As Daniel James watched the birth of his baby boy at lunchtime in Manchester on Tuesday, the prospect of playing for Leeds in London later in the day seemed distant.
But that is exactly what the 23-year-old did, as 21 September turned into a day he will never forget.
“My baby boy was born this afternoon,” James told BBC Radio 5 Live after he had played the whole game in Leeds’ 6-5 penalty shootout win at Fulham in the Carabao Cup.
“Thank you to the manager for letting me be in Manchester for that. Absolutely amazing day for me and the Mrs, so proud of her and it was a late one, something we could not change.
“The manager let me do it so I was able to be there for the birth of my baby and come to the game.”
The third-round tie at Fulham kicked off at 19:45 BST, meaning time was tight for James.
Leeds have a host of injury problems and Marcelo Bielsa played a strong side for the game, making only four changes compared to Fulham’s 11, with the Argentine keen to find a way to have James available.
“The car would have been a bit too long so I ended up getting a helicopter,” said the Wales winger. “A bit of an amazing story – and one I will always remember.
“We don’t have a name yet and will think of a name when we get home.”
It has been an eventful few weeks of upheaval for James, having joined Leeds from Manchester United for £25m on transfer deadline day.