Flashback: The ultimate crying game… when Manchester City and Stoke were relegated
00:02 GMT, 24 March 2012
It was the last game of the season and both sides could have stayed up depending on other results.
Even though Manchester City won 5-2, victories for Portsmouth and Port Vale meant both went down to the third tier.
1998: Stoke 2 Man City 5
STOKE: Southall, Pickering, Heath, Sigurdsson, Tweed, Keen, Forsyth, Wallace, Thorne, Lightbourne (Taaffe 57), Kavanagh.
Scorers: Thorne 62, 87.
Margetson, Edghill, Horlock, Wiekens, Symons, Vaughan, Jim Whitley
(Brannan 45), Pollock, Goater (Kinkladze 73), Dickov (Jeff Whitley 90),
Scorers: Goater 32, 71, Dickov 49, Bradbury 64, Horlock 90. Booked: Edghill.
Going down: Georgi Kinkladze thanks the City fans after hearing the news of their relegation
Peter Thorne scored both goals for Stoke City that day. The striker, who played more than 150 times for the club, remembers pre-match jitters and magnificent fans.
What a day! I've never been involved in anything quite like that, before or since. It was a crazy situation for everyone concerned.
Either team could have stayed up if they won and results went their way so there was everything to play for.
There was a cracking atmosphere but what I remember most was the number of times the match was stopped by the referee.
Obviously, there were loads of Manchester City fans who had sneaked among the Stoke fans and the game was halted as these lads ran out of the home end back to the visitors' section.
I'm from Manchester myself and on one occasion someone I knew growing up actually ran past me on the pitch. I kept my head down.
The last thing I wanted was for someone to shout out: 'All right, Thorney!' I can also remember Kyle Lightbourne, my strike partner, and Manchester City's Shaun Goater joking with each other in the tunnel beforehand.
They were best mates and, being from Bermuda, could probably see the funny side of the mayhem that was going on all around them.
The outcome of the day had no effect on their friendship. I remember with fondness sharing a barbecue on a beach in Bermuda shortly afterwards with them both.
To be honest, a lot of the game was a blur. If my memory serves me, I pulled one back with a header but Manchester City were too strong for us that day.
My last goal was a far-post finish but by that stage we both knew that we were going down because of results elsewhere.
That cut the atmosphere stone dead. I think it was the first season we had been at the Britannia Stadium and we ended up going down. I have to say, though, Stoke's fans were magnificent.
My final memory of the day was Georgi Kinkladze walking into the players' bar afterwards. He gave his shirt to my girlfriend. She wasn't interested in holding on to it as a keepsake and I think handed it over to a young, upset Manchester City supporter.
I'm sure it was Kinkladze's last match for them. That lad is probably dining out on that story now.
Manchester City's Jamie Pollock became the most popular man in America a few weeks later after a 'nightmare' own goal that has become a YouTube sensation…
Do I remember it Well, I remember the relegation battle, certainly – I ended it being more popular than Jesus Christ. How
Let me explain. The week before we played at the Britannia, we had been in a similarly tense struggle against QPR, who also needed points to stay up.
That day, I had my biggest nightmare in the game. I ended up scoring what was one of the worst own goals of all time and it helped Rangers to a draw that they needed to lift themselves out of trouble. It was horrible.
Have a look for it yourself if you can find it on YouTube. It's had almost three million hits! I thought I would need to be smuggled out of Maine Road under a towel it was that bad.
Anyway, I went down as a legend at Loftus Road, even if I wasn't that popular with my own fans. So much so, in fact, that QPR's supporters hijacked an online poll of the most influential people of the last millennium that was being run in America. I beat Jesus into second place.
Of course, the weekend afterwards, we had this match at Stoke to try and make amends. If you look through that team you will see a fair few senior professionals.
I had just pitched up from Bolton and there were dozens of different players. What had happened was that managers prior to Joe Royle had brought their own players in and the club hadn't been quick to get rid of them.
It didn't make for a great team spirit. It wasn't healthy. I can't remember too much about the game apart from Joe and Willie Donachie telling us that it was still in our own hands at half-time. Whether it was, I don't know.
I did go over to collect the ball from the crowd with about 20 minutes to go and the reaction from our supporters told me that we were going down. A sad day.
Manchester City are a great club. Being captain is one of the achievements I am most proud of. This season some pals of mine entertained QPR supporters at the Riverside during Middlesbrough's match.
They mentioned my own goal and it turns out that I also won the QPR's player-of-the-year award that season, which in fairness, takes some doing as I never kicked a ball for them . . .
Brief hope: City were victors on the day, but were still relegated
Violence: Some City fans found their way into the Stoke end