Vital Football

'It meant the world to me'

'It meant the world to me'

It is now almost a month ago since we won the FA cup, but the day will forever be etched into my mind with the events leading up to it as clear now as they were then - with this likely to remain the case forever more, but seeing Pompey play in the FA cup final, let alone winning the FA cup meant even more to me because of I was able to share it with my brother - something that quite possibly could, some might tell you should have been quite different...

I slept like a baby the night before the cup final, no sign of nerves at all and in all honesty although I did not expect us to win, I was confident that we would. My brother, Steve - the boyfriend of one of my cousins - and I all set off to Saunders' house just down the road along Medina Road, Cosham. His old man dropped us all down to another Cousin's house, Paul, where he, his girlfriend Lynne and Adrian were waiting.

We strolled down to Fratton and awaited our call for the coach, some real crappy ones were going by and then some crackers - hopefully we would get one of these, not that it really mattered... but as it happens we did, a mighty green beast! The coach was quiet, a few towards the back were quite vocal - to be honest I was just focusing on the task in hand.

On the way up I got a phone call 'do you reckon you could get hold of a couple of tickets?' If Westwood could not help out - as he could not, then I would have been very surprised if I could, so I sent off some texts but all came back fruitless.

The nerves that I was not feeling - although in all honesty they kicked in a little that morning when I got up - suddenly kicked in big time when Wembley Stadium came into view, suddenly I was petrified! I was always telling myself that 'it had sunk in that we were going to the cup final' but I do not really think it had until that moment. Seeing the Wembley Arch brought it home, and the thought that we 'could' win the FA cup made me feel very emotional, but also very nervous as I think the thought that we could lose also kicked in...

Plans of meeting people at the pub went out of the window - the coach was slightly later arriving than planned, and as I wanted to get into the Stadium to soak it all up early it meant this had to be skipped, so after eventually passing some tickets onto my sister and her boyfriend by the Sir Bobby Moore statue in we went to join the rest of the travelling party for a couple of pints - £3.50 a pint was not as bad as I had suspected! We did manage to see Mr and Mrs UKTony and pompey4me inside Wembley, but sadly that was everyone I saw that day.

When we took our seats, to the surprise of a flag for everyone, the pride of being able to see Pompey in the cup final reached an all-time high. The atmosphere was electric but being able to be there with my brother meant even more.

The game seemed to fly by and when the full time whistle went and we had done it was incredible - the players, coaches, management and of course fans went wild, a lot of these celebrations happened right in front of us as the view was awesome. I thought I was going, the eyes welled up, when it came to lifting the cup even more so but somehow I managed to fight back these tears...

Again, the journey home was a fairly quiet one, the 'vocal ones' were moaning that people were too quiet, but I say each to their own - I just think that different people dealt with it different ways, it was sinking in for most, reflection being had. Others just wanted to get back to go out, I know I did but the dodgy stomach I had been suffering with for a couple of days denied me this, as when we eventually got back to Fratton I just had to get on back to Cosham and leave the guys to go it alone - I could not have made a curry and a few beers, trust me!

Now almost a month later, and still not having been able to watch the game in its entirety again just yet - having watched the pre-match build up and sections of the game itself again - which have been put onto DVD - particularly the 'lifting of the cup' several times, which has seen me crack, another moment, a moment that has made what was 'the best day of my life' even more special is the fact that I was able to spend this with my bother - something that was highlighted as meaning even more than I thought when a clearly visible shot of us together celebrating the trophy being awarded was spotted within the footage, and re-watched time and time again!

You see, the thing is a couple of years ago he was involved in a horrendous motorcycle accident, an accident that he was lucky to escape from with is life, let alone the ability to be able to walk again. He was told he should have at least broken his back, but despite receiving terrible injuries and being laid up in hospital for around 3 months, and undergoing months and months of recuperation and rehabilitation after he survived and since that moment, after one flipside, things in his, our family and Portsmouth Football Clubs futures have been incredible - and long may it continue...

Once he left hospital, what would be a long and difficult period of rehabilitation at his Somerset home begun - but soon after his return home another crushing blow was dealt to him when his then girlfriend decided she could not deal with it and basically booted him out - I think it turned out she had met someone else just prior to his accident! I had never seen the guy so low, he had almost been killed and then dumped and he had to move home again. He beat all of this and all has worked out for the best, they say things happen for a reason and although I would not wish injury or misfortune on anyone, particularly those that I love, in hindsight I reckon this is something that we all agree had proved for the best...

Before moving home, with him unable to do much else he would spend most of his time on t'internet looking at various Pompey sites, and he used to bang about one called 'Vital Pompey'. I kept telling him I did not have the time, but eventually cracked... I started writing for the site under 'the old management', before eventually taking over and since then I have made some wonderful friends, seen some doors opened to me that I never thought I would and been happier than ever.

He moved on, found himself a new girlfriend, who although she drives me mad sometimes - and if she was my girlfriend would be under the patio by now - I think the world of and they have a beautiful son, Reece, or as we affectionately call him 'littlespoon' or 'spoony' (a play on words from the name of Reece Witherspoon) who is the apple of his 'uncle Rug's' eye - and his other Uncle and Aunty - and a grandchild that his grandparents adore.

