On this day in 2006, Marlon Harewood cemented his legendary status among West Ham United supporters by scoring an unforgettable FA Cup semi-final winner against Middlesbrough.
Under Alan Pardew, the striker netted 22 goals for the Hammers, then added 14 more as the Irons re-established themselves in the Premier League, including a hat-trick against Aston Villa in September 2005.
After being inspired by that Monday night treble at the Boleyn Ground, it was the single goal he scored and his unforgettable celebration eight months later at Villa Park that cemented his place as a Claret and Blue hero for the rest of his life.
“After scoring a hat-trick against Aston Villa, I got my confidence back and went on to score 14 Premier League goals that season, 2005/06,” Harewood recalled.
“It was probably my FA Cup goal in the semi-final win against Middlesbrough that everyone remembers, though, and I’ll never tire of talking about it.
“I can feel that moment every time I think about it. If anyone scored that goal, I think their emotions would have been exactly the same, because we had such a strong bond between us all in the dressing room.
“When I celebrated, all the boys jumped on top of me and I was lying at the bottom of the pile and I could feel the ground shaking underneath. I’d never felt that sensation before.
“I was just thankful that I could get the goal to put the lads into an FA Cup final to top off how well we had done that season.
“If we had lost that game to Middlesbrough, it would have been forgotten about how well we had played after being promoted.”
On that April afternoon, Marlon Harewood recalls not only his goal, but also the thousands of West Ham fans singing in homage to former manager John Lyall, who had died five days before at the age of 66.
“I also remember the fans singing in memory of John Lyall that day, which was very moving,” said the striker.
“Scoring that goal seemed to be a release for everyone at West Ham and I am privileged to have scored that goal for the Club.”