AGUEROOO... 10 YEARS TODAY... AND I WAS IN THE GARDEN!

Aguero 10

10 years ago this very afternoon.

Manchester City Football Club have unveiled a statue to Sergio Aguero, 10 years ago to the day that he scored the most most unlikely, almost miraculous, goal in the Club's history.

10 years ago this very afternoon.

For six minutes of it I know exactly where I was. I know exactly the pain I was feeling. 

It should all have been so different. My City supporting mates Boyd and Monty are round to celebrate our first top tier League title in 44 years. We are playing, almost relegated, QPR. When our full back Pablo Zabaleta cuts inside and scores at the end of the first half all nerves are gone. We can enjoy this!

Not City though. For 44 years we have been Manchester Citying it with too many stories of defeat from the jaws of victory to mention here. Yet again, QPR somehow score twice and even with them down to ten men City are only huffing puffing. United who need us to drop points are comfortably winning at Sunderland. 

In the 87th minute with absolutely no chance of City scoring, I have had enough and leave the room and make my way out to the garden. There I stand with my back against the wall. Now, ten years later, I am remembering experiencing utter pain. At my dad's funeral I spoke of how he had given me my grá for football, the visceral kardia love that feels deep emotions. It's a blessing and a curse to love sport to that extent.

This was the curse of it.

This was supposed to be it. This was the day to overcome all the disappointments of 44 years. This was when we might come out of United shadow and become a force in English football again...

BUT we had blow it again. I remember thinking that it would now never happen. All this loyalty... going down two divisions and back... building up a new head of steam... even winning the FA Cup the season before... it all meant nothing. United still beat us. There was a book written by City fan Colin Shindler called Manchester United Ruined My Life and here they were doing it again. 

The sheer disappointment was lacerating my insides.

Then there was the embarrassment. Oh the United fans would love this. We'd crawled back an 8 point gap, beaten them 1-0 to over take them and here we were throwing it away against QPR on the final day. QPR! Come on! How could I ever face a United fan ever again!

All of this hurt. Make no mistake it was very deep.

Then a loud cheer.

My six minutes were up. It  is over, I thought. I assumed the cheer was United fans down the street cheering how they took City, as they always did, right at the end. I started walking back into what I thought would be a gloomy house...

Suddenly the back door flies open and my wife is there and Monty standing with a bottle of champagne and Calvin's Institutes, symbols of celebration and it was meant to be!!!

"WE DID IT!" Monty shouts!

"No way" I respond with my head down, disbelieving but wondering at the same time why Monty, who should be as hurt as me, has the biggest grin I have seen on any face ever.

"WE DID!"

"But we needed two goals."

"WE GOT THEM. WE HAVE WON IT"

Still the Thomas in a post resurrection house I follow Janice and Monty into the room where Boyd is on his feet, attempting to beat the size of Monty's grin, and my daughter Caitlin is standing with her eyes wide open wondering what is happening to the grown men around her.

QPR kick off. The referee blows the whistle and WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!

10 years ago this very afternoon. 

Oh I regret being in the garden. Of course I do. Imagine. After 44 years... I missed the moment. That moment. The 93 minutes and 20 seconds moment. The Agueroooo moment. Not just the most iconic goal in City's history but perhaps English football history. 

The statue unveiled today. Aguero running away, his shirt off above his head, swirling like a windmill blowing in the ten years of change that have followed. It is still possible that City will win that title 5 out of the next 10 seasons. 

One would have done me. The Sawdoctors have a song called To Win Just Once and that was all I wanted. Once. And if you are doing it once then that is the way to do it. Even if I was in the garden in utter pain. 

I watched that goal every day for weeks. I cried like a baby. Just sheer unadulterated joy. It still brings a tear every single time I see it. 

Ten years. Like yesterday. The pain... and the utter euphoria. There was more than me felt that seismic shift in emotions but I have my own sad unique little tale to tell. 

AGUEROOO... 10 YEARS TODAY... AND I WAS IN THE GARDEN!