Everyone has their ups and downs, we have been no different of these years since, but all in all since that horrendous night, the night we received the call saying that he was in a hospital, ironically enough in Cardiff, with his condition unknown our lives have been fantastic, and the rise of Pompey from a relegation threatened side to FA cup holders and one that has the potential to be one of the best around has been remarkable - and for me is proof that things do happen for a reason...

The image of us on the box, standing side by side celebrating seeing our beloved Pompey win the FA cup meant the world to me and is the abiding memory for me of what was the best day of my life so far - to have shared it with him, when he might not have even been here is something that I loved. If that proves the highlight for us for the remainder of our Pompey supporting lives then I will 'settle for that' guys!


Join the Vital Pompey Debate

Date:Sunday June 15 2008
Time: 9:41AM


Real tear in the eye stuff Rug. You are right the little man 'spoony' is a bit special! Good luck to you all, and thanks for taking this site on to new heights!
15/06/2008 10:26:00
Rug great personal account of a great day. Mine is almost complete too. I would also echo Simon's comments above.
15/06/2008 10:57:00
Wow, Rug, wow! So glad it turned out the way it did for you and for your brother. Absolute magic!
15/06/2008 12:01:00
The moment I have waited 30+years for & I'll never forget it. Yes, every weekend I relive those great moments. 4 weeks ago we all became FA Cup Winners 2008.
15/06/2008 16:46:00
A great and very personal account Rug; good on ya for having the courage to share it with your friends at VP
15/06/2008 17:39:00
An excellent account of a day we'll never forget Rug. I for one consider it a great honour and a priviledge to have shared this wonderful occasion with a such a cracking band of friends. Thanks again Rug!
15/06/2008 21:39:00
What its all about. Right on Rug !
16/06/2008 04:19:00
I'm glad it meant so much to you Rug. Give my best to your brother.
16/06/2008 07:51:00
A great story Rug, it will be a memory that we all will hang onto for a long long time!
16/06/2008 11:53:00
As you know mate we all have our special memories and personal moments of that great day.. yours had extra meaning that is special to you and your bro. Love the account of the day and glad it turned out to be the best possible result.
16/06/2008 18:38:00
Page 1/3
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Recent Portsmouth Articles

Cheap goals and not taking chances

Sums up the Pompey season doesn't it? Pompey, whilst scoring a decent amount, aren't taking enough of our chances with the Blues' soft centre seeing too many 'cheap' goals given away!

Pompey confirm January striker arrival!

We're not into November, with the transfer window not opening against until January, but when it does a deal for Hampton & Richmond's former Barnet forward Jamal Lowe will kick-in.

Vital Pre-Match - League 2, 29th October

The 2016-17 season continues with the latest round of matches this weekend, which will see us among those having a match in this upcoming schedule with three-points the aim of course.

MotM in poor Notts County show...Cambridge next

There wasn't too much to cheer from the Notts County defeat was there, well certainly not the 2nd half at Fratton Park but one plus was seen as Amine Linganzi for Pompey.

Archived Vital Pompey Articles

Vital Pompey articles from

Site Journalists

Editor email
Editor email
no email
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Cambridge v Pompey?
Suggested By: pompeyrug
Pompey win40%
Cambridge win40%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Plymouth 14 10 2 2 32 12
2 Carlisle 14 7 7 0 28 10
3 Doncaster 14 8 2 4 26 8
4 Luton 14 6 5 3 23 9
5 Portsmouth 14 6 3 5 21 6
6 Notts County 14 6 3 5 21 1
7 Accrington 14 5 5 4 20 1
8 Grimsby 14 6 2 6 20 0
9 Crawley 14 5 5 4 20 -1
10 Morecambe 14 6 2 6 20 -6
11 Mansfield 14 4 7 3 19 1
12 Crewe 14 4 7 3 19 -1
13 Yeovil 14 6 1 7 19 -5
14 Blackpool 14 4 5 5 17 4
15 Colchester 14 4 5 5 17 -1
16 Cheltenham 14 3 7 4 16 -1
17 Hartlepool 14 3 7 4 16 -4
18 Barnet 14 3 7 4 16 -4
19 Cambridge 14 4 4 6 16 -5
20 Leyton Orient 14 4 3 7 15 -2
21 Wycombe 14 4 3 7 15 -5
22 Stevenage 13 4 2 7 14 -3
23 Exeter 14 4 1 9 13 -6
24 Newport 13 1 5 7 8 -8
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Vital Football Comment

Recent Portsmouth Results (view all)

Portsmouth Fixtures (view all)

Oct 29 2016 3:00PM : Cambridge United (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 12 2016 3:00PM : Mansfield Town (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 19 2016 3:00PM : Cheltenham Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 22 2016 7:45PM : Luton Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 26 2016 3:00PM : Stevenage (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Grimsby Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two

Vital Members League Table

Write for Vital Football