Ben Parkinson made his Premier League debut during Newcastle United's 2-0 defeat to AFC Bournemouth on Saturday night.
And while the evening ended in disappointment for United as the home side went on to double their lead, it was a night to remember for Parkinson.
"It's something you dream of as a kid, especially as a Newcastle fan," Parkinson told BBC Radio Newcastle. "I want to thank everyone who has helped me along the way and especially the gaffer for putting his trust in me.
"It's surreal and hard to get my head around. A few years ago I wouldn't have put myself in this position but I've put my head down and worked hard. A really proud moment.
"It was tough the result but I just had to enjoy it, play with a smile on my face and work as hard as I can to prove to myself and everyone else that I can hopefully get another opportunity."
As Parkinson stood on the touchline waiting to come in place of 17-year-old Lewis Miley, who was making his first Premier League start, vice-captain Kieran Trippier offered some words of encouragement.
"When I came on, Tripps put his arm around me and just told me to come on and play with a smile on my face," Parkinson revealed.
"They're amazing with me day to day when I've come up to train from the academy and when I've been away with the side in the last three games. Putting their arm around me and making sure I'm fitting in with the group and comfortable."
Parkinson first joined Newcastle's academy aged seven and has been in and around Eddie Howe's squad this season having travelled to the USA for the Premier League Summer Series. He featured in a 1-1 draw against Chelsea and a 2-1 win over Brighton.
During the competitive season, Parkinson was an unused substitute in the 3-0 Carabao Cup win at Manchester United and 2-0 Champions League defeat at Borussia Dortmund before making his debut versus Bournemouth.