It's 15 years this month since Liverpool became champions of Europe for a fifth time in Istanbul.
After a 3-3 draw with AC Milan at the Ataturk Stadium, Rafa Benitez's Reds beat the Italians on penalties to bring the most significant club trophy in football home for keeps.
The game, to this day, is known as one of the most remarkable in the history of European football. Benitez's side were dead and buried at half time before mounting a second-half comeback that almost defied description.
Before that night, though, Liverpool had to negotiate the knockout stages against Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus and Chelsea.
Paul Gorst re-tells the story of those three ties with the help of those who were there.
Part three concludes with Liverpool hosting Chelsea in the second leg at Anfield.
Anfield was playing host to its biggest game in a generation. And the Liverpool faithful knew it.
As Rafa Benitez's Reds rolled on as the perennial underdogs, the stage was set for the club's first European Cup semi-final in 20 years in May 2005.
After Bayer Leverkusen and Juventus had been vanquished, Liverpool were down to the last four of the Champions League.
And it just had to be Chelsea, didn't it?
In the spring of 2005, Liverpool's now very modern rivalry with the Londoners was in its embryonic stages, developing at a searing pace.
The animosity had been scaled up significantly after events in the Millennium Stadium just a few weeks earlier when Jose Mourinho had 'shushed' Reds supporters in Cardiff during a heated League Cup final.
The two teams would collide twice more to take the total games between them that season up to five. Familiarity was breeding contempt.
"I can't remember how many times we played against them that season, but it must be around eight to 10 times over a couple of years," Luis Garcia says. "Most of them with not a good end, but perhaps for the ones that mattered most, our team got the result."
The two clubs had been seemingly intertwined since the Blues beat the Reds to secure Champions League qualification - and the subsequent advances of Roman Abramovich - ahead of them on the final day of the 2002/03 season.
Djimi Traore says: "We knew there was a big rivalry there. They were the new guys with Mourinho in charge, they spent a lot of money to bring big buys to the team and they beat us in the cup final that year.
"It was painful for us the way we lost that game and we knew they tried to buy our best player, our captain, Steven Gerrard. So there were a lot of things between both teams. It made this semi-final bigger."
"Everything started from the mind games before the match," Jerzy Dudek reveals. "Then the supporters' behaviour in the stadium was important for us.
"The rivalry was between the fans but we knew Chelsea had a reach with their chairman, they could buy every player for big amounts of money. But when you can do that, it looks like everyone is against you.
"They signed Mourinho and he knew how to talk, to play the game off the pitch and he was very clever. He motivated everyone."
As a Liverpool fan, himself, Stephen Warnock was fully aware of the dislike that was simmering between the two clubs' respective fanbases at the midway mark of the previous decade.
He says: "I don't know if it was the right word, but there was a jealousy there.
"When Chelsea were doing so well, you wanted the same and you wanted to get to that level. It became more competitive."
A first leg draw had been played out at Stamford Bridge six days earlier with Benitez once more showcasing his ability to grind out the result when Liverpool backs were against the wall.
A goalless scoreline in the capital perhaps handed the initiative to the Reds, but an away goal could have been terminal for the hosts on May 3 2005.
Fans lined the streets hours before kick-off as Reds supporters prepared themselves for the biggest European fixture in two decades.
Warnock was on the bench that night and the boyhood Reds supporter knew something special was stirring.
"Coming out for the warm up was just deafening," he says. "Even arriving at the ground on the bus, the atmosphere was electric.
"Fans had welcomed the bus in and then it was a case of getting in the ground as quickly as possibly. It was frightening.
"Because I was a Liverpool fan, I remember thinking 'I might never get this again'. This is one of those nights that you dreamed of when you were on the Kop as a kid."
A booking for Xabi Alonso late on at Stamford Bridge left Liverpool without their classy midfielder for the return game. As a result, the onus would be thrust onto Didi Hamann, who had not long returned from ligament damage.
"I only had one substitute appearance for half an hour the weekend before against Middlesbrough, so I hadn't played a lot in the lead up to that game," Hamann recalls.
"But with Xabi being out, I had to play and I wasn't 100 per cent. But on a night like this, you have to forget you have been out injured. The knee didn't give me any bother anymore and it was the best and most electric I have ever heard Anfield."
After populating the Anfield Road to welcome in the team bus, supporters side-stepped the pubs and headed straight for the ground with the sole aim of whipping up an atmosphere to rival anything the stadium had previously produced.
"From the first minute we went out to warm up, normally there were not that many people there, but this time, it was half full," says Hamann.
"The atmosphere was the best I've ever been in," adds Garcia. "The Kop was bouncing from the first minute, singing songs, cheering the players and making Chelsea's players realise, that no matter what, they will be there until the referee decides it is the end."
