SUPA man saves the day.

That was the headline posted on the Daily Echo website on Saturday April 25, 2009 – after Steve Fletcher wrote the perfect script to keep Cherries in the Football League.

Trailing 1-0 at half-time against Grimsby at Dean Court after Nathan Jarman’s header, the Dorset club, who had started the season with a 17-point deduction amid crippling financial plight, had it all to do to keep themselves in League Two.

But Eddie Howe’s men pulled a goal back through Liam Feeney shortly after the break to set up a grandstand finale in front of an attendance of 9,008.

Enter Fletcher – who had risked it all in re-signing for Cherries from non-league Crawley in January.

A cross from the left saw Mark Molesley compete in the box 10 minutes from time. The ball then fell to the then 36-year-old striker, who chested it down before sweetly striking home with his right boot to ensure the club’s survival.

Having found the net, a topless Fletcher sprinted away down the touchline before being mobbed by his team-mates in front of the home fans.

Now part of Howe’s coaching staff who this week secured a fifth season in the Premier League, the talismanic frontman admitted it had been a moment he would never forget.

Shown the Echo’s back page 10 years on from the history-making strike, Fletcher said: “No words can ever explain what that means to me.

“I never get tired of seeing it and, do you know what? Ten years on, there are not many days have gone by when somebody hasn’t mentioned it.

“Whether that is out shopping, in the supermarket, in the street or in a local restaurant. Especially now the club is in the limelight – it gets remembered even more in some respects.

“I played at Wembley, scored in a play-off final, had a stand named after me. All of those things I achieved will never replicate the feeling of when I scored that goal.

“I took my shirt off and set off running down the line at 36 years of age. What it meant to me, the club and my family – it was my family who backed me and were there for me when I made the decision to come back.

“After the game, I ran past the tunnel into B Block, where the family stand was, to my wife and daughter and gave them a big hug.

“I shed a few tears and it was a day I will never forget until they turn the lights off and it’s time for me to leave this land.”

The strike was Fletcher’s 100th career league goal.

Cherries’ record appearance-maker, he played 21 times and scored four goals for the Dorset club during the 2008-09 campaign.

Having already been a legendary figure at Dean Court, Fletcher admitted he defied the advice of those closest to him in re-signing to help save his beloved club.

The first game following his return was a 3-1 home success over high-flying Wycombe – then rookie boss Howe’s first win.

“Everyone was telling me not to go back,” said club hero Fletcher, who had initially joined Cherries from Hartlepool in 1992.

“Not so much my wife but friends outside of football. They said I’d had a fantastic 15 years and not to ever go back.

“There is a lot to lose after you have been at a club for so long. You don’t want to come back and be part of a team which might get relegated into what could have been liquidation – if we had gone out the Football League.

“But I didn’t want to finish the final years of my career thinking ‘what if?’. From the moment I first walked through the door they gave me a guard of honour in training on the Friday before the Wycombe game. It was great banter and a tongue-in-cheek moment but it was brilliant for me.”

A smiling Fletcher added: “We had such team spirit. When I arrived, Ed hadn’t planned on me starting almost every game. I think he thought I would start a few and maybe rest a couple.

“But he wanted me in and around the place to galvanise the changing room, put belief back into the players and just give us a lift.

“We never, ever stopped talking about achieving the impossible.”