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A day to remember & never forget...

I cannot quite believe that so many days have passed since our Wembley day out, but although the game itself might be somewhat of a blur and something that I might want to forget in all honesty - as it was awful - the whole day is something I will remember and treasure for ever!

Basically this is a rough account of my day, 'the day', Saturday 5th April 2008 when we went to Wembley to fulfil the dream of seeing the boys play at the national stadium.

I could hardly sleep the Friday before, I had also had trouble the night before that so in the end just got up at a ridiculous time as I was fed up with just lying there… I am not sure if it was the tiredness, anticipation of what lay ahead, worry that we could lose or the fact that I knew I had to try and meet another 3 others in London to pass on the tickets but the journey up saw me very subdued - well that is the feeling that I felt about myself.

I travelled up to the game with pompey4me, his wife and his 2 kids, who had kindly put me up the night before - although I repaid this kindness with a monstrous curry that I cooked - so we left at 6.30ish, to our surprise we encountered no problems at all and were at Wembley car par by a little after 8am!

When at Wembley I got my first incoming phone call of the day from UKTony so he joined us then we just wondered around trying to find our way to JJ Moons… we eventually found that only to find that the rumours I had been told of the night before were true - the Baggies had commandeered that one, so we were not having that and just wondered off again…

Text and phone calls came in from the likes of Chix, jbaker, pompey pessimist, Ken - one of my long term travel companions, Richie - another travel companion from this season, also one of the fellas I had to pass a ticket too and my cousin Paul, probably among others - so sorry if I have forgotten you - with plenty outgoing to these and others too.

A pub called The Greyhound was spotted and this had been recommended by Chix so we strolled over and the crowds began to grow, the Baggies at the pub across the road and the banter began. This was absolutely amazing and often made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, the coaches that went by were either greeted with great cheers and roars or boos. Depending on who was on the coaches we received varying hand gestures, which I can imagine you can imagine yourself!

Eventually eastneydave contacted me but deciding that I could not hear a word he was saying nor he me I just texted him our location and he found us, staying for a bit before he and the others headed off to Wembley. Eventually I was left on my own but I was happy to say that I saw the Pompey team coach go by and that was incredible, the atmosphere was electric at that point and gave me such a buzz.

The worry that the fellas I was passing tickets onto started to grow slightly as it got to 10.30 and gone, Richie called me saying that he was lost - but luckily soon turned up, so I was only left on my own for a couple of minutes, if that. The other 2 tickets more challenging though as I had no contact details for them and with Ken on the underground it was a bloody nightmare trying to get hold of him, eventually he was able to get some numbers out and one of the fellas called me, typical really as it turns out they were literally round the corner from me for the best part of 2 hours or more! Anyway, no harm no foul, tickets were passed off and Wembley bound we were.

Getting into Wembley was easy as I was sat in Club Wembley seats, treated like a king and called Sir! It was not ideal and not what I would have really wanted, but by taking this it meant someone else could have my original ticket, which helped a deserving person. At the end of the day though the main thing was being there so these seats were not unwelcome at all. The view was out of this world, I was around the half way line and could see everything. The atmosphere obviously was not the same, which was a shame but we still had plenty of Pompey fans in this section, and it was literally just to the right of the Pompey fans.

As for the game, nothing to do with drink at all as I only had the one can, but it is pretty much a blur to me, it was a shocking game though I know that much but we won, and that is the main thing. I was totally unaware of any Milan Baros handball, I was just too ecstatic at Kanu scoring. Even on the replays I could not detect this handball so I was shocked when I was later told that it had been a handball, and Baros had even admitted it - I still have not yet seen a replay of the goal either! Again the main thing was though we won and we were in the FA cup final, yes the FA CUP FINAL!

It was a strange feeling that I felt after the game, initially I was over the moon at the full time whistle, I was jumping around but then I felt a bit deflated, I do no think that it had properly sank in at that point, and the disappointment of the game itself, our performance for most of the game was weighing on my mind to much, so I was not enjoying it as I should have. I tried to write a match report on the way home, but as pompey4me can testify I struggled, I really did….

What to do that evening was next on the agenda and eventually it was agreed that my cousin Paul, his girlfriend Lynne and their friends Saunders and Adrian would pick me up from Cosham on their way back from London and we would go out in Portsmouth - so we did.

By the time I got home, before going out, I was shattered but I was really glad that I did go out with Paul, Lynne, Saunders and Adrian as it was a really good evening and I think that this enabled things to fully sink in and I appreciated what we had done - as you know its not everyday that you make the FA cup final is it!

