Liverpool's miraculous recovery from three goals down to beat AC Milan in Istanbul inspired tears, songs, banners, plays and even movies.

Rafa Benitez's men defied the odds and footballing logic itself to somehow turn around the 2005 Champions League final against Carlo Ancelotti's star-studded side and bring 'Ole Big Ears' back to Anfield for what was then the fifth time.

Fifteen years on, it is still often held up as one of sport's - let alone football's - greatest fightbacks and is regularly referenced in many walks of life as a defining example of the importance of never giving up in times of adversity.

And the impact of that never-to-be-forgotten night even reached the corridors of power of the White House!

Back in 2005, Liverpool supporter Stephen Ayers was the general manager of the luxury David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem, Israel, responsible amongst other tasks for looking after some of the high-powered guests who stayed there.

And in the early months of that most memorable of years one of those guests was one of the most powerful women in the world, the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

Stephen, who became a Reds fan after being at school in Shrewsbury with friends from Liverpool and the Wirral, told the ECHO: "The Secretary of State visited on many occasions and two visits in particular stand out in my mind from 2005.

"Part of my responsibilities as General Manager of the hotel were to welcome guests to the hotel, and to do my best to make their stay a memorable one.

"I was determined to make an extra effort to make the visits by Condoleezza Rice ones to remember.

"The first visit in 2005 coincided with the Superbowl in the States. I had read somewhere that she was a big American football fan and if she had not been appointed as Secretary of State, she would have loved to be commissioner of the National Football League.

"The hotel hooked up the cable connections in her suite so that she could watch the game live, but as the game was broadcast in the middle of the night due to the time difference, I requested that it be taped.

"As I was bidding her goodbye on her departure, I presented her with the tape on behalf of 'The David Citadel Sports Department', and wished her good in-flight viewing.

"I was pleasantly surprised to receive a thank you letter from her soon afterwards thanking me for taping the Superbowl.

"Now I was left in a dilemma on her next visit. I wanted to surprise her again, but the Superbowl was past history.

"What could I do to make this visit another memorable one? I had an idea.

"I have been a fervent supporter of Liverpool Football Club since 1966 and this next visit was just after we had won the European Cup again in that amazing final against Milan in Istanbul on penalties after trailing 3-0.

"I again recorded this on a tape for her and presented her with it for her in-flight sporting entertainment from the hotel.

"Again I soon received a very pleasant thank you letter thanking me for the latest video.

"I did have the chance to ask her when leaving after her next visit if she enjoyed the soccer game.

"The humourous side of the Secretary burst out as she did a little dance, declaring herself a fan of both Liverpool, and also the Beatles.

"She is an amazing personality, and I remember the visits with fondness."

Aside from his actions inspiring Ms Rice - who visited Liverpool and spoke of her love of the Beatles when touring the city in 2006 - to dance a jig of joy in honour of the Reds, Stephen still has treasured memories of the Istanbul final himself.

"I was unable to watch the match that night due to work so was reliant on text updates from my son", he said.

"Learning of the Milan goals going in one by one during that first half was sad but I still felt we had done well to get there with what was far from a vintage side.

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"But when, text by text, I learned of the astonishing fightback against that superb Milan side and subsequent victory on penalties, I couldn't quite believe it at first.

"Even now, I sometimes think to myself 'Did that really happen?'".