I’ve done it. I have a ticket for the FA Cup Final which means I will complete my FA Cup Quest on Saturday. The final will be my 16th game in this year’s competition, that’s 16 consecutive games without missing one. That was my plan to begin with; that’s what my ‘Quest’ is all about, jumping from team to team as I weave a way to Wembley.
But in truth I never really expected to be able to do it. I’ve had to attend a game on my wedding anniversary (luckily for me it was in Mansfield, which is only up the road from my house otherwise I might be writing this as a divorcee) and I’ve had to rely on fans to help me out with getting a ticket on three separate occasions. But on Saturday, I will once again be at Wembley, officially supporting Arsenal who are my ‘Quest team’, and I have someone else to thank for that.
I’m fortunate to know a FA-affiliated referee. All FA members can apply for tickets and so he did, just so that I could complete my road to Wembley. Top bloke.
Looking down the list of fixtures below, based just north of Derby, I’ve been quite fortunate with my journeys. Wrexham on a Tuesday night was a sod, but apart from two trips to the north-east, I’ve stayed pretty local. No Tuesday night slogs to Exeter or a 12:30 kick off in Carlisle. But that’s the luck of the draw.
Have a look at my Road to Wembley below and follow my Tweets on Saturday. My ‘Quest’ teams are in bold text.
- August 6, 2016: South Normanton Athletic 2 – 0 Aylestone Park, Extra Preliminary Round
- August 20, 2016: AFC Mansfield 2 – 0 South Normanton Athletic, Preliminary Round
- September 3, 2016: AFC Mansfield 2 – 1 Stratford Town, 1st Qualifying Round
- September 17, 2016: Coalville Town 0 – 1 AFC Mansfield, 2nd Qualifying Round
- October 1, 2016: AFC Mansfield 1 – 2 Stamford, 3rd Qualifying Round
- October 15, 2016: Stamford 1 – 1 Wrexham, 4th Qualifying Round
- October 18, 2016: Wrexham 2 – 3 Stamford (a.e.t.), 4th Qualifying Round Reply
- November 6, 2016: Hartlepool United 3 – 0 Stamford, 1st Round Proper
- December 4, 2016: Port Vale 4 – 0 Hartlepool United, 2nd Round
- January 7, 2017: Huddersfield Town 4 – 0 Port Vale, 3rd Round
- January 28, 2017: Rochdale 0 – 4 Huddersfield Town, 4th Round
- February 18, 2017: Huddersfield Town 0 – 0 Manchester City, 5th Round
- March 1, 2017: Manchester City 5 – 1 Huddersfield, 5th Round Reply
- March 11, 2017: Middlesbrough 0 – 2 Man City, Quarter Final
- April 23, 2017: Arsenal 2 – 1 Manchester City (a.e.t), Semi-Final
- May 27, 2017: Arsenal v Chelsea, FA Cup Final