The plan was to go to this pub in Portsmouth have a pint and then move onto a curry, but you know how these things work out a pint becomes two and so on so we stayed there for a while then moved onto the curry house, by this time I think we were all out on our feet, tiredness and a few beers are a lethal combination. The curry was good, as was the company so it rounded off a fantastic day, and wonderful experience brilliantly. As it happens the curry house we were eating in was also be eaten in by Sam Matterface and guests - it's a small world is all I can say…

By the time I did finally get home and made it into bed a long day had become quite literally almost become that a full 24 hour day, pushing on for a full 22 hours by he time my head hit the pillow, and when it did I was gone! What a day, and I can say that I was there, able to share it with some great friends and family, what more could you ask for eh?

And now we have to do it all again in May, well hopefully anyway…


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday April 9 2008

Time: 10:00AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Nice one rug. I saw Matterface as well at the ground.
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09/04/2008 10:10:00

Happy days, happy memories. Let's do it again, say May 17th!
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09/04/2008 10:25:00

words are missing on the site poll.
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09/04/2008 10:51:00

"do you think we will sign henry" is the question...or at least it was last night... anyway, i hope the final is just as succesful...infact, hopefully more so...
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09/04/2008 11:27:00

Nice account of the day Rug. Sorry I didn't manage to catch up with any of you guys (especially as i was the one pushing for a meet up so much). Last minute change of plans and an extra ticket meant coming in at the other side of Wembley to JJ Moons.

I know what you mean about the weird feeling after the game. I felt really deflated for some reason - may the hype before hand was too big and the game too poor. Everyone in my pub was approaching me with the 'you must be so excited' or 'play up pompey' and I just could not join in. I did manage to stay up drinking till half 5 in the morning though! :)

Bring on the Final though - A whole different ball game!
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09/04/2008 11:36:00

I love reading things like this; so many shared thoughts and memories. Roll on May 17th and we can do it all over again
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09/04/2008 12:18:00

Nice one as usual Rug. Everywhere I wlaked I ran into people I knew it was strange as when I go to FP I never meet anyone. A day never to be forgotten.
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09/04/2008 12:54:00

who the hell is henry? if ure talking about the thierry you got to be having a giraffe?!?! was nice meet to meet some of you guys, i expected more, shame it was an early match, i think thats what deflated everyone afterwards. the over the road banter was better than noises in the ground!!! i blame the acoustics, hope our new stadium is not like that. why did they water the pitch before hand? destroyed the game completely, and dont get me started on the ref/linesman at the start!! baros -- either too quick or miles too slow, should have buried the easiest chance of the game, needs more time. the nugget was good but always plays lone role which means he will never score! - he needs a partner up front! still 1-0, final, and we got a great chance of european football. ordered my early bird season ticket on monday so hopefully thats gone through fine!!
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09/04/2008 13:29:00

I must be in a very small minority, The result was great, but the day pales into significance to other away days. I must have had really high expectations as Wembley wasn't as awe inspiring as I hoped, and I actually came home feeling a little flat. The whole thing of turning up and expecting little and coming home with a win is more the norm, being favourites and expecting to win didn't feel right. In all honestly being at Newcastle and winning was more of a thrill, as for the final I await to be overwhelmed!
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09/04/2008 15:53:00

My best day ever...never thought i'd live long enough to see us at Wembley. Have decided not to try for tickets for the final, Hopefully someone else will experiance a day to remember in that.
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09/04/2008 19:00:00

And now after uploading a couple of the pics on the album, i might just...I don't think i'd forgive myself if i didn't
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09/04/2008 22:49:00

Nice one - 5 days on and I'm still savouring the match. Despite it being one of our worst - if not the worst - performances of the season it was just a perfect, perfect day. Has made up for the pain of '92! Its amazing how many people slept badly in the days up to the match - I kept waking at 5 in the morning throughout the week. God only know what it will be like from May 12th - 17th!
FP Dec 16th 1972
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09/04/2008 23:18:00

But by god how well i've slept since!!!!...especially; when I awoke on the sofa, frozen at 3 in the morning on Sunday, and finally woke at 8; clothed entirely inc socks!!!!! a mouth like scummers dockers wife and a feeling of being on cloud nine....i just knew through the fog; that for some unbelieveible reason, i felt this bad/fantastic!!!!...ring any bells????
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09/04/2008 23:41:00

At least your day was shorter than mine. I had to get up at 6.00 am and watch the game at 10.15 pm Sydney time, couldn't sleep after the win so watched the 'Arse' play the 'Liver' and finally succumbed at 4.00 am so I guess about the same as you. Would rather have been in your shoes though at Wembley but I am still hopeful of being there on May 17th. As for the Curry I am certain that the win, coupled with the beers, would have seen you 'firing' on all cylinders from Dusk til Dawn....
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10/04/2008 01:25:00


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