No. 94: McManaman’s wondergoal against Celtic

McManaman’s Wonergoal against Celtic

At Number 94 in the TIA Days We’ll Remember all our Lives countdown is Steve McManaman’s wondergoal against Celtic back in 1997. Here, TIA columnist Brian Irvine relives the magical night…

One of my favourite moments from Liverpool’s illustrious history, its not from a thrilling cup final or an exciting derby match, but one from the first round of the UEFA Cup back in 1997…. It was one of my first and most vivid Liverpool memories! This game was a first round tie against Celtic which the Reds drew 2-2 at Celtic Park and then again drew 0-0 in the return leg at Anfield, progressing to the next round on away goals only to be dumped out in the following round by a 3-2 aggregate defeat to RC Strasbourg.

I don’t remember much of the game itself, but I do remember the atmosphere at the stadium and the equaliser. And what an incredible equaliser it was. Steve McManaman picks the ball up deep in his own half, takes a sublime touch to bring it past a Celtic player, as he skips round him, he steams diagonally across the pitch and approaching the box side-foots the defender and with players bearing down on him from behind, crashes a sweet shot that curls round the keeper to nestle nicely in the bottom corner, all in about 12 seconds.

The pace and skill amazed me, I thought this has to be the greatest goal ever, bearing in mind I had just turned nine. I even tried to tape it later on the news in fear that it would be lost to the world if I didn’t get a recording of it. Only for me to use a tape that had the anti-tape-over-tab removed, I franticly tried to find a tape to put over it but to no avail. It was lost but I had the memory, never to be forgotten. Of course now I’ve seen the goal many times and it amazes me still to this day with the ease that it was executed, it became my earliest Liverpool memory and goal and it will always be a Day i’ll remember all my life!!