When I look back at my career in football, the game that stands out was when I played for Wales at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff against Italy in October 2002
I grew up watching Mark Hughes, who was my footballing hero. Mark was the national team manager, so here I was playing for my country, managed by the guy I idolised, against one of the great teams of the game.
The stadium was packed that night with 72,500 fans. Italy had all their stars playing, Del Piero, Gattuso, Nesta & Buffon and the atmosphere was electric.
Lining up before the game, the national anthem made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. We had the whole country behind us that night. We all played like dragons that night, beating them 2-1
When you are playing for your country, you naturally want to do your very best and I remember being up against Gattuso. I must have done a good job as I remember the Italian coach taking him off. Job done! The whole crowd just lifted us all to a famous victory.
When the final whistle blew, Mark Hughes was stood on the touchline, I went over and just leapt on top of him & hugged him like he was my father. He was my hero, it was just such a special night. Back in the changing rooms everyone was celebrating, Ryan Giggs, John Hartson, Craig Bellamy, everyone!
Leaving the ground, the streets were packed, it was like a cup final parade with the bus inching its way through the cheering crowds. It was amazing, simply one of the best nights of my life.
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Memory added on January 18, 2013
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