While Nahki Wells roared with delight at his match-winning debut goal for Huddersfield Town, thousands of miles away in Devonshire his mom wept uncontrollably with pride.
Listening via her computer, Beth Simmons admitted she ‘felt sick’ to her stomach with nerves when she found out he was on the bench for the Championship clash against Millwall.
Less than 24 hours after leaving Bradford City to become Bermuda’s first £1 million footballer, 23-year-old Wells was in the squad with all eyes on the Terriers’ new record signing.
But, as he has regularly done over the past couple of years, Wells seized the day and his composed volley with just seconds of normal time remaining ensured a 1-0 win and instant adulation from his new fans.
Simmons told the Bermuda Sun: “I wasn’t watching but I was listening on the computer and when he came on I felt sick to my stomach because I didn’t think he’d even be on the bench.
“When he came on and scored I just started bawling. I couldn’t stop — I had no control over it.
“I was so relieved and to think he didn’t even know his team-mates and their style of play is different.”
A move down the road to City’s rivals Huddersfield has left a bitter taste with a section of Bradford fans and Simmons admits it was hard as his mom to read some of the abuse the former Dandy Town player got on Twitter and various messageboards.
She said it’s not something that bothers her son, though, and that the wave of support from the island meant a lot.
“He has some extremely proud grandparents, aunts and uncles and everybody [in the family], and he’s thankful for all the support he gets from the island — he really does appreciate that.
“I think especially when the Bradford fans found out he was going to Huddersfield sometimes just to have your home [Bermuda] support is a big relief.
“I’m just a very proud mama.”
She added: “He said ‘I don’t read all of that internet stuff’. He has no ill will towards any of them — he has nothing but love for the Bradford fans.
“All that rivalry stuff doesn’t appeal to Nahki — he’s just a Bermudian out there living his dream.”
For Wells himself, it was the ideal start at his new club and with Harry Redknapp’s QPR next up this Saturday, the games are going to only get
bigger. He remains confident he has the mentality to focus on his game — and perhaps give his mom some more nervous afternoons in front of her computer.
“Being the club record signing definitely does put extra pressure on my shoulders but, and I’m not saying this in any arrogant way, I’m quite good at dealing with pressure,” he told the Yorkshire Post.
“That’s a benefit and something I have dealt with to get to this point. I will just continue to try to deal with the pressures as the higher you get the more pressure there is.
“I have just been lucky enough to be able to deal with what has been put in front of me so far.”