Blue Monday? Our writers and favourite bloggers recall their worst football memories
Its origin may be spurious, but the ‘most depressing day of the year’ is a good reason to share these amusing and honest anecdotes
England v Netherlands - U-21 European Championship play-off, 13 November 2001
I only attended the midweek game at Pride Park because it was a team night out for the Sunday side I played for at the time.
I'd been relegated to the bench in recent weeks and was keen to ingratiate myself to the manager, who was renowned for picking his favourites.
But the rush-hour traffic from Nottingham and my dad's insistence on securing free parking meant I missed kick-off and, crucially, the chance to sit near him.
A few of my team-mates whose starting places were secure left early, though, which enabled me to impress him with a couple of astute observations.
"He's an exciting prospect, that Shola Ameobi," I opined. "And how good is Stephen Wright? The next Gary Neville."
We left at the final whistle and avoided the post-match traffic, but only because the indistinguishable residential street my dad had parked on took three hours to find.
It was well after 1am when I got into bed - heady territory for a 12-year-old on a school night - but I knew it'd all be worthwhile once I was restored to the team the following Sunday.
Or so I thought. I was named as a sub and came on for the last few minutes with the game already won.
Carlisle United v Gillingham - League One, 27 February 2010
While on a night out in Manchester, my mate texted asking me if I fancied Carlisle away the next day.
Sure, we were midway through what would eventually become an 18-month, 35-game winless run away from home, but the drunken optimist in me was convinced things were about to turn.
So after getting in at 5am, I decided against sleeping and got myself on to the first train to Brunton Park to meet my mate.
A missed open goal was as good as it got for the Gills, who went on to lose 2-0.
After dodging a fracas on my way back to the station, I discovered my train had been cancelled, with a replacement bus service to Preston my only route home.
I piled on with a group of equally disgruntled fans, some of whom proceeded to numb their disappointment with some illicit substances on the back seat.
Isolated, the only thing keeping me going was the thought of watching the England v Ireland Six Nations highlights when I got in - the result of which I had managed to avoid all day.
We’d not even reached the M6 when I received a text from a smug Irish mate gloating about his side’s late try to win the game.
Crystal Palace v Liverpool - Premier League, 5 May 2014 So, I'm in the pub, sat in front of the big screen. I’ve got my Rekorderlig in hand and am ready for what is potentially the biggest game in my life as a Liverpool fan.
The defeat to Chelsea eight days earlier - and Steven Gerrard’s infamous slip - meant the title was no longer in our hands, but victory at Selhurst Park would keep us in it.
I was loving it when Luis Suarez made it 3-0 on 55 minutes, bragging to whoever would listen that we were going to win the league. But then we imploded.
When Palace’s equaliser went in, my head literally smacked off the pub table. My fella and my brother tried to console me, but I was beyond help.
It wasn't a full-blown tear-fest, but I'm not afraid to admit that I cried. It was by far the worst day of my Liverpool-supporting life.
But, hey, at least I'm over it now. (I'm not.)
Kirsty W, The Liver Bird
Sunderland v Tottenham - Premier League, 7 December 2013
My Spurs-supporting mate convinced me - a West Ham fan - to join him for the five-hour journey up to the Stadium of Light, with his promise of a big night out in Newcastle afterwards the only reason I agreed to go.
Somehow, the role of driver was delegated to me, while the match was so bad I genuinely don’t remember the score.
As for the night out, we started off with a meal at TGI Fridays before ending up at Lloyds - the same two franchises we’d gone to the week before when out in our hometown.
Not exactly worth the 10-hour round trip.
Chelsea v Monaco - Champions League, 5 May 2004 Chelsea fans had been confident of reaching the final, but losing 3-1 in Monaco changed things dramatically.
We took a 2-0 lead in the second leg, but by the hour mark the visitors had levelled the match and their fans behind and above us were in full song.
That’s when a rather large Frenchman jumped on my back, which sent me tumbling into a group of extremely drunk female Chelsea supporters.
As a mate helped me up, one of the women accused us of being Arsenal fans and demanded to see our season tickets.
Before we could even try and resolve the situation, two policemen came over and decided the best option was to throw us out of Stamford Bridge.
The rest, of course, is history: Chelsea were knocked out and Claudio Ranieri got the sack. All in all, a difficult evening.
Arsenal v Tottenham - Premier League, 29 October 2008
There were five minutes left and Arsenal were 4-2 up, so I took the pragmatic decision to beat the Emirates rush and leave early.
On my way to the train, I called a mate to celebrate and he told me Tottenham had pulled one back, which I assumed would be nothing more than a consolation.
That was until I saw a bunch of overjoyed Spurs supporters running past the Arsenal station screaming a familiar football tune about how it’d been 4-2 and we’d, in politer terms, "messed" it up.
Even now, I still blame myself for those two dropped points.
England v Argentina - World Cup, 30 June 1998 Having just turned nine and lived in England for less than a year, France was the first World Cup I can fully remember.
I’d been collecting the Sainsbury’s England coin set - like the sticker book, but better - and had everyone in Glenn Hoddle’s squad except for David Batty going into the second-round tie.
Batty, of course, missed the decisive spot-kick, causing much anger and many tears in my house.
After drying my eyes, I marched upstairs, grabbed my coin set and, where Batty’s face should have been, wrote a word I am unable to print without the use of asterisks.
And there began my fraught relationship with English football.
Northampton v Barnet - League Two, 27 April 2013
I travelled alone from Bristol to Northampton to watch Barnet, doing so via London (three-and-a-half-hour journey) in order to collect my match ticket.
We conceded two late on to lose 2-0 and went down on goal difference with 51 points - the highest ever total by a relegated team in League Two.
When I got home to Bristol - via Birmingham this time (three-hour journey) - there was a bloke climbing through our living room window, presumably trying to rob the place.
He ran away, but the window lock was broken, meaning I had to sleep on the sofa in case he came back to finish the job.
Blackburn Rovers v Tottenham - League Cup, 24 February 2002 Having thrashed Chelsea in the semis, we made the trip to Cardiff expecting to win.
We lost 2-1, but the ref cost us by not awarding a penalty when Teddy Sheringham was felled late on.
After the game, we watched our players collect their medals and then skulked towards the exits. Can't be watching them lift the trophy...
Then there was an announcement explaining how a cable on some stadium branding had come loose and that everyone had to return to their seats for safety reasons.
So we were forced to go back in and endure the Rovers players parading the trophy to the sounds of Status Quo’s Rockin’ All Over the World. Unbearable.
We’d not even got out of Wales when our designated driver smashed the rented mini-van into a wall. A lost deposit, then, as well as a lost cup final.