With Chelsea owner Abramovich sat in the directors' box, the two teams took to the pitch. A deafening nose rose into Merseyside's evening air as captain Steven Gerrard acknowledged the support.
"I remember I had maybe 50 or 60 people from Poland with me," Dudek adds. "And after the game they were only talking about the Luis Garcia goal and the atmosphere. It was the noisiest stadium ever I played in during my football career."
It is an opinion Traore also subscribes himself to.
"To be honest, it was the best atmosphere I have ever witnessed," says Traore, who started the game at left-back. "In all my years at Liverpool, I had never seen Anfield that way.
"When people tell you 'fans can't score goals so don't worry when you start the game' to be honest, Liverpool fans they made the difference that evening."
The game's decisive moment arrived after just four minutes.
John Arne Riise, cutting in from the left, played a pass to Gerrard after a nutmeg on Frank Lampard. With a first-time ball, the skipper released Milan Baros who was subsequently taken down by an onrushing Petr Cech.
Slovakian referee, Lubos Michel, waved play on as Anfield held its collective breath.
Before supporters had chance to berate the decision, Luis Garcia crept in, creating the most from the penalty box chaos.
He nudged the ball goalwards and watched as it moved closer and closer towards the net.
Reflecting on the most famous goal of his career, 15 years on, the Spaniard says: "People won't remember but I did score a few goals because I was in the right place where the ball was going to land.
"That ability I had in these moments was the one that made me arrive earlier to the ball just a few tenths of a second before John Terry. He was getting ready to clear the ball and didn't see me arrive from the back."
William Gallas hooked it clear but it was too late. The ball, it was decided, had gone over the line. Liverpool had the advantage.
"I saw the ball bounce once and Gallas was running to try clear it away," says Garcia. "When the ball started moving up again, I knew he would not arrive in time because of the spin of the ball. I just had to wait a bit longer and then I could run to celebrate.
"That instant where I saw the ball go in was enough to push me towards all of the fans. I think they were the ones that pushed the ball in."
Mourinho's post-match bleating saw him famously label Garcia's effort as 'the ghost goal' but his moaning cut little ice from a Liverpool perspective. Had Michel blown for a foul on Baros, the following sequence was a penalty to the hosts and a red card for Cech inside the opening five minutes.
"With that early goal, Anfield erupted," says Hamann. "You have to say they probably carried us for the final half an hour because we were pretty tired. Somehow, we hung on. To shut out a team like that, twice was a great effort."
On his fifth and final goal of the knockout stages, Garcia cannot resist one last poke at Mourinho's 'ghost goal' insistence. "The rest is history," he adds. "And we all like to remember the goal once a year... for Halloween!"
With Chelsea continuing to press for the equaliser that would tilt the tie back in their favour, energy levels began to drain from the home side.
Once again, Rafa's Reds would have to rely on their immaculate defensive work. Expertly marshalled by Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher, Liverpool were able to deny their exalted visitors.
"The atmosphere pushed us," says Traore. "When you have these type of fans, they back you up and even now as I say it, I am getting goosebumps.
"They were fantastic. They cheered for us, I have never heard Anfield make that noise, it was like crazy."
As the hour-mark approached, Djibril Cisse, who had not long returned from a broken leg, was summoned for. His pace, Benitez felt, could ease the pressure and offer an outlet for midfielders under stifling pressure from a Chelsea side who had not long clinched the Premier League title.
"Chelsea had an incredible squad at the time with some top, top players and also they had Mourinho at the peak of his powers then too," says Warnock.
"He was a genius. So that all just added to it. The fans knew they had to play their part and as usual, they did.
"Even now, when I think about it, it is 'wow....' and again, against a brilliant Chelsea team who everyone thought would beat Liverpool. They had such quality and were on a hell of a run at the time.
"But when you go to Anfield and you have the crowd behind you, anything can happen."
Chelsea's best chance fell to Eidur Gudjohnsen in the last minute of the game. With Dudek and Hyypia half clearing between them, the Icelander somehow smashed wide at the Kop end with the goal at his mercy.
A heart-stopping, season-ending moment was averted. Liverpool were now surely the finalists.
And with 6 minutes and 15 seconds of added time played, the referee finally blew the whistle that confirmed the Reds' place in Istanbul.
"Football is so amazing and gives you these unforgettable moments, this one, was one of them," Garcia reflects 15 years on.
"We knew we had done something fantastic for the club," Traore adds. "We knew it would stay with people for a long time."
All they had to do now was make history. AC Milan awaited.
Stay tuned for more exclusive ECHO content as Liverpool celebrate the 15-year anniversary of their Champions League win on Monday