It was one of England’s most memorable matches – against Germany on their patch at the Olympiastadion in Munich.
However, it looked like things would go according to plan for the home team when Carsten Jancker gave Rudi Völler’s side a sixth-minute lead.
Then, almost the unthinkable happened as the visitors responded in devastating fashion and Germany crumbled.
“Going one-nil down, and then we could have been two down only two or three minutes after that, we gathered ourselves, regrouped, and everything just clicked,” remembers Emile Heskey ahead of next week’s meeting in Dortmund between the historic football rivals.
The former Liverpool striker’s Anfield teammates Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard netted to make it 2-1 at half-time, Owen bagged twice more after the break to seal his hat-trick, then Heskey, himself, got in on the act to seal a 5-1 victory.
A dream result in a vital World Cup qualifier almost a year after Germany’s 1-0 win in the final game at the old Wembley.
“You know when you have six chances and five of them go in, it was crazy,” Heskey continued.
“Michael getting one, Stevie getting another, then Michael got two more, then me. What happened? We were playing like we were at home, like we were in our own garden.
“It was like a blur, everything was going so well for us and you rarely get those games. You pass the ball and they can’t get near it – it was great.”
Now, nearly 16 years later, it’s still fondly remembered by every Three Lions fan.
Results like that will only add to the rivalry should Heskey’s England side, featuring his teammates that day – Owen, Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand – face Germany at the inaugural Star Sixes tournament this summer.
The prospect of another England v Germany meeting at The O2 is mouth-watering, especially with Michael Ballack, who played for Germany in that 2001 classic, leading out his country at Star Sixes.
“You don’t realise what it meant to people, winning that game in that manner,” Heskey added.
“Even today I get blokes coming up to me who were probably 12, 13, 14 then, saying it was unbelievable, it was great. Thank you.”
Tickets for the first Star Sixes international football tournament are now available to buy online from The O2, with prices starting at just £30 for adults and £10 for children. Visit Ticketmaster or AXS to book.