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By fans, for fans. By fans, for fans. By fans, for fans.

More Tear's For Mr Terry.

Guest Jude

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The Mirror

16 August 2005




WHEN WE won at Liverpool on the first day of 2005, I thought I would look back on Anfield as one of the happiest memories of a great season.


Instead, it's a place I will associate now with one of my worst nightmares.


Everybody assumed we would beat them in the Champions League semi-finals. They were supposed to be just another stepping stone on our route to Istanbul. No one was really talking about the Champions League being Liverpool's destiny yet.


If anything, most people thought it was our year.


We were the ones who had beaten Barcelona and Bayern Munich. We had knocked out the favourites. We were steaming along. We felt unstoppable. We had the best players. We had the best manager. It was our year. Not someone else's.


A few of us had watched their second leg against Juventus and agreed we wanted to play the Italians but even after the first leg finished 0-0, I think their league form conned us.


I said to Frank Lampard when we were in the dressing room about an hour before the game that it felt too relaxed in there.


We were all so confident because the Premiership table told us we were so much better than them.


The manager wrote 33 in big red ink on the board in the dressing room - the points difference between the teams.

It was the first thing we saw as we walked in. I looked at it. No way will we lose this game tonight, I thought.


But the Liverpool fans that night were amazing. I have never heard anything like it before and I don't think I ever will again.


I walked out into that cauldron and heard that singing and saw that passion. The hairs on my arms were standing up.Even when they scored so early through Luis Garcia - and now the computer simulation has shown it wasn't a goal I wish we'd kicked up more fuss about it - there was plenty of time.


But at 80 minutes I started to panic and when I saw the clock going to 88 minutes, my eyes started filling up with tears.


When Eidur Gudjohnsen's shot somehow went out into touch in the last minute of injury time I can't explain quite how I felt. It was like everything went from my body. We had had one more chance. This was it. And then it was all gone in a split second.


I was distraught after the game. I didn't know what to do with myself. What I couldn't quite comprehend was that for the second year in succession, we had lost a Champions League semi we were supposed to win.


For the second year in succession we had got so close to the final, the match that is the Holy Grail for every professional footballer, and then we had blown it.


I wanted to run straight back down the tunnel when the final whistle went.


But I went up to Stevie Gerrard and Jamie Carragher and told them: "Go and lift it now. Go and lift it for yourself and for your club." It was hard because a big part of me just wanted to get back to the dressing room away from the cameras and the eyes of the crowd and just wallow in my despair.


When you have got grown men on the pitch crying because they have just lost something they have worked so hard for, the rawness of that can be quite shocking.William Gallas was beside himself with despair. A few of us were.


When I heard the final whistle, I broke down. I was crying. People were saying to me that it wasn't our year and our chance would come.


But I was in bits. Willie and Eidur were the same. The manager came over and said "No tears again. We will have our time."


Going back to the dressing room was the lowest I have felt in football. I know when I walk in there next time, when we play Liverpool in October, it's all going to come flooding back and I'm already dreading that.


I sat there in the dressing room that night with a towel over my head, just crying.


Nobody wanted to move from their seat. We sat there for an age.


No one wanted to look up, speak, move, to get up to get showered or even wanted to get changed. It was an hour and a half before the lads were out of the dressing room.


I kept thinking about something Marcel Desailly once said to me, that in the Champions League, you get one chance at it and if you don't take it, it doesn't happen.


That haunted me as we drove away from Anfield.


Once we had beaten Barcelona we thought our name was on the trophy.


That tie was such an epic, such an upheaval, such an achievement, we felt nothing could be harder than that.


We felt once we had overcome that, we could overcome anything.


Beating Bayern was tough, too.


We thought we'd done the hard work but blew it against a side we should have beaten.



See you on the 28th you big cry baby :D:D:D

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