Top 5 moments in the history of the Championship Playoffs

You've got to love the Playoffs.

The tension.

The drama.

Mostly importantly, the stakes.

Your whole season defined by three matches.

Any fan whose club has been promoted via the Playoffs will tell you there's no better way to go up.

For some, they've experienced moments that they'll remember for a lifetime.

It was meant to be the Playoff final this past bank holiday weekend so as some sort of minor consolation, let's count down the greatest moments since it was rebranded to the Championship.

NOTE: This is from when the second tier was rebranded to the Championship in 2004. So no Clive Mendonca or Darren Carter sadly!

5) Charlie Adam's free kick, Blackpool 3-2 Cardiff

It was the goal that set up an unlikely promotion.

Many were tipping Blackpool for relegation at the start of the season.

They got into the Playoffs and nobody fancied them to beat Nottingham Forest in the semi-finals.

They did but pundits everywhere fancied Cardiff to win in the final.

They didn't.

A young Charlie Adam was the standout player of the side and scored the first of three Blackpool goals.

And what a goal.

Ian Holloway was in charge at the time and you usually can't stop him talking.

On this occasion, all he said was "I can’t put this achievement into words.

"I usually like a chat but all I can say is that I’m bursting with pride."

4) Jack Marriott leads the comeback, Derby 4-2 Leeds (2019)

They call the Playoffs a lottery, mainly because of its unpredictability.

Going into the second leg of this semi-final at Elland Road, it seemed like Derby had no chance.

Leeds were unlucky not to go up automatically, while the Rams only managed to secure their place in the Playoffs on the final day of the season.

Marcelo Bielsa's side had smashed Frank Lampard's boys twice in the normal campaign before comfortably winning 1-0 at Pride Park.

No team had ever lost in the first leg of a Playoff semi-final at home, and then overturned it away.

Derby fans went into the game with low expectations.

They were even lower after Stuart Dallas put Leeds ahead in the first half.

But suddenly the tables turned when Jack Marriott scored just before half time.

The pressure was suddenly on Leeds and long story short, the scores were level at 3-3 on aggregate.

With not long left, Richard Keogh managed to play the ball to Marriott who was one-on-one with Kiko Casilla.

The 'keeper dives at his feet but the striker dinks it over him and into the net.

Cue wild celebrations.

3) Dean Windass' volley, Hull 1-0 Bristol City (2008)

Who doesn't love a good fairytale?

We've all dreamt of scoring that winning goal for our club at Wembley.

Dean Windass is one of the few people who's actually done it.

6 years prior to this though, it looked like his career was coming to an end.

He was 33 and the goals had dried up (he scored 3 in 3 seasons for Middlesbrough).

But a drop down to Bradford in League One meant 'Deano' found that scoring touch again, getting 54 goals in two and a half seasons.

He rejoined his hometown club Hull at the age of 36.

A year and a half later he scored THAT volley which sent Hull to the top tier of English football for the first time in their history.

2) Bobby Zamora's late winner, QPR 1-0 Derby (2014)

Football can be so cruel.

This game saw Steve McClaren's young Derby side take on an experienced (and quite well paid) QPR team.

Heading into the game, it was a fairly tough one to call, but once the contest actually got underway it seemed to be heading in one direction.

The Rams had 68% possession and were constantly knocking on the door of the Rangers defence.

Admittedly there wasn't a golden chance but Derby looked the far more likely of the two sides.

If it wasn't for a defensive masterclass from Richard Dunne and some very solid goalkeeping from Rob Green, this could have been a different story.

However, late in the game, Junior Hoilett managed to get the better of Jake Buxton near the Derby byline.

He played in a poor cross which should have easily been cleared by Richard Keogh.

But it wasn't.

Instead it came off the underside of his boot and fell to the feet of Bobby Zamora, who duly took the opportunity to knock the ball past Lee Grant in the Derby goal.

Derby fans were left shell-shocked.

QPR fans were in dreamland.

1) Troy Deeney causes bedlam, Watford 3-1 Leicester (2013)

There's only one choice right?

When people talk about something causing "limbs" then this has GOT to be the first goal you think about.

To set the scene, the game was tied at 2-2 on aggregate.

It seemed like it was heading towards extra time until Anthony Knockaert won a, let's say, questionable penalty.

He stepped up to take it because it was saved by Watford 'keeper Manuel Almunia.

The rebound was also saved and the ball was clear up the other end of the pitch.

Watford are on the break.

Fernando Forestieri plays in a cross.

Jonathan Hogg knocks it down.


You know the rest.

It's often forgotten that despite all this Watford didn't actually get promoted (losing to Crystal Palace in the final).

But let's call that a minor footnote on one of the greatest moments in the history of English football.


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