.
'But when I was picked for England he just put me on the set-pieces. I got my dead-ball opportunity with England.'
The 'Bury Beckham' tag is one he has laughed off, though Beckham's work was something he looked to in his City academy days. The back catalogue he reels off includes an obscure one: a shot from the edge of the area at Bradford City in 2000, when Manchester United won 4-0.
There was much United talk in the household. Trippier's father, Chris, was an avid United fan and Trippier initially trained with them at the Cliff for over a year.
'Two of my friends went from United to City so then I wanted to go too,' he says. He has never met Beckham but says: 'I've always said I'd like to, but you know how busy he is.'
A place in the weekend's stand-out fixture, against Liverpool, lies ahead for Trippier.
'They've brought in a lot of good players — you can't deny it,' he says.
'People can keep talking about City, Liverpool, United, but we'll keep doing our thing, going under the radar.'
And when it comes to assessing his own performance, it will be his brother to whom he looks, in a reversal of those early days on the road.
'He's often there to see me and I can ask him advice in a way that I can't with other people,' Trippier says.
'He is the one person I can look to. If you play good, you play bad, he lets me know. That's the kind of person I need around. He's someone who really knows.'
Kieran Trippier surprised pupils at St John Vianney Catholic Primary School in Tottenham by joining one of their PE lessons and donated a Premier League Primary Stars equipment pack.
Primary school teachers can apply for free kit or equipment via PLPrimaryStars.com
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