Fans, former players and staff were treated to a glitzy premiere of Minus 17 – the story of how AFC Bournemouth memorably avoided crashing out of the Football League.
Eddie Howe and his heroes from the Greatest Escape of 2008/09 last night came together at a packed cinema at ODEON BH2 for the eagerly-awaited first showing of the documentary.
They were joined by more than 200 season ticket holders from a momentous campaign which ended with Howe’s men hauling back a 17-point deduction to beat the drop.
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the season-defining 2-1 win over Grimsby, a famous victory which provided the launchpad for the club’s rapid ascent to the Premier League.
In attendance were Greatest Escape veterans Steve Fletcher, Rhoys Wiggins, Josh McQuoid, Jason Pearce, Warren Cummings, Joe Partington, Danny Hollands, Darren Anderton, Liam Feeney, Ryan Garry, Alan Connell, Anton Robinson, Mark Molesley, Shaun Cooper and Jake Thomson.
Boss Howe and assistant Jason Tindall took their seats for the screening which was which sponsored by Instant Refrigeration Services, BH Calibration and Hill Osborne, all of whom supported the club in its hour of need in 2008/09.
Speaking to afcbTV after watching the documentary, Howe said: “I thought it was really good and a really accurate account of what happened.
“It brought back a lot of memories and emotions. The mood was set from the beginning of the film and it gave a true reflection of what happened and how we were all feeling at the time.
“Even though you knew Steve Fletcher popped up with that winning goal against Grimsby, it was still an enthralling end.”
Midfielder Mark Molesley said: “It was fantastic and all the memories came flooding back on what was a truly memorable season for the club.
“It was great to see all my former teammates again and we’re still great friends. When you experience something like that, you build a bond forever and the camaraderie and team spirit lives on.”
And Anton Robinson said: “To walk into a full cinema and share the moment with the fans was great.
“The documentary pieced together the season perfectly and it was fantastic to see everything back from 10 years ago.”
Minus 17, which includes unseen footage from the club archive together with the celebrations from the dressing room following the Grimsby win, is now available to watch free of charge on afcbTV, the club’s online video channel.
Supporter Claire Carlin, a season ticket holder in 2008/09, told afcbTV: “I thought it was brilliant. I remember it like it was yesterday and all the memories came flooding back – what a season!”
And Jessica Cutler, who also witnessed the events of 10 years ago, added: “Just to see that moment of elation when Fletch scored in the Grimsby game brought back years of memories.”
Minus 17 was produced by Matt Joyce who said: “To mark the achievement of that team ten years on has been a huge honour.
“I think people outside the club can’t appreciate how seismic the achievement was so, hopefully, this can go a little way to not only bring back memories for those who lived it, but for the wider football fan to appreciate the story.
“Having now worked for the club for more than three years, I felt that we had to mark one of the club’s most significant seasons it in a special way.
“It’s been an unbelievable experience to put it all together with my colleague James Hart and, for the evening to go so well, with plenty of former players in attendance, was really special.”