Fortunes Always Hiding

23 January 2015

This was a story entered for the Songs of Praise FA Cup Fans Choir Competition (http://tinyurl.com/lmmpy38). Songs of Praise were looking for stories that reflected the personal memories and passion of the FA Cup. The winners would get to sing Abide with Me, backed by the FA Cup Final military band, in front of 90,000 people on the hallowed ground at Wembley.

I wasn't allowed to go. Apparently I was too young. I'm still uncertain whether my mum bought me a huge flag, and the FA Cup Final kit, to appease her guilt or to dry my tears.

I almost forgot my disappointment amidst the thrill of watching Trev' fall over to make it 1-0. A lead the team never gave up. But not quite.

To celebrate that momentous win, I climbed the tallest tree on out street and waved my flag at every passing car. I waved it again at each toot of a horn. And then I made two vows. Firstly - to go to the very next FA Cup Final that my team played in. Secondly - if I ever had children, to take them along to watch their team play there too.

I had to wait 26 years to fulfil the first of my dreams, and even Stevie G's blasted last minute equaliser didn't ruin my day.

Now just my second vow remains. Fortunately, my children have blown bubbles at Upton Park that often, we now share the same wish for Wembley glory. Just one piece of the puzzle remains. So every time the FA Cup comes around, and our team remains in the draw, I pray that our dreams do not Fade and Die. Then I will be able to banish the disappointment of not being there when Billy Bonds lifted the FA Cup.