Sorry in advance for an incredibly boring post, but here are some of my favourite footballing moments in chronological order:
- Blackburn winning the league title for the first time in 81 years in 1995, holding off Man Utd in a thrilling title race. I was glued to radio that sunny Sunday afternoon. Nowadays it is impossible to imagine a small club like us from an unfashionable town finishing as the cream of the crop in England. Shearer scored 34 league goals that season. Our goalkeeper at the time Tim Flowers made an absolutely crucial and stunning save in the dying seconds of our penultimate match at home to Newcastle. We won 1-0, and if it wasn't for his heroics, things might have panned out rather differently.
- Valencia's surprise run to the Champions League final in 1999/2000, and especially their crushing 5-2 and 4-1 victories over Lazio and Barca respectively at the Mestalla.
- Canada winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2000. I know that some people in Europe and South America look down on the Gold Cup, but it was still a fantastic achievement for us to win a major trophy. We beat Mexico (who have reached the last 16 at each of the last 4 World Cups) in our QF, and Colombia (who were crowned Copa America champions a year later) in the final, on our road to glory.
- Blackburn getting promoted from what was then called the English First Division to the Premiership in 2001. The 3 matches that stick out are when we outclassed our promotion rivals Bolton 4-1 at the Reebok Stadium, crushed our arch-rivals Burnley 5-0 at Ewood Park, and beat our friendly rivals Preston 1-0 at Deepdale to mathematically secure that promotion, and I attended all 3 of those matches.
- The Glens wrecking Linfield's hopes of sealing the treble in 2000/2001, by beating them in both cup finals.
- Blackburn winning the League Cup in 2002. We hammered Arsenal (albeit their second string side) 4-0 in our QF, and beat Spurs 2-1 in the final, and I saw both of those matches live. The day out at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff was an unforgettable experience. The Andy Cole-Matt Jansen strike partnership was lethal during their half a season up front together. A small club like us winning a major trophy is a huge deal.
- Valencia being crowned Spanish champions for the first time in 31 years in 2002. It was quite funny that they won the La Liga title despite only scoring 51 goals that season
. They spoilt Zizou's welcoming party on the opening day of the season. Depor embarassing Real Mierda at the Bernabau in the Copa del Rey final and spoiling their centenary year was also brilliant.
- Blackburn's top 6 league finish in 2002/2003. We played some very free flowing and entertaining football that season, with Damien Duff, Tugay and Dunn in full flow. We beat and outplayed the best 2 teams in the country at the time Manure and Arsenal at home, and rode our luck to also beat L'Arse at Highbury the Library.
- The Glens winning the league title and League Cup in 2002/2003, and we were only one match away from winning what, for us, would have been an unprecedented treble, losing 1-0 to Coleraine in the Cup final.
- Los Ches winning the La Liga title for the 2nd time in 3 seasons in 2004. That triumph was more satisfying than their 2002 one, as they played far more attractive football in 2004. They outclassed Real Mierda 2-0 at the Mestalla and beat Barca 1-0 at the Camp Nou that season. To add further gloss to proceedings, Valencia also won the UEFA Cup, while Real Mierda who in March were top of La Liga, leading Monaco 4-2 heading into the 2nd leg of their Champions League quarter-final, and were looking forward to the Copa del Rey final, won nothing that season.
- The Glens clinching their 2nd league-league cup double in 3 years in 2004/2005. In our penultimate match of the season, we had to beat Linfield at the Oval otherwise our title aspirations would have gone up in smoke. The ex-Linfield striker Chris Morgan scored a 93rd minute winner for us as we clinched a crucial 3-2 victory. Unfortunately though, drunken hooligans froms both sets of supporters clashed and through missiles at each other afterwards
- The Whitecaps brushing aside Sunderland 3-0 in a friendly and embarassing an English Premiership club. Sure Sunderland were dreadful in the season that followed, but we did what Manure couldn't do, beat them at home.
- Northern Ireland beating England 1-0 at Windsor Park in their 2006 World Cup qualifying match. Take a bow David Healy :bow:. The Green and White Army were easily the better team throughout the match as well. I was in Belfast at the time. What a hugely enjoyable night that was.
- Blackburn clinching the double over Manure for the first time in 75 years in 2005/2006, beating them 2-1 at OT, and 4-3 at Ewood, and both times we outplayed them and deserved to win. We also beat Arsenal and runaway league champions Chelsea at home that season, and finished the top 6 to qualify for the UEFA Cup.
- Winning shit loads of money courtesy of some inspired and random bets throughout the 2006 World Cup.
- The Whitecaps winning the USL First Division play-offs in 2006.
- Memories of the opening match of the 1982 World Cup and Gerry Armstrong coming flooding back, as David Healy scored a sensational hat-trick as the Green and White army downed Spain 3-2 at Windsor Park in their Euro 2008 qualifier at Windsor Park. Again, I thought that N.I were the better team and deserved their victory.
- Any matches that Manure, Real Mierda or Linfield have lost, or any seasons which those clubs have ended trophyless.