Football is a game of nostalgia and every player, pundit and fan has their favourite kits, matches and players.
And so talkSPORT.com decided to ask its finest minds for theirs as part of our ‘My Greatest’ series, with sports newsreader Ben Fletcher our guest this week…
My Greatest: Kit
Woking 1996/97. It featured the traditional cardinal red and white halves that are famous the world over, but this particular one reminds me of a thrilling season – the first in which I went along to games. We went on an FA Cup run (beating Millwall and Cambridge United, before becoming the first non league club EVER to hold a Premier League team, Coventry, on their home ground, then bowing out in a replay), and also won the FA Trophy at the old Wembley.
It really felt like we were next in the cab rank for the Football League. How little we knew…
I still see people to this day wearing this jersey to games. It must wash very well!
My Greatest: Game I’ve seen live
Let’s have a non-Woking one, shall we? Fulham 2-1 Hamburg in the 2010 Europa League semi-finals.
To have witnessed such an incredible story in the flesh stood in the Johnny Haynes Stand (and the celebrations after the final whistle to the tune of Frankie Valli) was pretty special.
Craven Cottage was electric that night. Packed to the rafters. The non-league lifer in me loved the upset and it felt like a proper giant killing. Ruud van Nistelrooy didn’t know what hit him.
My Greatest: Game I’ve ever seen
The most attractive thing about football has always been the storyline to me. The theatre is as enjoyable as – if not more than – the action itself.
This is a really really tough question but I’m going to go with Brazil 1-7 Germany at the 2014 World Cup. Never mind a changing of the guard, this was a violent, merciless ambush.
The hosts were absolutely torn apart on home soil. Germany wiped the floor with a nation who for many of my years were the best in the world. It was jaw dropping viewing.
England vs Holland at Euro 96 is another game that had everything.
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My Greatest: Moment as a football fan
Being in the old Wembley in May 1997 having just watched Woking win the FA Trophy, sunshine on my face and Champagne Supernova blaring out the PA system.
Every time I hear that song I’m right back there. It’s a moment I’ll always treasure.
My Greatest: Player of all-time
That’s played for my club? Clive Walker.
He was an absolute athlete. At the age of 39 he was bombing past full-backs half his age with no trouble at all… and boy did he have a cross in him. A talisman if ever we had one.
I’ve yet to meet him but will almost certainly fanboy when I do.
In the wider world of football it has to be Cristiano Ronaldo. Picking a Dream Team has been a lot lot harder since he left the Premier League. The free-kick against Portsmouth in 2008 stands out in the memory.
David James could only shrug and laugh. If you didn’t know he was half decent before that goal, you did afterwards. An incredible player.
My Greatest: Atmosphere
I went to watch Woking lose at Lincoln City in 2017, the year the Imps were promoted to League Two. The ground, Sincil Bank, was barely half-full, but the singing from the Co-op stand for 90 minutes was incredible.
Intimidating. Inexhaustible. It was just a wall of noise.
I went to university in Lincoln and later met my now wife there, so the city has always held a special place in my heart.
I have no doubt in my mind Lincoln are Premier League-bound. The momentum behind that club is like nothing else I’ve seen. The whole city is pushing that club forward. The Cowley Brothers are ones to watch and Lincoln are very lucky to have them.
My Greatest: Moment at talkSPORT
There are too many to list here, but the night we won Sony Station of the Year in 2011 was a superb one. I was very privileged to be among the black ties and on the guest list that night. We’d finally become one of the ‘big boys’ in sports radio and had a fitting celebration until the sun came up.
Elsewhere, breaking the news on air that Arsene Wenger had announced his departure date from Arsenal was pretty special, and the moment the mic went live the first time I presented my own Extra Time show was an incredibly fulfilling one.
I’m truly blessed to have a job that makes me laugh out loud every day, with people who clearly love what they do.
My Greatest: talkSPORT presenter
IMPOSSIBLE QUESTION! I have a lot of love in my heart, in particular, for Alan Brazil, Adrian Durham and Danny Kelly. They are STALWARTS of the station and masters of their craft.
Adam Catterall and Laura Woods are great at what they do too.
But if I had to be stuck in a lift with one for hours and hours… Durham.
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