Dagenham & Redbridge goalkeeper Elliot Justham had an afternoon he’ll never forget on Saturday – picking up the man-of-the-match just two hours after his wife gave birth!
Justham’s dream day began around 1pm when he became a father for a second time with the arrival of a baby girl.
The keeper then hot-footed it back to Victoria Road for the visit of AFC Fylde and produced a memorable display between the sticks as Dagenham ran out 2-1 winners to subject the promotion chasing Coasters to a first away defeat of the season.
Former Luton Town keeper Justham produced a terrific double save to keep out a deflected Nick Haughton effort, before denying Gime Toure on the rebound.
It was a day that will live long in Justham’s memory, and the keeper received worthy praise from Daggers boss Peter Taylor.
“You worry these days that the dads want to be at the birth, so when I knew everything was about to happen, I was thinking we might not have Elliot in goal,” the former England manager said.
“He was desperate to play and made that agreement with his good lady. I’m delighted for him because not only was he fantastic against Fylde, but he’s also a dad which is brilliant.”
Justham’s afternoon on the field, however, got off to the worst possible start when his save from Fylde’s top scorer Danny Rowe in the very first minute fell kindly for Andy Bond to give AFC Fylde an early lead.
But the much-improved Daggers dug deep and clinched a vital win with Conor Wilkinson’s 28th-minute equaliser from the edge of the box followed up by a winner on 64 minutes from Jack Munns.