Manchester City are back at Wembley this weekend; a reminder of my most memorable moment in football.
That 1999 Division Two Play-Off final win against Gillingham, at the old Wembley, was just an incredible experience, for many different reasons.
Even though I’m Scottish, as a young boy growing up one of my ambitions was to play at Wembley. Another one was to score at Wembley.
Another reason it was so special was because of what it meant to the football club. We knew it was a massive game but probably didn’t realise until a week after the game, just how big it was. We were told if we hadn’t won that game the club could have gone into administration, if not liquidation. That’s almost unthinkable when you think about where Manchester City are now.
The fact we were 2-0 down and came back to win the game too. There were just so many emotions involved in the build-up to the game and on the day, it’s hard to explain really.
It’s true what people say that looking back on days like that it all becomes a bit of a blur. The next few days certainly were - but that had nothing to do with the football!
But the one thing that stands out, looking back, is the belief that we had that we could get back into the game, even though we went 2-0 down in the 87th minute. I just had that feeling.
Kevin Horlock got the first goal - and he jokes to this day that his goal made my career - and the rest is history. I don’t remember a lot about my goal. I remember missing a chance before it, that Vince Bartram saved.
That was another incredible thing about the day - I was Vince’s best man at his wedding and now me and my wife are godparents to his kids! You couldn’t make it up! I just had a feeling and a sense that I was going to get another chance in stoppage time. I was in their centre half Guy Butters’ ear, saying ‘I’m going to get another chance here’. Obviously that chance came, and I think you can see in my celebration the sheer emotion from the day. I feel very lucky and privileged to have scored that goal.
The momentum we got from that one game was unbelievable and the back-to-back promotions that followed were the catalyst for where the club is now.
It’s well documented the special relationship I have with City. They look after me ever so well when I go back. It’s very humbling.