It is 100 years since the Titanic hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage and sank. The unsinkable ship, doing what it was never meant to do. Over 1,500 lost their lives. The lack of lifeboats meant that so many died who could have been saved. The sheer weight of press around the centenary reminded me of how I ruined Titanic (the film).
Back in March 1998, when I was 16, Titanic was on in our local cinema. My two best friends and I were all huge football fans and, that particular Saturday (the 7th of March 1998), our team (Oxford United) were playing away at Manchester City. We couldn't afford to go to Manchester so the only slightly 'girly' one of us suggested that we go to see Titanic at the cinema instead. We agreed, thinking that was a reasonable way to spend an afternoon.
What our friend didn't know was that we had my trusty Sony Walkman with me, which had a radio. Football-wise, we were having an OK season, we all had season tickets and rarely missed matches so listening to the match whilst watching a film seemed like a good plan. As the film started, my best friend and I took an earpiece each, and switched the football commentary on. All was going well and, until the 44th minute when Joey Beauchamp put us in to the lead, I don't think my other friend had realised we were listening to the match. We kept it quiet though so that no-one else in the rather packed cinema knew.
During half time we watched the film properly (keeping half an ear open to check our rivals were losing). We were beating Man City away, excellent. Unfortunately the Titanic's fortunes were looking less favourable. Indeed, it was sinking. There weren't enough lifeboats. Jack and Rose had fallen in love, despite being from different classes. But could they both survive? And could we cling on in the football? 1-0 was hardly safe.
Then came our answer. At pretty much the most emotional moment of the film, as Jack slipped slowly to the bottom of the sea, and his death, Jamie Cook scored an 81st minute clincher. "YES", my friend and I shouted rather too loudly and jumped up and down hugging each other.
Needless to say, I don't think a packed cinema full of crying teenagers had quite expected that reaction. We won the match 2-0 and our rivals Swindon lost 1-0 to Portsmouth. A happy day indeed. My only slight regret is that whenever I watch Titanic, and Leonardo DiCaprio sinks to the bottom of the sea, I can still only think, albeit rather more quietly, 'yes'!