EX-MILLWALL star Paul Ifill has urged the club's current crop of players to cherish the "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity of playing in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
Ifill was a key figure during the Lions' run to the final against Manchester United in 2004 but admits that he let much of that experience pass him by.
So the 33-year-old, who now plies his trade for Wellington Pheonix in New Zealand, insists Millwall should not be afraid to enjoy the occasion when they face Wigan in the last four on Saturday.
Ifill told NewsAtDen: "At the time I didn't really think too much of what we'd achieved because I was caught up in the middle of it. Looking back now it was just amazing.
"There are players a hell of a lot better than me who never got to play in a cup semi-final or final so I count myself very lucky to have managed it, especially when I was at a Championship club.
"The players should take it all in and take a billion photographs – I wish I'd taken more. When you're in the moment you are trying to concentrate and obviously that's important.
"But for some of my teammates, the FA Cup was the be all and end all – they never got to play in the Premier League. Some slipped down the leagues and others retired. You have to think about that.
"There are going to be lads who, if they do play at Wembley, won't be playing football in a few years. That's just a reality. I've seen a few games this year and I do think a couple will play in the top flight.
"But it is a tough game and there is a chance they won't. So they should definitely take everything in and enjoy themselves because these days don't come around often in your career."
Ifill, however, is confident that Millwall can spring a surprise against the Latics: "This is the best draw they could have got," he said. "Wigan's main focus is to stay in the Premier League this season.
"When we did it, people said it would never happen again so it's a massive achievement. They have knocked out some decent sides – it's not like they've had easy draws all the way through.
"They have a great chance and if everyone is fit, I really fancy them to cause an upset. Danny Shittu's been excellent for them – I've played against him a few times so I know what a competitor he is."
The Lions beat Sunderland 1-0 at the same stage of the competition nine years ago and, like many fans, Ifill looks back on that day with more fondness than the defeat to the Red Devils in the final.
He said: "We felt, although nobody made it public, that we weren't going to beat Manchester United or Arsenal, who were playing in the other semi-final. So that was our cup final.
"We were having a good season and the FA Cup run hindered our chances of getting to the Premier League. When we drew Sunderland it went downhill in terms of our league form.
"I remember at the time wanting to prove myself so that I would be in the team. But if you were fit and experienced, you knew you were going to play, so you were worried about getting injured.
"Nobody wanted to miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A lot of the players in 2004 never played in the Premier League so for them to be able to say they reached the final was a pretty big thing."
Ifill played 90 minutes at the Millennium Stadium in the final and recalled how he won the praise of legendary midfield enforcer Roy Keane for his performance – although he missed out on his shirt.
"About 30 seconds before the end of the game, me and Keane went into a tackle and both required treatment," Ifill said. "We were on the touchline and he turned to me and said: 'well played son.'
"That was a nice touch. The game wasn't finished yet but I asked him whether there was any chance I could have his shirt. He said 'no problem' and told me to meet him in the tunnel.
"True to his word, he was waiting there and handed his shirt over. When I went back to the dressing room, David Livermore was sat there looking a bit upset. He'd also asked Keane for his shirt.
"He had Nicky Butt's and, because I like Dave, I suggested we toss a coin. No disrespect to Butt, but the loser got his shirt and I've still got it hanging up in my front room."