John Lundstram spent 14 years at Everton but left before making a first-team appearance.
However, he bounced back from being released to work his way back to the Premier League with Sheffield United and then go on to play in a European final.
Lundstram’s story is one of determination not to give up on his dream and in the latest Bred a Blue podcast he tells us all about his incredible journey from getting two buses to Bellefield with his mum, to playing for Rangers in last season’s Europa League final in Seville.
Along the way, he learned his trade under the likes of Alan Stubbs and Andy Holden at Everton and made, he freely admits, some poor decisions with regards to his selection of loan clubs.
He also once incurred the wrath of David Moyes and recalls that: "I’d been a bit of a naughty boy and he called me into his office and went berserk on me! I am still scared of him when I see him now!"
But he also adds: "He was the one manager at Everton who saw something in me and pushed me as hard as he could and when he left, things were never quite the same for me."
Lundstram left Everton in to join Oxford United and it was very quickly a perfect fit – he was soon made first-team captain and his consistent performances earned him a move to then Championship outfit Sheffield United.
Promotion followed and redemption came in September 2019 when he set up one of the Blades’ goals in a 2-0 Premier League win at Goodison Park against Marco Silva’s Everton. "That was satisfying," he says. "One of the best footballing days of my career. I’d lost my identity when I left Everton. I was no longer John Lundstram, the Everton player, I was just John Lundstram."
Listen to John Lundstram's Bred A Blue story here or in the player below.
To catch up on other episodes of Bred A Blue, featuring guests including Steven Schumacher, Paul Tait, and Shane Duffy, click here.