It’s May 13 2012, Sergio Aguero has just fired past Paddy Kenny in the QPR goal before the Argentine whips off his shirt flinging it around his head like a drunken-Brit on his first trip to Benidorm.
Pandemonium in the stands, pandemonium on the pitch, that last-minute winner secured the title for Man City at the expense of their rivals Man United – don’t deny you haven’t dreamt of us doing something similar.
That moment of football ecstasy was so finely captured by Sky Sports’ voice of a generation, Martin Tyler: “I swear you’ll never see anything like this again. So watch it…drink it in.”
We all know where we were at certain moments in football. I was watching Aguero bring to an end the most exciting climax to a Premier League season while sat in my dad’s living room with a plate of Sunday dinner on my lap. My pals, and many a Wolves fan, were watching Wolves being humiliated by Wigan Athletic as the final stab wounds were applied to our rotting carcass and dumped out the Premier League.
A couple of months shy of the six-year anniversary of those two polar opposites of football fates and both teams sit at the summit of their respective leagues, both drawing plaudits from the opposition and both favourites to seal the title.
Of course Man City have had it, let’s say, a little bit easier than Wolves in that time, so this is by no means an attempt to compare what City are doing in the Premier League to what we’re doing in The Championship.
Regardless, there have been many times watching Wolves this season, I have shaken my head at what is being played before me, reminding myself that the ‘wonderkid from Porto’ is actually ours, that the back-five cost less than £5M and that kids are being exposed to this ‘pure filth’ – the children! Will someone please think of the children?
We’ve all watched football by Wolves sides that have had us dreaming of promotion. In 2002 (which I’ll leave right there), in 2003 which led to that famous day in Cardiff, in 2009 spearheaded by Ebanks-Blake, Kightly and Jarvis and in 2014 with the Dicko and Sako partnership.
While the latter two were title wins and of great celebration, 2003 via the Playoffs still stands out as the most special of those cluster of promotions.
However should Wolves achieve their target and lift The Championship title, would we be wrong to think this promotion would eclipse them all?
If 2003 ended the 19 years, 13 days, 22 hours and 20 minutes, from the top flight – an almost two decade absence to hell and back via Chorley – then any promotion this year will exercise demons of rioting after the loss to Burnley, the pisspoor effort to stay up in the rain against Brighton and being knocked-out the cup by Luton – I still get palpitations thinking about that one.
In fact, perhaps the reason it’ll eclipse the two previous promotions to the top flight is there is a general feeling that this Wolves squad can cut it in the Premier League. A squad which will only be strengthened, a squad that can be backed by unimaginable wealth and is so close to achieving the biggest pay day in the club’s history.
Have we ever had a squad more prepared for the division above?
And yet I’m 500 words into this ramble and I haven’t mentioned the captain of this Champion(elect)Ship Nuno Espirito Santo.
If we do what in our hearts we all know is close but aren’t brave enough to speak then this is a chapter to be celebrated.
If you haven’t got to Molineux this season, seriously where have you been? What’s going on in Wolverhampton at 3pm on a Saturday that is more important or isn’t worth getting sacked, divorced or written out a will for?
This football, this club, this team is on the cusp of a great moment in its history.
A near six-year absence from the top flight of English football is in our hands, the Banks’s tastes sweeter and ‘The Man on the Oss’ looks like it could win the Grand National – damn it feels good to be Wolves fan.
It could well be a defining promotion. A soothing moment of comfort when we wake in the middle of sweltering summer nights and remind ourselves ‘we haven’t got to go through that again, no John McGinley in sight, no David Hopkin marauding through on goal, no soul destroying 1-0 Gary Megson inspired victory on ITV Sport. It’s done with. No more promotion pain’.
If you know that pain, you know no club can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory like Wolves but even the most cynical of our pack will acknowledge we’re amidst something special.
‘This is history, this is history’ I keep telling my friends and family, as if I’m a young Noel Gallagher pointing out to the crowd at Knebworth in 1996.
But in truth the best advice to any Wolves fan fortunate to see us play for the remainder of the season comes from Martin Tyler “watch it…drink it in.”