In the April issue of Four Four Two magazine, Damien Duff names his own goal for Newcastle in the final game of the 2008/09 season as his 'lowest moment' in football.
Newcastle lost 1-0 to Aston Villa, a result which confirmed their relegation from the Premier League. A Gareth Barry shot which deflected in off Duff was the moment which decided the game.
Duff says that he initially moved to Newcastle in 2006 because of friends he had at the club - Scott Parker and Shay Given - but it turned out to be a 'disaster'.
Over the 38 games that season, we deserved to go down. I probably took a lot of flak for scoring the own goal on the last day at Aston Villa. I’ve refused to ever watch it back. We only needed a draw to stay up and then to see the scoreboard say, ‘Duff OG’, I thought, ‘What the fuck? What are the chances of that happening?’ That probably summed up my three years up there. I gave them everything but sometimes moves don’t work out.
Duff would move to Fulham early in the following season, a decision which was influenced by Roy Hodgson being in charge of the club.
Yes, he gave me my first proper season in the Premier League with Blackburn. I would have walked from Newcastle to go to Fulham. It was never about money – I took a wage cut to go from Chelsea to Newcastle and another one to go to Fulham because I just wanted to be happy. Roy is an amazing coach and he’s an utter gentleman. I am so gutted for him about what happened with England at the Euros. I’d love to see him back involved in the game.
The Ireland international's time at Fulham was a success, with a run to the 2010 Europa League final being a particularly memorable highlight.
After losing to Atletico Madrid in the final, which was held in Hamburg, Duff says that he remembers having a beer with fans after the game.
I do! I went out in my Fulham tracksuit at 4am, smoking cigarettes and just getting drunk. I guess that’s what good old Irish people do – they drown their sorrows. I was in some little bar and there were Fulham fans in there – I don’t think I even went to bed.
Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE