THIS was so much more than just a routine victory. 

On home soil, against a club two divisions below, Cherries would have been expected to emerge victorious against Burton Albion.

But this will mean so much more than simply winning a game of football. This is about those moments that only this wonderful game can ignite. This is about history and payback for those who stood up and were counted when they were needed most.

Real Madrid came in the summer. Forget Real Madrid.

Saturday, January 25 will mean more to AFC Bournemouth fans than, potentially, any day since 1984. Cherries triumphed over the might of Manchester United that day. Who knows?

The multi-European champions will visit a week on Saturday. Win, lose or draw, it will be an occasion for the history books.

Cherries’ history book, of course, is laden with tumultuous chapters. Administrations, relegations, ownership that should never have been allowed to happen.

The bookmarks to those chapters of woe are the supporters, the ones who put their money in those buckets at the Winter Gardens, the ones who still bought their season tickets when the club was in danger of dropping into non-league. In the corridors of power, Jeff Mostyn and Steve Sly refused to let this incredible club take its last breath before its time. This is for all of you. Soak it up.

You can take your Real Madrid and your Cristiano Ronaldo. A competitive fixture against one of England’s finest clubs, a club of stature and a club that represents exactly what football means to this country, is finally a reward for those who have been waiting so long for a moment like this.

Enjoy it. Saviour it. You all deserve it.