CHAMPIONSHIP SURVIVAL WHILE LEEDS ARE RELEGATED
So it’s us or Leeds to go down, and we have to go to Cardiff whereas Leeds, a point adrift of us, are at home to a middling Ipswich. One game remains after this so relegation may yet not be decided there and then, but if City could manage a win at Ninian Park, that’d be very handy, thank you. Few actually believed it would happen in tandem with Leeds conceding a hilarious late equaliser to Ipswich, prior to their lamebrained fans trying to get the match abandoned by invading the pitch, mind.
Dean Windass, three months into a glorious Indian summer with the club he adores, scored City’s only goal shortly after half time, and in front of a boisterous and euphoric travelling Tiger Nation. Every outfield player jumped on the 38 year old striker’s back, all part of the cause, though Leeds were winning too. But then Alan Lee, Ipswich’s effective lummox of a striker, completed the fairytale at Elland Road, and City were three points clear with a goal difference of considerable superiority. Leeds accepted their relegation before the maths confirmed it a week later, even taking a ten point deduction for administration and finishing bottom of the table.
We’ve had moments to celebrate our own achievements, but this one remains unique for the feeling of inflicting deserved damage on hated rivals which prompted, as a nice bonus, messages of congratulation from all other football fans. Hell, even the Cardiff fans more renowned for offering us steel toecaps and People’s Elbows were cheering for us by the end. And the following year we won the play-offs at Wembley to get to the Premier League, prior to Leeds losing theirs to Doncaster and staying in League One. Perfection.