When Everton welcomed Bolton Wanderers to Goodison Park on December 28, 1997, it was for a fixture they could ill afford to lose.
Starting the day 19th in the Premier League table, it was imperative the Blues did not pass up the chance to collect three precious points and close the gap on the 16th-placed Trotters.
Everton, then, needed a hero. Step forward - not for the first time, not for the last - Duncan Ferguson.
Handed the captain’s armband by manager Howard Kendall, the giant Scot responded by heading the game’s opening goal on 17 minutes.
He nodded in again on 41 minutes to double Everton’s advantage, but it was inconceivably tossed away before the break as Gudni Bergsson and Scott Sellars struck to send the sides in level.
Not to let down his adoring crowd, Ferguson rose highest to meet a Tony Thomas cross midway through the second half and in doing so became the first player in the Premier League era to register a hat-trick of headers (to this day, only he and Salomon Rondon have achieved the feat).
Not only that, Ferguson secured the victory Evertonians so craved.
Kendall's men ended the season by surviving on the final day - level on points but crucially with a superior goal difference to the side in 18th... Bolton Wanderers.
Season Ticket, Lounge and We Are Everton Members can relive Big Dunc's hat-trick of headers now in the latest From The Vault.
>>> WATCH FROM THE VAULT: DUNCAN'S HAT-TRICK OF HEADERS NOW >>>
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