Were it not for a generous member of the British Transport Police, Moses Odubajo may not be preparing for the biggest game of his life as Brentford face Middlesbrough for a place at Wembley.
The England U20 international was on trial with Leyton Orient as a 16-year-old but, as decision day approached he had a run in with the law over a borrowed Oyster card at Stratford station.
After being stopped he told the police to ring Andy Edwards, the Os current academy director, to explain the situation.
He explained: “I wasn’t getting paid at the time. My neighbour had a free travel Oyster Card so from time to time I would ask him to borrow it.
“It was the day before I was getting told whether or not I was getting a scholarship [at Orient].
“On the platform, transport police came up to me for no reason to ask about my ticket.
“I showed it to them, he said this isn’t you. I had to explain the whole story about what I was trying to do, which he didn’t believe at first.
“He rang the manager who said it was true so he let me off and the club gave me another day to think about it (his mistake) and got back to me and I finally got the contract.
The rest is history as Odubajo made over 100 appearances for Orient and scored a sensational goal against Rotherham in last season's League One play-off final.
Defeat to the Millers led to a move to Brentford and the 21-year-old has excelled at Griffin Park and won caps for England U20s.
Promotion though would be a huge achievement for Brentford and the full back is relishing the challenge of taking on Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.
He added: “I think not just me but all of the lads, everyone feels up for it. In training today we looked sharp and confident so we have to take that into the game and go from there.
“I’ve learned that they like to stay compact and are very, very good defensively and are going to try and catch us on the counter attack.
“So at times we have to make the pitch as big as we can, and their pitch is big as well so that helps and hopefully we can take the game to them.”