Game one of a tournament that has now seen 685 matches involved the champions of Romania, Farul Constanta against the French giants Toulouse.
There were only 12 teams in the first year of competition, and the opening fixture was played a Tuesday in front of a crowd of 3000.
Welshman Robert Davies had the distinction of refereeing the first game and Emile Ntamack scored the first try.
From those humble beginnings the Heineken cup has de3veloped into the World's leading club rugby competition, with Toulouse carried off the trophy a record three times from four finals.
Toulouse played their 74th Heineken Cup fixture against London Wasps in Round 2 of this year's competiiton, and Guy Noves, Director of Rugby, has been with them every step of the way from Constanta.
Here is how that first game was recorded...
Farul Constanta 10 Toulouse 54 (HT: 3-28).
TOULOUSE showed why they are favourites to be the first winners of the new Heineken Cup when they routed the champions of Romania, scoring eight tries
A big, mobile pack and near all-international threequarter line destroyed Farul, who could provide only limited resistance against the powerful, strong and quick double French champions.
Emile N'Tamack, Toulouse's captain and World Cup star, scored twice as did fellow wing David Berty - but it was the heavyweight French pack who ruled the roost.
Farul had no answer to their powerful scrummaging and dominant line-out and were fortunate to get a try when a loose pass from N'Tamack was pounced on by scrum half Mihai Foca.
The match was extremely physical with Welsh referee Robert Davies required to issue warnings to both sides when enthusiasim boiled over. It was a strong message that the tournament will need strong officials.
Toulouse's victory away from home will signal a warning to the other 11 sides - that for anyone to beat N'Tamack and his team they will have to control their powerhouse forwards.
Farul Constanta: V Brici; C Sasu, A Tinca, N Fulina (capt), E Florea; V Besarau, M Foca; C Pingert, N Lupu (A Secuiu, 50m), D Manole, N Branescu, N Marin (E Rujada, 50m), C Florea, A Girbu, T Oroian.
Scorers: Farul Constanta: Try - Focat; Con - Florea; Penalty - Florea.
Toulouse: S Ougier; E N'Tamack (capt), P Carbonneau, T Castaignede (O Carbonneau, 48m), D Berty; C Deylaud, J Cazalbon (E Artiguste, 48m); C Califano, P Soula, C Portolan (P Lassere, 70m), H Miorin, F Belot, J-L Cester, R Castel, S Dispagne.
Scorers: Toulouse: Tries - N'Tamack (2), Berty (2), Cester, Castaignede, Ougier, pen try; Cons: Deylaud (7).
Referee: RG Davies (Wales).