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‘I will remember it for the rest of my life’: Armstrong on his San Siro goal memories

PUBLISHED: 17:12 06 December 2017 | UPDATED: 19:04 06 December 2017

Ipswich Alun Armstrong celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot against Inter Milan. Picture: PA

Ipswich Alun Armstrong celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot against Inter Milan. Picture: PA

The record books may show it stands as nothing more than a consolation goal, but Alun Armstrong’s penalty against Inter Milan in the San Siro remains one of the former Ipswich Town striker’s greatest football memories.

Today marks the 16th anniversary of the second leg of the Blues’ UEFA Cup clash with Italian giants Inter Milan, which George Burley’s side ultimately lost 4-1 in front of a remarkable army of nearly 10,000 travelling Ipswich fans.

Armstrong also scored the winner in the first leg of the tie two weeks previously, but insists he will remember the experience of playing against Ronaldo, Christian Vieri, Javier Zanetti and Co for the rest of his life.

“It was unbelievable, it really was,” he said.

Ipswich Alun Armstrong scores from the penalty spot. Picture: PA Ipswich Alun Armstrong scores from the penalty spot. Picture: PA

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“We were well beaten in the end but then you look at the players they had in Ronaldo, Vieri, Zanetti, Cordoba… there were some players in that team.

“We thought we were in with a chance after winning the first leg but then they stepped it up and gave us a bit of a football lesson.

Armstrong also scored against Inter in the first leg of the tie Armstrong also scored against Inter in the first leg of the tie

“But it was an amazing experience and to get a goal against Toldo again, in the San Siro was something I will remember for the rest of my life.”

As well as the goal itself, Armstrong has fond memories of the heavy Ipswich presence behind the goal and was pleased to send the travelling support home with something to shout about.

He said: “We couldn’t believe it, there were nearly 10,000 people there behind the goal and that’s why I wanted to take it really. I wanted to score in front of them.

Inter Milan forward Christian Vieri, left, scored a hat-trick in the second leg. Picture AP Inter Milan forward Christian Vieri, left, scored a hat-trick in the second leg. Picture AP

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“It was right in front of them and you could see they were chuffed to bits that we managed to score.”

Armstrong’s header in the first leg and 79th-minute penalty in the second secured the former striker’s place in Ipswich Town history, with the anniversaries of both games marked each and every year on social media. Armstrong wouldn’t have it any other way.

Mohammed Kallon challenges for the ball with Ipswich's Titus Bramble. Picture: AP Mohammed Kallon challenges for the ball with Ipswich's Titus Bramble. Picture: AP

“It gets brought up every year and it never goes away!” he said.

“That’s what you want as a footballer, to be remembered for something, and I’ve been quite fortunate as a footballer to have been remembered for scoring first the winner and then again in the San Siro against Inter Milan.

“Personally it’s great for me although getting through that night would have been something special.”

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