IT WAS a very different time and a very different club.

But the ecstasy on Omari Patrick’s face after scoring the Valley Parade winner on his debut brought the memories flooding back.

Fourteen years ago, Danny Forrest had been that excited youngster dancing in delight in front of the Kop.

Thrust in the side because injury and suspension had left boss Nicky Law nowhere else to turn, the 18-year-old rose to the occasion as City beat promotion-chasing Ipswich with an assist for Claus Jorgensen’s opener before finishing off with a close-range poke to convert Mark Bower’s header.

You cannot find Forrest’s debut goal online. His only footage is “an old VHS somewhere in the house”.

Youtube still shows the spectacular overhead kick against Walsall the following month which earned him City’s goal of the season accolade. Although even that is spoilt by the commentator getting his name completely wrong!

But the scenes remain fresh in Forrest’s mind – fond recollections that were stirred by the sight of Patrick’s joy against Blackpool.

“I’m not going to lie, it did bring back memories,” said Forrest this week.

“I know it wasn’t that long ago when I broke in, 13-14 years ago, but now it’s all over social media and straight on there.

“I saw the goal on Twitter and a few messages of congratulation and it did remind me of what it was like.

“The support back then was great. But the whole buzz around the place nowadays is unbelievable.

“To score in front of a full Kop and north-west corner, there’s no feeling like it.

“Omari’s a young lad and all credit to him. He’s got himself right in there now.”

Forrest can see one major change between Patrick and the situation he had faced as a raw rookie in the City spotlight.

He came into a team facing financial uncertainty and upheaval; nobody sure of what would happen next. He regrets not having that opportunity to be nurtured by Stuart McCall.

Forrest added: “From Omari’s point of view, he’s just got to trust Stuart and the club to look after him. He’s in a really good place.

“Stuart is probably one of the best man managers around from what I’ve heard so I’m sure he will be handled right.

“I hope he gets a run in the side and who knows he might play every game.

“But if he does have to take a step back in development and maybe have a spell on the bench, he’s not got to see it as a negative.

“He’s just got to trust Stuart and the coaching staff and I’m sure they will do what’s best for him.

“They’ve got a rough diamond on their hands and will want to give him the best possible chance.

“I like to think if I’d had someone like Stuart managing me, I might have done better.

“Ultimately if I was good enough, I probably would have stayed there a little bit longer.

“But the whole state of the club at the time was very difficult.

“When Simon Francis, Lewis Emanuel and I broke through, there was quite a lot said because it was a bit of a positive in quite a gloomy time.

“I don’t think Omari can be in better hands than with Stuart.

“I’d have loved to have had a go when somebody like that was involved.”

Forrest, who now manages Silsden in the North West Counties League, was an apprentice during McCall’s final year as a City player and remembers how he would always find time for a chat and to offer advice.

“One thing Stuart and I had in common was that we both loved the club. I think he saw that in me and maybe he gave me an extra bit of attention.

“You always felt positive around him because he made you feel part of it, even the young ones.

“I really admire the way he has put his faith in Omari. City have invested a bit of money and to be brave enough to play a young lad and to trust him is absolutely brilliant.

“He’ll know him a lot better than any of us and what he’d get.

“But to play him first home game, I can’t speak highly enough of that decision.

“When Simon and I broke in the team, it gave us all faith that what we were doing day in, day out was getting noticed.

“It’s like what is happening now with the blend they’ve got and the way Stuart is handling it all.”