Jordan Hugill has achieved a childhood dream after joining Middlesbrough on a season-long loan.
The Middlesbrough-born 26-year-old grew up a Boro fan and had a season ticket in the North Stand with his cousin.
And now he has the chance to help Boro win promotion this season after Tony Pulis moved to bring him back to Teesside, the striker arriving on loan from Premier League West Ham United.
Hugill, who will wear No.11, met his teammates for the first time on Wednesday afternoon and will join in training for the first time at Rockliffe today ahead of the weekend game against Birmingham City.
“It’s been a long time coming and I’m excited to get started,” he said. “It’s big move coming to my hometown club, and hopefully I’ll do myself justice.
“It’s something I’ve grown up wanting to do is play for Middlesbrough. I’d break my back to be here, now I want to show people what I can do.”
The 6ft marksman learnt his trade in the Northern League with spells at Marske, Seaham Red Star, Consett, and Northern Premier League Whitby before turning professional with Port Vale at the age of 21.
He swiftly earned a move to Preston and he flourished under the management of Simon Grayson and then Alex Neill, scoring 30 goals in 81 starts to earn a Premier League move.
Hugill, who helped Preston to win the League One Play-Offs in 2015, made his West Ham debut in the away trip to Brighton and Hove Albion in February.
Now, he is excited to pull on the Boro shirt.
“I know the fans here because I was a season ticket holder in the North Stand with my cousin,” he said.
“I’ve had many great days and nights at the Riverside, and want to have many, many more. I would say I am a very powerful player, I can bully defenders and I give everything.
“I like to outpower, outmuscle defenders and bring a lot of people into play - I am looking forward to the challenge of being back in the Championship.”