I was confident enough that I even forgot what I was wearing – to me, it was just another day out; but for others, it was a day to be marked in sky blue regalia.
We picked the gang up at Liam’s house and drove en convoy to Wembley. We were directed through the Stoke City end of the stadium and all the way around the houses until we reached Brent Cross car park... well, it looked like Brent Cross.
As soon as we reached a door at Wembley, our problems began. First, doorman number one said that we couldn’t go through his door. Then, doorman number two said it was ok to go through. Doorman number three said that Liam would have to cover his Man City shirt in order to be allowed to walk around the concourse. Then, when we arrived at box 3110, it was in the STOKE END. Cue a few words with the gestapo-like officers of Wembley. Then a female steward of Wembley came in and told Liam and his kids that they would have to cover up their City shirts... what the fuck!?
He paid an extortionate amount of money for his friends, kids and family to watch the FA Cup final from a private box and was told in robotic terms, "you have to take your football shirts off or cover them up for the duration of the game."
This is a football match, ROBOTS.
After much haranguing, we were moved to another box – 3010 in the CITY part of the ground. Why this wasn’t done in the first place is beyond me; surely they knew who Liam was. Well, they must have, because why else would you ask him for his autograph? After all, he played there THREE times!!
This was Liam’s son's first FA Cup final: a big day out, a big deal that cost a big wad of cashola, and still, the Nazi staff of Wembley still weren’t done. The football shirt thing continued for the duration of the game. It ruined my Wembley experience, it ruined my Cup Final and I for one will never go back there again.
Not forgetting the two hours it took to get out of the place – many stairs and lifts, many doors that wouldn’t open, many robots saying different things.
Wembley stadium, fuck you.
On a brighter note, we won the cup, we met Uwe Rosler – a Manchester City legend of the past – Liam done the Poznan with him.
© - Words Paul Gallagher/ ZANI Media
© - Photos Paul Gallagher/ ZANI Media