27 May 1999

Man Utd play a Champions League Final - 26th May 1999

(This was written in July 1999)

It had always been my dream to watch United play a European Cup final, from the heartbreaks against Monaco and Dortmund, we had finally beaten Inter and Juventus (What a game, that was!) to reach the holy grail. I had waited for this day for 14 years – ever since I saw Norman Whiteside score the only goal in the 1985 FA cup final for 10-man United to beat Everton.

I had looked forward to the match for over a month and couldn’t think of anything else for three days before. Finally the time came, the match was on ESPN (God bless them) at 12.30 in the morning here in India. My whole family had stayed out of my way cause I was on tenterhooks – WE HAD TO WIN TODAY!!!!

The match started at the fabulous and grand Camp Nou in Barcelona, I had settled into my ‘lucky seat’, in my United shirt and shorts to start the most important 90 minutes of my life. The game began pretty unimpressively – Giggs on the right and Beckham in the middle – I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t agree with Alex Ferguson (the cheek of me). Then Basler scored, the remote dropped from my hands, my wife looked at me – too scared to even say one word. I told her “We will equalise” – I was trying to convince myself too.

I watched most of the rest of the match either praying or abusing german players or cheering the united players. At half time, I just paced up and down waiting for the second half, looking to the ceiling and saying PLEASE GOD – JUST ONE GOAL, JUST ONE GOAL. My wife decided to go and try to sleep.

The second half began with no changes to the United line-up – I couldn’t believe it. Surely we needed to shake it up a little. Nothing changed , United kept trying and United couldn’t make it happen. Mehmet Scholl hit the post and Schmeichel saved a couple of shots, Jancker hit the bar! Was God saving United for something?

I had tears in my eyes and beads of sweat rolled down my forehead – the dream was coming to an end, we would have to wait for another year before we even got a chance to reach here and god knows how tough it is to reach here.


The clock turned to 90.00, United have a corner, surely they could scramble a goal. PLEASE GOD – JUST ONE GOAL! I don’t think I remember how the goal was scored (though I have seen it 2,977 times since then) BUT we had scored. I let out a short but loud yelp, UNITED!!!! My wife woke up, but she didn’t come to the TV room. Then IT happened, Solshaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!! This time my scream was trapped in my throat. I was on my knees bending in reverence to the greatest sporting comeback EVER!
Alok called at this moment and I could barely speak into the phone...... I was sobbing and hysterical. “I have just never seen anything like it” . “I have just never seen anything like it”!!!

I saw the celebrations through tears and sobs OF JOY.

MANCHESTER UNITED – CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE AGAIN. Oh yes – We’d done the treble too.