Cup finals ...... dontcha just luv 'em ....
You look forward to them, and they usually end up in spectacular disappointment.
Kinda like life at the moment really ...
It's FA Cup final day once again, with CHELSEA playing LEICESTER CITY!
Despite the competition forever being shunted around and disrespected, for me it still retains its magic.
It may have slowly been pushed down the priority list by certain clubs, either chasing the hallowed top 4, or by teams desperately trying to avoid relegation, but to the fans it will always have a certain aura.
You can still find giant-killing stories, and brilliantly you can also still see fans waving slightly rubbish looking handmade FA Cups, made of cardboard and covered in tin foil. Classic.
Third Round day in early January always has a special place for me, there is something different in the air.
Modern day games I've been to always seem to throw up a meeting with a lower league club, who miraculously have found 6,000 fans all of a sudden, when their average is barely a thousand-odd. They then proceed to sing to you, "Where were you when you were ****"!! I'm guessing irony doesn't happen for some, but that is another bit of Cup magic that always makes me laugh.
In my younger days, a Cup Final for my team was a distant dream. I would always watch the finals, but always at the back of my mind, wondered what it would actually be like for them to be there.
We made the odd Quarter-Final in my youth, until finally getting to Wembley in 1994. Which was a disaster. Although I wasn't there, I was at Wembley for the Semi-Final, which was one of the funniest and most chaotic matches I ever went to. And I don't mean on the pitch. I still laugh today at some of the sights I saw that day.
When we did win it in 1997, the feeling was indescribable. The following day's victory parade is another treasured memory of a manic and insane day.
Despite my team getting to multiple finals since, I STILL haven't actually seen them play in a final, having never managed to get a ticket. Football for the fans eh?
At least some lucky people will be a Wembley for this year's final. And I hope a few more treasured memories can be made.
Win or lose, up the Blues!
Truly sad to see Southend United relegated from the Football League ...
The Blues had been a League team for 101 years, and now face an uncertain future in the non-league.
What a shocking thing to happen to such a fine club.
I have many treasured memories of going to see Southend play at Roots Hall, as we grew up in the town.
They used to play their home games on a Friday night, so it had a magical feel about the place, with a very special atmosphere.
The ground is
wonderful, built by the fans in 1955, it retains an old-school, REAL
football air about it. Three sides of it are still original, with only the
huge terracing at one end being replaced with a new stand.
My first ever football match was at Southend, way back in 1977, and I can still clearly remember seeing the floodlit lush, green pitch for the first time, as we took our seats in the East Stand.
I saw a few games in their brilliant 1980/81 Fourth Division Championship season, the club's first major honour since forming in 1906. At the end of the season they played First Division Wolves in a friendly, and I remember my Dad laughing as their big-money striker Andy Gray kept slipping over!!
I can also still hear in my mind the programme seller that would always be shouting "PROGRAMMES, LOTTERY", as you walked towards the North Bank!
Stay strong Blues and get back up again.