The midfielder could now even emulate his former Everton coach by scoring in a European final victory. Lundstram has already struck the decisive goal to secure a Europa League final appointment against Eintracht Frankfurt next week. He was in the right place to lash the ball home as Rangers overcame RB Leipzig.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side are now 90 minutes away from a historic achievement. Even reaching the final has raised eyebrows across Europe. The Ibrox side have beaten the tournament favourites – Borossia Dortmund then Leipzig – en route.
“To be honest, it wasn’t something I ever dreamed of because I didn’t think it was something that would ever happen,” reflected Lundstram. “I was a Liverpool fan growing up but once you’re at Everton for 15 years, it becomes a massive part of your life. It meant so much to me.
“My early dream was to play in the Premier League for them. It never quite happened but I got the chance to play in the Premier League further down the line.”
Lundstram satisfied this ambition with Sheffield United. He has Sheedy to thank for fuelling his ambitions to be a professional footballer. The former Everton and Republic of Ireland midfielder is remembered for a cultured left foot. He used it to score Everton’s third goal in a 3-1 win over Rapid Vienna to secure the European Cup-Winners’ Cup in 1985.
“Kev was a massive influence on me,” recalled Lundstram. “I worked with him for two or three years. He took my game to another level.
“I think he was one of my biggest inspirations to be honest. Because it’s at an early age, in the grassroots really, when you learn most of your trade. As a player he was a legend and played for both Everton and Liverpool. I’ve no idea what Kev’s up to now but I’d like to think he’d be proud. He was a great coach and we got on really well.”
Lundstram’s journey from Rangers bit-part player with a lot to prove to an indispensable figure in the team has been one of the stories of the season. Had the campaign been another couple of months longer he would have featured among the player of the year candidates.
He will instead be satisfied with the knowledge that he is so appreciated by supporters, hence the reaction as he set off down the touchline to warm up during Sunday’s 2-0 win over Dundee United. The huge roar underlined his status as a fans’ favourite.
It’s a remarkable turnaround since being accused of letting Rangers when he was sent off before half-time as they narrowly overcame Alashkert as the start of their Europa League journey.
“The start I had with the club wasn’t what I wanted,” he admitted. “So to come out the other end, get to this final and put this club back where it belongs is just unbelievable.
“Am I proud of myself? I’ve got to be, haven’t I? To be honest, it doesn’t feel real. I’m just so happy to have got there with this club. I’ve fallen in love with the place and I’m just so happy.”