Seven years ago I set out to achieve a footballing ambition of mine, to follow the winning team through every round of the FA Cup. That being 14 ties from the extra preliminary rounds in August following every round to the final in May. I’d actually got 3 rounds in attending Oldham Town, Chadderton FC and Trafford FC. However it coincided with my family arranging a surprise holiday for my Mother in Laws (Pat’s) 60th Birthday. Leaving it in the capable hands of my Sister in Law to arrange the bookings, flights etc. To my shock she had booked us away for the fortnight including the FA Cup Final. I suddenly realised I’d started something I couldn’t finish. My wife laughed and said what are you going to do now?
Well we had a fantastic holiday and Pat was over the moon, little did we know what was to come. I decided to complete every ground in the North West Counties Football League that season which I duly did. In fact I’ve currently completed 336 football grounds and done the 92 visiting 258 non-league football grounds to date in those 7years, it gave me the bug to become a ground hopper as I’m now known but if you like stopping what I first set out to achieve!
I’ve done my personal glory and come full circle because we lost Pat to cancer a year after her holiday, if we hadn’t have booked the holiday I’d never have discovered my hobby. So me and my daughter (Jordan) will be following the winning team of each game in every round of the FA Cup, starting with the closes team to us in the extra preliminary round.
We are doing it for The Christie in memory of Pat.