Carlton Cole is hanging on to the No21 shirt he wore in making his England debut on Wednesday night away to European champions Spain.
The in-form West Ham United striker - back at rainy Chadwell Heath after his sojourn in Seville - explained how he resisted overtures from some of the continent's best players for the shirt off his back come the final whistle. The polite requests followed a "15-minute cameo" that included a late chance from a killer David Beckham pass that was only just cleared off the line.
"A few of the Spanish boys wanted to swap shirts but I had to keep it," Cole said. "I don't care who it was who asked me for it. It was one of those things that you never know if the chance will come again. I took it home with me. I was so excited and happy to be on the field."
Although he could hardly hide his pride at being the latest man to be capped by England, Cole admitted disappointment at the 2-0 defeat. "I had hoped it would be a win but when you are playing the European champions it is tough. I knew we had a great team but they had a better team on the night.
"They deserved their victory. I was disappointed not to score right at the end but I got my 15-minute cameo and it was really good for me to be involved in the England set-up."
The 25-year-old also relished the opportunity for some one-on-one coaching with Fabio Capello. "He is a quality manager. He tells you what he wants and what he expects and you have got to deliver. The boys were a bit unlucky. We got outshone by a good side but we have our foundation and England are working towards getting better and better as each game comes."
The same can be said of Cole. He explained he was looking to do his very best for West Ham in the hope of earning another chance - starting with the FA Cup visit of Middlesbrough on Saturday. "This has given me a massive confidence boost now. I know I can get chances in big games with my play and that is what I am going to be working on now at club level.
"I am going to work so hard for West Ham. Hopefully my scoring record will continue and I am just going to get better and better for the club. Now I have had a little taste, I am more hungry now. I want success and I want to get chosen again. I want to stay in the England squad.
"I want much more of this. David Beckham signified how great it is to play for your country with his 108th cap and I was just glad to be on the pitch for my first when he was equalling the record. I was overwhelmed with excitement to be coming on in a game like that, especially as at one point I thought I might miss out."
Cole acknowledged that club-mates Robert Green and Matthew Upson were a huge help as he adapted to the regimented world of international football. "Greeny and Matty were so helpful to me. Although I knew most of the lads already, they made me feel at home with all the rules and the meetings. I am known for being late and they helped me get out of bed in the morning! It was great for the three of us to be involved."