“YOU live for those moments and want them to last forever.”
Michael Flynn’s words as he summed up the scenes after Newport pulled off their amazing escape from relegation to non-league.
“The town has been mental,” he said. “But that’s why it’s the best sport in the world.
“It’s why most kids want to be footballers. They want to experience those unbelievable feelings – everyone all together, businesses thriving, all so positive.
“Success like that has such a massive knock-on effect and being able to be part of it is something special.”
Flynn can imagine a similar party in Bradford if City do complete the job against Millwall to book their return to the Championship.
One of the first calls of congratulation when Newport beat the drop came from his old boss Stuart McCall. Ironically another soon arrived from Millwall manager Neil Harris.
Flynn is a popular character – none more so than with City fans who remember his whole-hearted efforts at a time when the club were finding it tough to make inroads in the basement division.
The texts and messages came flooding in from West Yorkshire as supporters appreciated the huge achievement in his first stab at management. That feeling is reciprocated.
Flynn would love to see Newport’s celebrations mirrored at his old haunt under a boss he retains huge respect for.
“You know my affection for Bradford,” he said. “I loved my time there and it makes me proud that the fans took the time to send me a message.
“They were brilliant with me and I wish them nothing but good luck. It would be fantastic to see the club in the Championship again.”
There is an omen from 2013 when Newport won promotion to the Football League. A couple of weeks later City followed suit by cruising past Northampton to step up to League One.
Flynn added: “That was an unbelievable time. A part of me was a little bit gutted that it was a year later after I’d left Bradford but it definitely softened the blow when they went up.
“I was so happy because I know what it meant to the fans who had been through some hard times.”
Doing it again on Saturday with McCall at the helm would top that. Managing his hometown club, Flynn can understand the special bond that exists.
“I’m not surprised Stuart has done so well because I know what he is capable of,” he said. “He’s Mr Bradford.
“I thought it was a great appointment when he went back there. It was just the right time for him and the club.
“I’ve got nothing but respect for Stuart. He signed me and I loved playing for him.
“It was a difficult time with all the cuts but I was gutted when he went.
“But he went away and worked his socks off in Scotland and did really well. He deserves this.”
When Flynn joined City in the summer of 2009, McCall also handed him the number four shirt – his shirt.
“I asked him if four was available and Stuart said ‘I’m not sure if you can handle that!’
“You know what he’s like. We had a good bit of banter and he let me wear it.
“But I knew what it meant to wear the number four for Bradford because of what Stuart had done.
“It was like wearing the number eight at Liverpool of Steven Gerrard or the seven with Kenny Dalglish. It comes with responsibility.
“But you’ve got to be able to deal with that to play for Bradford anyway because they are such a big club.”
Now City stand on the brink of going back to the big time after 13 years stuck in the lower divisions. Flynn is predicting a Wembley cracker.
“It will be a sell-out. It’s a cup final and one community will be left down in the dumps while the other will be celebrating like they’ve won the lottery.
“That’s football. We saw it with us at Newport and what has happened to Hartlepool.
“There always have to be winners and losers but there is nothing like this game for drama.
“It’s the unknown. We were going down for seven minutes and then suddenly our right back nicks a goal.
“It’s the ecstasy and the agony. But hopefully it will be Bradford doing the partying on Saturday.”