Wembley Stadium, London
FA Trophy Final
Ebbsfleet United v Torquay United
Saturday, May 10th, 2008, 3pm
By Martin Hart
If someone at the start of this year had said to me, 'Martin, you'll be going to the FA Trophy Final at Wembley on May 10th' I would have lamped them, but that became reality last weekend as I was one of an estimated 25,000 Ebbsfleet United supporters in a very respectable 40,186 crowd at the stunning Wembley Stadium now, for a Scottish bloke to say that Wembley is stunning is impressive!)
This whole story came about through my recent alignment with the website www.myfootballclub.co.uk - where we the paying members) basically own a major share in the running of Ebbsfleet United, so to be a part of a special day at Wembley only a month after paying £35 for a year's membership to MyFC was quite something special.
The journey south was comfortable, I left late Friday evening and took the Sleeper train down to London, arrived at Euston at 7:45am Saturday morning, headed up to base camp for the weekend (Lea Valley Youth Hostel in Cheshunt), dumped my suitcase then headed on the first train back into London. I was back at Liverpool Street station by 11am - armed with my Ebbsfleet United scarf and match ticket for the biggest game of my season.
This was to be a particularly memorable day for me, purely because it was my first visit to Wembley, I also met so many nice people and fellow MyFC'ers and got the result on the park that I wanted.... more about that last point later.
The journey to the ground was simple. Some of the MyFC guys had arranged a pre & post-match party at Wembley Park sports club, five minutes walk from the ground, and I knew where I was going anyway but it was still a case of following the crowds and chatting to my fellow MyFC members whilst looking in awe at the feat of engineering genius called Wembley Stadium.
As I just eluded to, the pre-match entertainment consisted of a meeting of several hundred MyFC members from all over the world at Wembley Park. I ended up speaking to fans from afar a field as Scotland, England, Ireland, Canada, Spain and even two guys who had come all the way from Boston for the game.... that's Boston, USA and not Boston in Lincolnshire .
The Torquay fans were easy to mix with before the game, I think both
sets of fans went to Wembley with the same intention - to have a great day
out. I have to give them credit for making the day so memorable, their
fans brought passion, colour and contributed to a spectacular atmosphere
on the day.
The stewarding was very relaxed. I was probably quite fortunate
given that I was sitting on the second row from the front, I didn't see
any heavy-handedness from the Old Bill. I think the Police had the same
intentions as everyone else - to have as relaxed a day as
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