Okay, let’s get this out of the way.
On Tuesday, Liverpool, who my best friend Llŷr had literally supported all of his life, performed a miracle, and managed to beat red-hot favourites Barcelona 4-0 to reach the final of the Champions League for the second year running.
At full time, I found myself more emotional than I’d ever been at the end of a football match – certainly not at one that didn’t involve my team, Tottenham Hotspur – shedding a tear in joy and sorrow that my old mate wasn’t around to have seen it.
The only thing that could possibly top that would be if my lot managed to overturn a first leg deficit on Wednesday and join them in the final.
I’d been at the first (home) leg, where we had been terrible for much of the first half, and marginally better in the second, fortuitous not to have been out of it by the final whistle.
But there was hope. Just a 0-1 away goal deficit to over-turn in the second leg. It seemed do-able. To Dream is To Do.
But after ten minutes, and another goal down, it seemed much more unlikely.
And by half-time, and at 3-0 down on aggregate, I almost turned the TV off.
But then….the unthinkable happened:
I’ve watched the highlights each night since, and still I can’t quite believe it.
When Tottenham and Liverpool reached the semi-finals, Hel – also a life-long Red – and I pledged that if both teams made the final, we would watch it together. Not just because of our own fandom, but for Llŷr; he can’t be here to witness it, so we were going to make damn sure we were together. Because whatever the result, he’d be happy: gutted if Liverpool lost, of course, but happy because he’d know how much it would mean to me.
And obviously, the same applies in reverse from my point of view.
Within minutes of the final whistle on Wednesday, my eyes still full with tears, we’d made concrete plans.
Of course, I wasn’t the only one who got emotional when that final whistle blew on Wednesday night:
So, y’know, this: