THE song tumbled down from the upper reaches of the cavernous Stadium MK as the game headed into stoppage time.

Danny Devine had just bought City some precious breathing space from the second-half onslaught by winning a free-kick on the halfway line.

It was typical of the youngster to keep running to the end and was immediately acknowledged by those travelling fans in the rafters.

“He’s one of our own” boomed the West Yorkshire voices and Devine, while outwardly showing no emotion, felt a warm feeling.

“I was very happy inside,” he admitted. “It was a special moment hearing your own chant.

“Hopefully they will sing it a few more times for me.”

Devine’s transition from apprentice to professional has been impressively smooth so far.

Stuart McCall’s hand was obviously forced by injuries – Romain Vincelot continues to fill in at centre half rather than as City’s intended midfield general – but the teenager has not looked out of place.

It has been a long-running criticism that the Bantams have not brought enough of their own youngsters through. The best have tended to be sold off early.

So Devine’s appearance has been welcomed by everyone in and around the club.

He is also looking to uphold a proud tradition of former St Bede’s pupils wearing the claret and amber.

Mark Bower and Andy Kiwomya are also proud alumni of the Heaton school.

Devine, who lives just outside Wibsey, said: “Hopefully I can keep up the trend and continue playing to make as many appearances as them.

“I was born in the BRI, so I’m Bradford through and through. I’ve obviously got friends that I’ve grown up with who are Bradford fans and many of them are season-ticket holders.

“As you can imagine, they are absolutely buzzing for me at the moment and keep messaging after each game to say well done.

“Maybe there’s a bit of pressure being a local lad but I feel as if I’ve dealt with it so far.”

It ultimately proved to be one of Phil Parkinson’s final acts at Valley Parade to hand Devine a one-year senior contract. He was the only one from his age group to get a deal in the summer, although Reece Webb-Foster had signed his longer one during the season.

Parkinson, who was often accused of being wary to blood home-grown youngsters, saw something in the leggy 18-year-old. McCall has shared that conviction, which was backed up by a string of consistent performances in pre-season in a variety of positions.

Devine filled in at left back and right back at some point as well as his usual central role and caught the eye with the way he just got on with it.

“Being versatile helps me because the more positions you play, the more chances you have of being in the team.

“When the new gaffer came in, it was like starting afresh. You had to perform well in front of him and show what you are capable of.

“I feel I did that in pre-season and now he’s given me the chance to do that in competitive games. I don’t think I’ve done too badly up to now.

“Not so long ago I was playing youth football and now I’m in the first team. You can definitely tell the difference.

“You don’t have as much time on the ball, it’s not as easy and it’s a lot more physical as well.”

A loan spell last season at Harrogate Railway in the Northern Counties East League helped prepare him for the step-up to “real” football.

Devine said: “It was a bit more route one but good experience of men’s football after playing in the under-18s.

“It was different but they were nice lads. They welcomed me with open arms and helped me settle in which has been a massive positive for me.”

Devine, who turns 19 in a fortnight, will hopefully get a bit more sleep tonight before his second home game than he managed ahead of his debut against Port Vale. It was an occasion that he still struggles to put into words.

“It was just a bit unreal playing in front of the home crowd with all those thousands of people. I can’t describe it.

“You’re obviously aware of everyone but I felt I dealt with it quite well. I just listened to the advice that other players gave me, telling me beforehand not to let the occasion faze you.

“The team are great and they talk to me all game. Vince behind me helps me through it, saying things like ‘left shoulder, right shoulder’ so I know where to be.

“Hopefully it’s shown the other young players that the door is open. Like Kwame (Boateng) for instance, he’s been on the bench every game so hopefully he’s got every chance.

“For young players, it’s their dream that the gaffer will give them that chance.

“Hopefully when you get it, you can grab it with both hands.”