Wembley Stadium, London
FA Vase Final
AFC Totton v Truro
Sunday May 13th, 2007, 3pm
By Chris Hutchings

Having travelled around the country for E.on and Talksport from Round One of the FA Cup I was really anticipating my first trip to the new Wembley.

We got a sneak preview on 13th May when our home team, AFC Totton reached the FA Vase Final. We parked at Richmond and got the swift tube links to Wembley Park (which is at the end of Wembley Way). On a dismal day we trudged/ swam up Wembley Way. We did not indulge in any of the fare on offer that day.

On 19th May we returned for the FA Cup Final thanks to E.on and Talksport. We were dropped off under (yes under!) Wembley Way and joined the red and blue throngs making their way to the stadium. The Bobby Moore statue and arch are very impressive. We actually spotted the arch from several miles away and although I miss the twin towers I am sure the arch will become a famous London landmark over time.

My friend had his bottle of water confiscated as we ere searched due to it being larger than the 500 ml allowed. We parted with £7.50 for the Cheeseburger meal deal which was excellent. The burger was good quality and the chips were hot and chunky. Unfortunately, I have since heard that some areas ran out of cheese by kick off time and other people were told at half time that all the straws had been used up. For £10 the Cup Final programme was double what we paid at the semi final but it was as thick of most of the programmes put together across the rounds. Worth the money if judged against most monthly magazines in terms of production and content.

The layout of the stadium is excellent. We were in the lowest tier about two sections from the tunnel and enjoyed the thick of the atmosphere. I would not advise the top tier which looked incredibly steep and I can imagine that the playing area must seem a very long way away up there.

The sound system and massive TV screens were excellent. I am confident that the stadium will gain a history and ‘feel’ within a few years and those sceptics just need to go there on a sunny day and enjoy it for what it is, a world class football venue.


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