Thank you for visiting our fundraising page. Whilst you have been watching Saturday morning TV or midweek episodes of Coronation Street over the last 9 months, Kirsty and Seb have been trudging up and down England's motorways, navigating traffic jams, freezing in the rain and eating dodgy pies. What on earth for?! We attended every round of the FA Cup 2006-7, from the very first extra-preliminary round on August 18th 2006. When we started, the doom mongers predicted that Wembley would not be ready - but we along with 89,998 others can testify that on May 19th, Wembley looked magnificent.Our path to Wembley was determined by following the winner of each tie we see through to the next round. Our epic journey began at Wembley FC on Friday 18th August with their extra-preliminary round tie against Thame United. Wembley coolly dispatched their opponents 3-0, but were subsequently seen off by Redbridge (the old Ford Utd) in the next round. Redbridge then suffered a 2-1 home defeat to AFC Hornchurch and the Urchins marched through the next round too, with a convincing 2-0 win away at Boreham Wood. It took Hornchurch's next opponents, Welling Utd, two attempts to beat their lower league opposition, before they themselves came a cropper to an impressive Clevedon Town, who qualified for their first ever FA Cup First Round Proper. Despite their pre-qualification heroics, the Seasiders fell on 11th November to a pacy Chester side. Whilst the 1-4 reverse was a little harsh, the League Two outfit certainly deserved their place in Round Two. A 4 goal (2nd half) thriller at Gigg lane in the 2nd round led to a replay at Chester, where Bury duly secured a third round berth, before an administration mix-up saw them expelled. Keen to maximise their reinstatement, Chester fought bravely against Ipswich in their 3rd Round tie to earn a deserved draw... but were undone by a late goal in the replay. Ipswich then saw off giant killers Swansea City in the 4th round, only to be undone by a late, late goal from Damien Francis at Watford in the 5th Round. Watford travelled to Plymouth for the quarter final, in a repeat match up of their semi-final game in 1984 and prevailed 1-0, but then Rooney and Ronaldo strutted their stuff at Villa Park. Manchester United marched on to the first final at the new Wembley, where they faced Chelsea and an extra time goal from Didier Drogba ensured that the Blues were both the last winners at the old Wembley and the first winners at the new Wembley.
With 14 rounds and 17 games (3 replays) under our belts, we calculate that we spent just over £2000 of our own money to undertake our venture and that we have seen a total of 42 goals, 3 penalties and 2 red cards, eaten 21 cheeseburgers, 12 chicken balti pies, 5 Cornish pasties, drunk 14 coffees, 14 Bovrils and travelled 10,075 miles.We have been raising money for a fantastic cause - MENCAP SPORT. MENCAP is a charity close to our hearts, as our uncle Michael is in full time and has benefited from support given by MENCAP and other charities. His love of sport includes a misguided allegiance to Norwich City, but we try to forgive him that....
We are all on some sort of journey, with ups and downs in our life, every day. This FA cup journey for charity was inspired by losing a baby daughter – and through it, we have created many happy memories, which will last a lifetime. People say the FA Cup has lost its magic? They don’t know what they are talking about. Tell that to the travelling band at AFC Hornchurch who sing their hearts out at every game. Tell that to British Gas Southern League Clevedon town players and supporters, who qualified for the first round for the first time ever. Tell that to the Watford supporters young and old who were crying at the final whistle at Villa Park.
Over 650 clubs entered the FA Cup this season and everyone associated with those clubs had dreams – dreams of advancing to the next round, scoring a winning goal, staging a miraculous comeback, causing the biggest upset or reaching the Final. Football is so powerful, so magical. The FA Cup inspires, throws out wonderful stories and allows you to explore, discover and above all, to dream.
Please look at the MENCAP SPORT website (www.mencap.org.uk/sport) to find out more about what they do and the sorts of activities your money will help support. Donating through this site is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to donate: Mencap will receive your money electronically and, if you are a UK taxpayer, an extra 28% in Gift Aid will be added to your donation at no cost to you.
Many thanks for your support (for full journey details please see below!).
Extra Prelim Round - Wembley 3 Thame Utd 0
Prelim Round - Wembley 0 Redbridge 2First Qual. Round - Redbridge 1 AFC Hornchurch 2
Second Qual. Round - Boreham Wood 0 AFC Hornchurch 2Third Qual. Round - AFC Hornchurch 1 Welling Utd 1
Replay - Welling Utd 3 AFC Hornchurch 1Fourth Qual. Round - Welling Utd 0 Clevedon Town 3
First Round Proper - Clevedon Town 1 Chester City 4Second Round - Bury 2 Chester City 2
Replay - Chester City 1 Bury 3 (BURY then expelled for fielding an ineligible player)Third Round - Chester City 0 Ipswich Town 0
Replay - Ipswich Town 1 Chester City 0Fourth Round - Ipswich Town 1 Swansea City 0
Fifth Round - Watford 1 Ipswich Town 0Sixth Round - Plymouth Argyle 0 Watford 1
Semi Final - Watford 1 Manchester United 4May 19th FA CUP Final - Manchester United 0 Chelsea 1
Finally then, we would welcome any football related donations from anybody, as we are to auction items we have collected on our way round. We can never have enough! Also, if you have any bright ideas about how we can use the FA Cup (we will have it on loan for our exclusive use one afternoon), we'd welcome your money making suggestions!For press enquiries, photos, more information or to give us wodges of cash, please contact us by emailing email@example.com or calling 01832 274151. Many thanks.