LIONS fan Sid Nelson described skippering Millwall as a "dream come true".
Nelson was left speechless when manager Ian Holloway handed him the captain's armband 90 minutes before Saturday's clash with Ipswich Town.
The 19-year-old was making only his fourth senior appearance but Holloway asked him to lead the team in the wake of a humilating result against Bradford in midweek.
"It came as a shock," said Nelson.
"I sat down in the changing rooms just buzzing to be playing again so my face dropped when the gaffer gave me the armband because it's a dream come true for me.
"I've thought about being Millwall captain my whole life. I wanted to follow in the foosteps of Paul Robinson and lead the team out at The Den.
"The manager told me on the day of the game – at half one, or quarter to two. The manager said, 'today I want Sid to be skipper because he's done well as captain of the U21s'.
"He gave me the responsibility in front of the older lads. I was speechless and I had to go into the toilet to let it sink in.
"All the other players shook my hand – they were really good with me and they have been every time I've played.
"I respect them so much for that because for a young player like me to be the skipper, they could take it another way. But they all put an arm around me.
"John Terry captained Chelsea when he was 19 and I've done that for my team, so it's a dream come true.
"I massively look up to Terry – he's got determination and grit, and he's good on the ball.
"Obviously I look up to Robbo, Alan Dunne and Danny Shittu as well – the senior pros who have been there and done it in the game.
"I try to mould myself on players like that because I've still got a lot of learning to do."
Nelson was not fazed by his additional responsibilties and fired up the crowd when he berated Noel Hunt for strolling off the field as he was substituted.
"In my eyes he was taking a few liberties," said the centre back.
"They were 2-1 up so he was trying to take as much time as he could. I tried to push him off and he got a bit lemon, but that was about it.
"I just played my normal game because my best attribute is trying to be a leader. Having the armband reminded me to keep talking and organising.
"It's not even been a month since my first start but when you're a footballer you've got to be ready for what comes. Anything can come at you as a young pro.
"You never know what will happen next – next week I might be back in the U21s or I'll be playing for the first team again. I'll take thing stride by stride."
Nelson was also asked for his reaction to the news that chairman John Berylson is backing manager Ian Holloway despite Millwall's poor form.
He said: "That's great news for everybody at the club because we don't need a change. It's coming. We've had a bit of bad luck with certain goals and we need the gaffer.
"People don't see the behind-the-scenes work that the gaffer does and he's so determined to get us out of this. I think it's going to come very soon."