I recall it was a heady, early summer evening in the year 2011.

Barnsley FC, had qualified for the Champions League after successfully navigating to the Premier League in 2009 and securing fourth spot - in their first season there.

We were ecstatic.

The group games had been tough and had produced some memorable victories away at the San Siro and the Nou Camp. At the knock-out stages, Barnsley valiantly overcame Bayern Munich at home and battled to a draw at the Allianz Arena. In the Semi's, the Reds strode out deserved winners after a dogged 2-Leg affair against the English Premier League Champions - Manchester United.

Now with the final at a knife edge; the Stade de France was electric.

88 minutes played - and Barnsley were stoicly defending their goal once again, against the mighty Real Madrid, part of a constant wave of chances the opposition were gaining.

After a feeble shot, Heinz Muller safely collected the ball.

Aware that less than 2 minutes of standard time remained, he decided to carefully roll the ball out to his right back. Keeping possession in this zone appeared to be easier; with "the Galacticos" preferring to sit just arround the half-way line, waiting for Barnsley to make their next move.

The ball moved to Brian Howard, who played a quick one-two with Diego Leon to penetrate the oppositions half. Taking one, then two and finally a third Madrid player on; Howard approched the final third of the pitch, flanked by two opposing players.

In an instant; a chink appeared in the Real Madrid defence and Howard played the perfect through ball to an oncoming JCR.

89 minutes and counting... JCR, timed his run perfectly. Madrid had been caught napping. Barnsley fans gulped for air, not daring to dream the impossible dream.

With only moments to spare, JCR controlled the ball and took a further step in order to strike the ball.......


Bloody typical !

Real Madrid won on penalties. Woe my life, even as a Barnsley dreamer!
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Ian Wilkinson

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