Much of the reason we love football is because it brings us together to celebrate or commiserate, to be part of something bigger than each of us alone. We love it for the moments that send us misty-eyed recalling years later, whether it was during a major tournament win or simply getting one over on your local rivals.
For England fan, Matthew Hardy, the most remarkable moment was watching how things unfolded on a night in Munich in early autumn 2001. "That wonderful night will stay with me, and every England supporter, for eternity," he says.
The international against Germany hadn't started well, with Carsten Jancker putting the Germans 1-0 up after six minutes. So far, so predictable. "But for the next 80-odd minutes, we were in heaven. Goals rained in from Owen, Gerrard, Owen, Owen (!) and then Heskey. Yes, Heskey! Germany 1, England 5. On German soil. I watched in a mate's garden. He'd set-up his TV in garden shed. Somewhat ironically, Heskey's fifth goal resulted in a series of Klinsmann's on his lawn."
Keeping with the international theme, Welsh supporter Martin Bagnall recalls a famous night in Cardiff back in 2002.
"We went into the Euro qualifier knowing we had to achieve the unachievable – actually beating a top footballing nation for a change," he recalled.
"Ninety minutes of nail-biting later, we downed Italy 2-1 with that little wizard Craig Bellamy the hero. Safe to say, our local provided a lock-in for the first time in history!"
If you're a Leyton Orient fan, you tend to resign yourself to the fact that the club isn't about to win the Champions League any time soon. But like all fans, you take it where you can get it. "For me, Leyton Orient getting third place, and therefore promotion from League 2 back in 2006 was a proper 'get in' moment," says Phill Othen. "I used to be a radio commentator and I was here at Oxford United commentating on the match, but when we scored our third in injury time to go 3-2 up, I couldn't help but lose it right there in the press box. I ended up on the pitch with the players and then outside the dressing rooms. That euphoric feeling will never be topped. Unless England win another major tournament, of course!"
Intense local rivalries or avoiding relegation are often the causes of some of the most memorable moments for fans. For Sunderland supporter, Barry Fletcher, they provided a double 'get in' this season. "It's been an incredible finish, I'm still recovering from it," he says. "It's all part of the game, getting one over on your rivals, and when it became a question of Newcastle or us for the drop – well, you can imagine. Before the game against Everton I was incredibly nervous but we were completely unlike ourselves: cool, calm and collected. And sending Newcastle down while staying up at the same time? Doesn't get much sweeter."
Finally, Robin Jones, a Liverpool fan, recalls a certain night in May 2005. "I'm lucky in that I grew up seeing us win the league, the European Cup," he says. "But I was a kid so I kind of took it for granted." Liverpool had won the FA and League Cups in recent seasons, but by 2005 the European Cup had eluded them for 20 years. Then they found themselves in the Champions League final against AC Milan. "It was the way everything unfolded," says Robin. "It was one of the most remarkable games I've ever seen. To go in 3-0 down at half-time thinking that it's all over, and then to score three goals in six minutes in the second-half to square the game. It was like a dream. I watched it in a pub on Merseyside and the place was going absolutely crazy. Then seeing Jerzy make the save against Shevchenko in the penalty shoot-out, there are no words to describe it other than to say it is the best night I've ever had as a football fan."
So be it international glory, local bragging rights, unlikely promotions or remarkable comebacks, these fans prove that 'get-in' moments live on forever.
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