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Could this turn out to be the greatest story ever told,
As we all sit here and watch this Riverside drama now unfold?
Can we get the two goals needed and then go on to get a third,
Or do you, like so many, still think it’s totally absurd?
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First Boro missed two sitters then had two penalties denied,
And Basel scored a shock goal that left Boro followers mortified,
For, when that ball went in the net, even the staunchest Boro fan,
Finally felt our slight chance had now gone floating down the pan.
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Now we need ‘just’ four goals to pull this game out of the fire,
It requires a massive miracle but can we show the desire?
As Basel celebrate, along with manager, Christian Gross,
Our boss sits there dejected, so downhearted and morose.
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But he’s not one just to sit there, simply biting on his pen,
And he was swiftly on his feet, once more to motivate his men,
Then the Boro pulled a goal back and the pace gets even quicker,
And, as we go in search of more, it isn’t good for this man’s ticker.
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It was the brilliant Mark Viduka who eventually broke the ice,
To set us on the way to what’s perceived as paradise,
Then he took us further forward as he scored a superb second,
And, suddenly, on the horizon, the semi-final beckoned.
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The boss showed that he’s brave and bold, and possibly even daring,
And up popped J.F.Hasselbaink and manager Gross is now despairing,
A wonder-goal from Jimmy certainly confirmed the suggestion,
That victory for the Boro was not now out of the question.
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Time was running out when Majstorovic was shown red,
More incentive for the Boro now to put the tie to bed,
McClaren pulled a master stroke, though some folk thought it crackers,
When he brought on Maccarone so we now had four attackers.
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It oft been said good fortune will smile upon the brave,
And we pulled back the winner when it seemed beyond the grave,
Rochemback fired a rocket, which the ‘keeper couldn’t hold,
And Maccarone slotted home: it could be worth its weight in gold.
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Then, in the dying seconds, almost at the bitter end,
Basel swiftly broke and we had no-one to defend,
With hearts about to break: would we sink like Lusitania?
Or, is it Boro’s destiny now, to play in Bucharest, Romania?
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The referee brought a close to the greatest night we’ve seen,
It had started with the Boro’s head beneath the guillotine,
But grit and guts and passion, mixed with total dedication,
Brought about deserved victory and an absolute sensation.
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The stadium erupted with the Boro lads euphoric,
The sweet taste of success: the occasion was historic,
Even Steve McClaren must feel he’s once again in favour,
For he’d really given everyone a victory to savour.
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On the night when the Boro’s dream oh, so very nearly died,
He was the motivator, who filled every heart with pride,
He cajoled the lads to what must be an all-time-great revival,
Brought us back from the dead to UEFA survival.
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When things were at their blackest, he made a firm avowal,
That, come what may, his Boro lads, would not throw in the towel,
I, for one, was spellbound, and totally in thrall,
As I sat before the telly, nervously kicking every ball.
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Great praise must go to Basel fans, a credit to their nation,
Who, at the end, gave Boro’s team a long, standing ovation,
But their players who, in Basel, enjoyed the wildest celebration,
Must now regret and suffer from the premature elation.
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Century’s Brownlee, understandably, through his spectacles of red,
Went totally ballistic and he really lost his head,
To Bernie’s great amusement, he called on Mayor, Ray,
To mark this great achievement with a new Bank Holiday.
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I’m sure that the Authority really can’t afford it,
Though Boro, to a man, richly deserve every plaudit,
So let’s savour the occasion and then do our level best,
To perform another miracle, against Steaua Bucharest.
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There are ‘just’ two more hard nuts that the Boro need to crack,
To win the mighty prize and then to proudly bring it back,
But, as the whole of Teesside praises: we’re over the proverbial moon,
Let’s pray there’s not a backlash, when we next take on ‘The Toon.’