Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has revealed how his parents rallied around to support him as he struggled to cope with the wretched disappointment of missing his first senior call-up to the England squad through injury.
Agbonlahor was thrilled to be named in new England boss Fabio Cappello's new-look squad for the friendly against Switzerland early this month having made the step up from the England Under 21 squad.
But the young Birmingham-born striker tweaked his hamstring in Villa's recent match at Fulham and was forced to pull out only 48 hours before his big break at Wembley.
Instead the 21-year-old was forced to watch team-mates Gareth Barry and Ashley Young play their part in the 2-1 victory over Switzerland. He said: "I was devastated to get injured. I hadn't had an injury all season and had played week in week out then I get one that week of all weeks.
"It was a real low point after the high of being called up and I had really been hoping I might get the chance to play against Switzerland alongside the other Villa lads.
"I was really, really down but my family helped me through it. My mum, my dad, my sisters and my brothers were all there for me.
"They told me that I would get my chance again and that really helped. I watched the game on television and I watched the players come on. I was just gutted that I wasn't there."
Agbonlahor, who has been an ever-present for Villa up until his two-week lay-off with his hamstring injury, at least managed to work his way back to fitness at a time when his side had no match due to their FA Cup exit and he used the club's mid-winter training break to Spain as part of his recuperation.
He said: "My mum was the main one who supported me through it all while my dad said that he was sure that there would be other chances for me with England. I think he was just really proud of the fact that I had been selected in the first place.
"It was a really disappointing time for me because I had been looking forward to joining up with the squad but hopefully I will be in the next one."
Agbonlahor played his part in Villa's 2-1 win over Reading at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday, setting up Ashley Young for Villa's first goal.
"I was just glad to be back and playing again," he said. "I was really pleased with the performance and to get through the game without any problems after the injury. It was a decent performance by the team."
Talking of his role as the one assisting rather than scoring from a Young pass as usually happens, Agbonlahor said: "You get chances like the one I did in the first half but I didn't want to be selfish and when I saw Ash and I know how good he is at finishing I thought the best thing to do was to pass it."
The Erdington- born striker who is renowned for his speed wore a pair of dazzling orange boots for the Reading game and later joked they would help his legendary turn of pace even further.
He said: "A few players have got them now and I really like them. I had seen them around and asked Nike for a pair and they are far better than any I have had before.
"Do they make me go faster? I think they do a bit! I hope the closest defenders ever get to seeing them, however, is when I flash past them!"