“Stand up if you still believe!” A quote/song that has written itself in to history on the banks of the Thames for London’s oldest Club. Now, more than ever we need to remember this, stand up together and get behind the team. Keep believing, keep being positive because we all know that Football can be a crazy game and the unexpected can certainly become reality.
Don’t believe me? Well, here’s the Focus Blog team with five examples of proof, that it’s not over until it’s over. COYW!
Dave Wilson (@StatoDave)
Basel 2-3 Fulham (16/12/2009)
Fulham travelled to Basel in the final match of their Group in the Europa League. Going into the final matches Roma had qualified whilst CSKA Sofia were out. Fulham had to win, anything less and Basel would have qualified. Basle had won all five of their previous European home games by two goals or more whilst Fulham had not won either of their way matches in the group stage.
Fulham had a bright start on a very snowy night but didn’t take the lead until late in the first half when Bobby Zamora converted Bjorn Helge Riise’s cross. This was repeated a few minutes later to give Fulham a 2-0 interval lead.
Xherdan Shaqiri (now at Stoke City) came on as a sub at half time. Just after the hour mark Basel scored from a penalty after Chris Smalling was penalised for handball and the nerves really kicked in as another would have put us out. The whites hit back again, and a 15-pass move was ended with Stephen Kelly passing to Zoltan Gera who’s first time finish restored the 2-goal lead. Fulham never do these things the easy way though and Marco Streller headed home a corner with a couple of minutes to go.
It was a deserved win and a great night for all the supporters who made the trip.
Scott Maltman (@sjmaltman01)
Fulham 4-1 Juventus (18/03/2010)
Where do I start? What. A. Night!
With the odds stacked up against us following the 3-1 defeat in the first leg away at the Stadio Olimpico di Turin. It really did seem like the dream run in the Europa League could possibly come to an end against the Italian giants.
With the early goal from David Trezeguet, we should have been dead and buried BUT the place was still rocking, and everybody believed that we could bring it back!
When the cottage is rocking it really is a fortress. The tie was not in our hands, we just had to play for our pride and the passion of our journey we were on.
A quick reply from Zamora really sent the belief through the stands, “Stand up, if you still believe” ringing out throughout the ground.
Twenty fifth minute, 10-men Juventus. Game on!
A goal just before half time from Zoltan Gera really did get the old lady rattling and the cottage bouncing. The buzz, the belief and the momentum were something I had never experienced watching “Little ol’ Fulham”.
Three minutes in to the second half, a penalty from Zoltan Gera. Although the score was level, 4-4. We had the upper edge with the support of the twelfth man!
Time was ticking on and looking like we were going to be staying for extra time. Until the most unbelievable thing happened, “Dempsey, Dempsey will try and chip one! Wonderful!”
We had done the impossible and turned around a 3-1 deficit against the Italian giants and heading to the Quarter-Final. The dream was still alive!
The best thing about that night was that the game wasn’t in our hands but we still had faith. We stood up. We sung our hearts out…. We believed!!
It wasn’t over.
Cameron Ramsey (@94CAMRAM)
Fulham 2-1 Hamburg (29/04/10)
For me, if anything is indeed still possible, I’ll cast my mind back to the famed ‘European tour’ campaign, where Fulham slayed giants and defied the odds by reaching their first cup final on the continent.
The match which stands out to me is unquestionably the 2-1 victory over Hamburg at the Cottage, an encounter against an imposing Bundesliga outfit where virtually every emotion known to man was felt by all in the terraces.
Mladen Petric may have slammed home an absolute pile-driver of a free-kick to knock the wind out of our sails in the first-half but, miraculously in the second 45, Roy Hodgson’s rallied troops proceeded to swarm and engulf the Germans to render them shell-shocked, with Simon Davies and Zoltan Gera landing the vital blows to catapult the Whites into the inaugural final of the Europa League. Being an impressionable 15-year-old (or so) at the time, ‘Diggers’ strike was a state of euphoria, although ‘Zolly’s’ effort, which sent SW6 into raptures, was sheer pandemonium in the Johnny Haynes stand, and to this very day I’ve never been drenched in a greater volume of beer, or other questionable substances for that matter.
That particularly marvellous occasion embodied all it is to be a Fulham fan. The highs and the lows walk in tandem to draw us all in for more unrivalled drama, and though we’re remarkably 23 games unbeaten, I’d like to believe that our meeting with Birmingham City, a clash which means so much to both causes, will host the same enthralling atmosphere as that faithful night down by the river, with the same glorious outcome.
Ben Robinson (@Benjrobbo)
Manchester City 2-3 Fulham (26/04/2008)
My choice for the greatest Fulham comeback was one of the most pivotal ever games in Fulham’s history. Away to Manchester City, 19th in the table and desperate for points, as the BBC put it “Fulham needed a minor miracle to stay up before the match”. Fulham had the worst possible start, relegation rivals Birmingham and Bolton both taking the lead against Liverpool and Spurs respectively and Manchester City scoring twice by half-time without reply all but relegating us. But the never say die attitude of Roy Hodgson’s team saw an inspired comeback that dreams are made of, Kamara squeezing one between Hart’s legs before Murphy scored a rebound from his own penalty. As news came in that Birmingham and Bolton both had thrown away their leads, Fulham still needed to score again and score they did, Kamara latching onto a through ball in the 90th minute and finishing off the comeback with a great finish past Hart. The main reason I picked this game is based purely on the fact that at half-time, we were relegated. You could tell it on the players and managements faces, the quiet concourse at half time, we all knew what was coming, but how wrong we were.
Peter Grinham aka Spigs (@GrinhamPeter)
Portsmouth 0-1 Fulham (11/05/08)
“Stand up if you still believe” is a chant that has resonated around Fulham for many a year. 10 years ago, almost to the day saw Fulham go to Portsmouth needing to win to stay in the top flight. Roy Hodgson had drilled a team to believe in themselves and their abilities on the day and a rare Danny Murphy headed goal from a Jimmy Bullard free kick about 15 minutes from the end saw us stay up. Ironically, it condemned Reading and Birmingham to relegation.
I watched the transmitted game at Craven Cottage as I left it too late to get a ticket. The situation in the lounge was tense and everyone fully engaged with every moment of the match, as if it was being played at Craven Cottage before them. The hearts sunk a bit as Reading and Birmingham went ahead in their respective games, which if it had stayed like that would have condemned us to relegation; however, most present were made of sterner stuff and you could feel the team being positively urged on telepathically and verbally from afar.
We grew as a club and kicked on the next season finishing 7th in the Premier League, reaching the quarter finals of the FA Cup and securing a place in the UEFA Europe Cup. The rest is history.
Fast track to today: Slavisa, his coaching team, the players and all at the club believe we can deal with the day in Birmingham, as do I. Some say it is out of our hands and to a large extent it is but that is a negative and limited mindset that serves little purpose, as we need to be focused like the players of bringing through 3 points. ALL the fans need to be as strong as the club and stand up to be counted. Stage 1 has been accomplished by those going but Stage 2 is for those present verbally being the 12th man. No ifs or buts. I would add that to verbally support with pride and belief is not an option, it is a non-debatable necessity if you are truly a supporter of this club.