Four years ago at this very moment I was sitting (or possibly standing) inside Wembley stadium watching the Pompey team warm-up for their FA Cup Final appearance against Cardiff City. When I first started following my local team the likelihood of ever winning the FA Cup seemed pretty far-fetched. The run in 1992 was the closest I thought we would come and in all honesty that team deserved to win the competition. That Highbury semi-final was something else but that as they say was that.
We had a couple of runs to the quarter-finals but winning the competition was not going to happen. However four years ago we did. A run through the tournament including somehow winning at Old Trafford has led us to this point. It would go down as one of the most surreal days of my life.
I would wake up at around 5AM but not in my bed. No. I would wake up in the Cotswold’s where I was away on a work weekend away. Everyone else was fast asleep and most of them had only just come in from a night of drunken antics along with some shall we say more non-curricular activities. I had a shower and was wandering around this rather nice holiday home and went outside to the lakes that surrounded it. Just surreal.
I finally got a lift to the railway station which doing my research was Kemble and got on a train to London. The train was full of Cardiff fans but I got a seat and I don’t think I had my iPod with me – or maybe I did. Anyway long dull trip into London. Got to Wembley to meet the guy with my ticket and then watched Pompey win.
The game was pretty awful and the goal was scrappy as anything although not as scrappy as our semi-final winner but still. Cardiff never really looked like scoring. David Nugent hit the bar in the second half but that was one of the major highlights. Sol went up and we lifted the FA Cup but it was just too surreal. I was in a ‘neutral’ area with mostly Cardiff fans and I wasn’t with my mates so it was just weird.
Then I made my way back to the Cotswold’s and my phone battery was just about to die and I managed to get out a text to someone telling them what time I’d be back at the railway station for a lift. I had no idea where the holiday homes we were staying in were and to be frank I still don’t. Although having typed that I have done some research and it looks like it was in South Cerney wherever that is (for the record I have since spent the past half an hour looking for these places and I’m pretty sure it was Windrush Lake and I want to buy a property there. I really really do).
Anyway the end of the day I was back in the Cotswold’s. Just surreal. What I thought was going down then didn’t happen and a few months later I’d be leaving that company. My fortunes have gone up and down since but the fortunes of PFC have pretty much only gone one way. Next season they’ll be playing in League 1 – that is if there is a club at all. I had hoped Southend United would be playing them in the league but alas it wasn’t to be.
Not exactly sure where this blog post is going or whether it has a point. It possibly doesn’t. Just wanted to note that four years ago today Portsmouth won the FA Cup and that day was just totally surreal. Totally surreal. I miss having such surreal days.
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