“THEY will be remembered forever around the town as heroes.”

That is how Eddie Howe described his 2008-09 Cherries squad which avoided relegation from League Two 10 years ago tomorrow.

Starting the campaign on minus 17 points, rookie boss Howe was drafted in on December 31 2008, following the dismissal of Jimmy Quinn.

Despite losing his two games in caretaker charge and sitting 10 points adrift of safety in January, Howe was handed the reins as permanent Cherries manager. The subsequent match saw his first win as boss with a 3-1 success against league leaders Wycombe at Dean Court and so began the ‘Greatest Escape’.

Survival went on to be sealed with a game to spare as Cherries came from behind to beat Grimsby 2-1 with goals from Liam Feeney and Steve Fletcher on April 25, confirming the club’s Football League status.

Asked about his memories of the win over the Mariners, Howe told the Daily Echo: “I don’t remember too much about the day around it, I really don’t.

“It would’ve probably been a normal matchday for me. But the game, I’ll never forget.

“I’ll never forget the feeling of conceding first. I’ll never forget the feeling when we scored after half-time and of course big Fletch never lets us forget his impact and his goal with such a short time remaining in the game.

“Those emotions around the final whistle will always stay with me because it was a hugely emotional time.

“From being written off and people thinking we could never do it to actually finally achieving it was a very special moment.”

He added: “The (winning) goal is on loop in Fletch’s office actually.

“It’s difficult to put a number on it but I’ve probably seen it 30-40 times. I’ve also heard about it probably about a thousand times, but I don’t have a problem with it.

“I think remembering special moments and bringing that up back to people is a hugely important part of our history.”

Many of the players involved during that season remain with the club now.

As well as Howe and his assistant Jason Tindall, Fletcher, Alan Connell, Warren Cummings, Shaun Cooper and Mark Molesley are all working with Cherries in some capacity.

And Howe says the character of that squad deserve huge praise.

He said: “They were incredibly special. I always say and I said it at the time to the group that they will be remembered forever around the town as heroes, as the group or the team that kept Bournemouth alive.

“That’s not changed from that day that I said it during the season to now.

“For me they should be remembered, all of them, not just Fletch and the ones that scored, but all of them.

“They all contributed to where Bournemouth stand now and they did it in such difficult circumstances with their backs against the wall.

“They showed a really good resilience, the ability to keep fighting in difficult situations and we should never forget their contribution.”