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From Guisborough Town to Wembley prada store, the loyal fans thank the FA Cup for the memories

Cup final day doesn’t start at Wembley, it starts the moment you wake up; the moment you spot your first shirt in the street, your first flag, or silly wig, the first fans crowding on to buses and tube trains, waiting to burst into song. When you finally catch a glimpse of the Wembley arch you sigh, dizzy with expectation, blown away by the noise and colour of the supporters, the smell of dodgy burgers, hotdogs and onions.

Ten months ago, on a grey summer’s day, Guisborough Town, of Northern League Division Two, dreamed of getting this far. Actually, they just hoped to get to the first round proper, but Norton and Stockton Ancients knocked them out of the running. Observer Sport’s journey continued from there to the Preliminary round with two Authentic Prada Outlet Online Usa train rides Authentic Prada Fairy Bag For Sale and a lift from manager Richie McLoughlin to reach Jarrow Roofing FC.

Before you knew it the big clubs were getting in on the action: Millwall, Coventry City, West Bromwich Albion. Along the way there were touching moments: Guisborough’s chairman’s wife rustling up a hot sausage sandwich and a pint for the long journey home, a merry band of Millwall fans defying the stereotypes Bicester Village Prada Store Number and distributing jelly babies on a coach trip up the M6 and the poignancy of West Brom fans’ tribute to Authentic Prada Leather Handbag late striker Jeff Astle who remains a legend.

Yesterday morning, crowding on to the Jubilee Are All Prada Products Made In Italy Line at Marble Arch, 20 Icelandic Pompey fans sported Arnold Schwarzenegger-inspired T-shirts. Their hero, Hermann Hreidarsson, was emblazoned on the front with a red robotic eye and baring his teeth. The caption read: ‘The Herminator: Only God Can Judge Him’. Before long they had introduced themselves as Hreidarsson’s father, sister, nephews and in-laws, and word quickly spread through the carriage. ‘Oooh I love Herman,’ squealed one Pompey fan, launching herself at his father..’

As the train pulled into Wembley Park, the Tannoy message rang out, ‘This train will terminate here’, which sent a wave of excitement through Hreidarsson’s family. ‘Terminate here? Terminator. Herminator,’ they yelled. Of course, Cardiff and Portsmouth had been to Wembley and bagged the trophy before: in 1927 and 1939 respectively, but not many fans are still alive to tell the tale.

John Jenkins, 89, a veritable Pompey mush and still working for the club, recalls that day: ‘I got the train up Barberino Factory Outlet Prada with my uncles for seven and sixpence, we had a packed lunch of banana sandwiches. It was a marvellous day. I only wish I hadn’t lost my match programme. I’ve heard they’re worth 600 on the eBay thingy.’

Looking out over Wembley Way, Jenkins was awestruck by how much had changed in the interim 69 years. ‘It’s indescribable. It all looks so completely different. In my day we didn’t have colours, it was just caps and grey flannels, rosettes and rattles. Of course we sang the ‘Pompey Chimes’. And there was Bert Barlow’s first goal, well the whole place went mad, caps in the air and cheering – and there were three more goals.’ Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Online Shop

Another Pompey veteran, Jim Riordan, and his daughters and granddaughters assembled around the Bobby Moore statue reliving the memories: ‘My first time watching Pompey was a 9-1 thrashing of Crystal Palace back in 1944 when I was 12 years old. We were the best team in the world in those days,’ he said. ‘Only because Barcelona was a park teamthen,’ interrupted his Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Shop Online cousin.

‘Sheep shaggers. Sheep shaggers’, came the cries from the Portsmouth section, as swathes of Cardiff fans moseyed past clutching inflatable sheep, ‘C’mon ewe City’ Barberino Factory Outlet Prada read one banner. ‘I don’t like all this rudeness,’ said Riordan. ‘In my day you didn’t hear swear words, or horrible songs. There was never a fight.’

Cardiff City fans with chequered teatowels pinned to their heads shouted: ‘Do the Ayatollah’ and slapped their heads, while Riordan Authentic Prada Fairy Bag Sale played down Portsmouth’s chances: ‘We’ve learned not to have high expectations,’ he said.’

He should know that times have changed. As Nwankwo Kanu poked in the only goal of a thrilling contest, Portsmouth reversed the curse of many decades. At the final whistle a standing ovation greeted the side, half the stadium awash with blue flags. It was twice in one lifetime for Jenkins, how would he celebrate? ‘Ooh I can’t tell you that,’ he said, ‘my wife might be reading this.’

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