HE might have been born in Middlesbrough, and raised as a Sheffield United fan thanks to the influence of his goalkeeping father Ian, a proud son of the steel city, but Joe Ironside spent some of his formative teenage days at St James’ Park idolising Alan Shearer.

Simply playing at the home of Newcastle United was a dream come true, but Ironside went one better at the weekend as he swept home Cambridge United’s winner to dump the Magpies out of the FA Cup. While he stopped short of raising his arm aloft Shearer-style, he clearly enjoyed himself cavorting in front of the Leazes End.

“It panned out how I dreamt it,” said Ironside. “I’ve got to play here, and it’s stuff I dreamed of. Alan Shearer was my hero – now I have scored the winner at St James’ Park.

“It was a dream come true to play here and get the goal. It’s a day we will never forget and never want to end.

"Players and fans won't forget it for a long time, and it was wonderful to be part of it.

“We came here, and it worked perfectly. It was meant to be. VAR seemed to go on forever, but when it was confirmed, I was buzzing.”

Ironside is house-mates with Cambridge’s other weekend hero, Dimitar Mitov. The Bulgarian goalkeeper was a key factor in the Us’ win, with his sensational stoppage-time save from Joelinton even drawing applause from the Newcastle fans.

“When the Newcastle fans clap you after making a save, you know you’ve done something pretty good,” said Mitov. “That’s my job. I’m there to save them. I’m really glad I made a couple of really good saves.”

Cambridge’s victory was a notable personal triumph for their manager, Mark Bonner, a childhood Us fan who promised to head to his attic to rifle through his programme collection in order to check whether he had been at the Abbey Stadium when his hometown club last beat Newcastle in 1984.

While Cambridge won promotion from League Two last season, that success was achieved in front of a succession of empty stands. Saturday’s triumph was all the sweeter thanks to the presence of 5,000 visiting fans.

“We knew going in there’s always an upset somewhere,” said Bonner. “Whether we could be it, we didn’t know, but somehow we found a way of making it happen.

"I’m delighted that we have done. It was a real day of memories for everyone in the club, certainly the players and definitely the supporters.”