DANNY Ings finally made his dream Saints debut against former club Burnley on Sunday, but his dad missed his big moment because he was on a caravan holiday in Weymouth.

Shayne Ings has been a major influence on his son’s career, but clearly wasn’t expecting him to be a Saints player this season – let alone be fulfilling a lifelong ambition of playing for the club on the Premier League’s opening day.

The 26-year-old striker made a late move to Saints on transfer deadline day – initially on loan ahead of a permanent £16m move next summer – and was thrown straight into the mix in Sunday’s 0-0 draw.

Ings made a great impact after coming on 11 minutes into the second-half for Stuart Armstrong as Saints dominated the last half-hour.

But it was a moment his dad missed.

“My dad’s actually down in Weymouth in a caravan,” said Ings.

“He missed it, trust me, he’s going to get it,” he added, laughing.

Ings trained as a schoolboy at Saints’ former centre of excellence at Wellington Sports Ground in Eastleigh, but was rejected by the club for being too small at the age of ten.

Sixteen years’ later, Ings is back home on the south coast with a point to prove, having eventually worked his way into the professional game at AFC Bournemouth via a scholarship at Brockenhurst College.

“It does [feel special] and now I’ve just got to prove my worth,” he said.

“It’s not just about being a local boy here, I’m here to improve and do as well as I can for the fans and for the team.

“Got to get on the training pitch and keep working it.”

Ings plied in his trade for Bournemouth in League One, before Eddie Howe brought him to Burnley in 2011.

At Turf Moor, he netted 26 goals in all competitions in the Clarets’ 2013/14 Championship season, before 11 Premier League goals for Burnley the following season caught the eye of Liverpool.

It was at Anfield where serious knee injuries to both knees stymied his progress, meaning he made just 14 top-flight appearances for the Reds in three seasons.

He said: “Considering all the stuff I went through I’ve never lost belief, it was just about getting fit.

“Last season I was fit all year. The opportunities were hard to come by with the strikers at Liverpool but that’s football.

“I’m just glad I can come here and prove myself now.”

Saints had to apply for an extension from the Premier League to get Ings’ deal done last Thursday and it involved a dash from Liverpool to Southampton by plane to get the switch across the line.

“It was crazy, I don’t know the ins and outs, but for me travelling down it was nuts,” he said.

“But we got it done and I couldn’t be happier.”

Ings, who grew up watching his dad play for Netley Central and kicking a ball around on Netley Recreation Ground, admits he thought his Saints dream may never happen after his boyhood snub.

“I wasn’t happy when I was ten. But it’s football, I’m just happy I’m here now and we got it done on deadline day,” he said.

His display in the second-half against Burnley was positive, and he really galvanised the team along with fellow debutant Mohamed Elyounoussi and Manolo Gabbiadini. 

He said: “I wanted to come on and make an impact. I was watching the game and I saw there was some spaces either side of the midfield, so I dropped deep, tried creating some chances.

“Overall, I’m happy with my debut, just a shame we couldn’t get a win.”

He added: “I wanted to come on and score a goal today, I was close, but the goals will come and I’m going to get used to the way the lads play in the next few weeks and hopefully I can get better and better for the team.”