Critical two week blog day 8 Cup Final Day

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7am

So I awake to possibly the biggest day in Wigan Athleitc’s history. Our much maligned fans and our embattled team are off to Wembley for the F.A.Cup final with Manchester City. Another early start dog walking wise, many Latics fans armed with assorted carrier bags looking half asleep making their ways to various pick up points for their Wembley transports .

Mood …………………………..expectant   stress levels 20%

 

7.30am

Drive to Mesnes road for my daily Independent, listen to an interview on Five Live from a Wigan alss whose name I didn’t catch but she is a teacher in Leyland. A wonderful articulate and passionate interviewee ,she really made everyone listening how much a  family club we are….a theme that ran through the day.

Mood …………………………positive  stress levels   20%

8am

Start watching ESPN’s coverage, the only part of the ground they didn’t show was the toilets. Much as I like Killer Kilbane and the tremendous work he does for charity, do I really want to see him making what appeared to be a roast beef dinner.

Mood………………………….bored   stress levels 20%

9.45am

And they’re off, the best thing about driving is that you can choose your own playlist. Mine was the WIldhearts, 77, Mike Monroe and Buckcherry. Alternated listening to this with the drivel the pundits where espousing basically saying it was City’s trophy and we were just making up the numbers. Got a feeling we are going to do it today.

Mood …………………………….frighteningly positive  stress levels    10%

10.30am

Already passed two bad accidents and traffic is very heavy. Take the decision to come off at junction 16 and go across the A50 to Donington to join the M1. This route takes me past the Britannia stadium which of course I give a friendly wave at ( edited version because Mrs W from Stoke reads this blog).

11.15am

Hit the M1 (not literally), and whilst its moving its majority of City fans, our car is bedecked in Latics scarves and we receive toots from the other supporters from our great town. What really pees me off is the number of middle lane drivers, on one stretch I was in the slow lane on a straight stretch, with no cars in front of me for at least three miles and the middle and fast lanes were packed thereby turning the motorway into a dual carriageway.

Mood ………………………..frustrated                stress levels 40%

12.30pm

Arrive at bottom M1 with ten mins to friends house in Dollis Hill. Once again struck by the ignorance of London drivers, pulling out without signalling and on the occasions when they do and I flash them to pull over not even an acknowledgement. Arrive at Dollis Hill having seen three near misses in two miles and the Wembley towers are in sight.

Mood ………………………expectant    stress levels   40%

2.15pm

Set off to ground with our friends, decide to eschew the tube and walk the three miles, Get funny looks from some of the locals in Neasden ( have they never seen a Wigan far before?) Number of football fans increases as we get nearer the ground and as we reach the torch there’s a morass of WIganners drinking and signing with loads of City fans around as well. Mood overwhelmingly good natured and no sign of the threatening atmosphere generated by the Millwall fans at the semi final.

Mood ………………………positive    stress levels   20%

3.15pm

Meet up with Sawdoctor who despite leaving at least an hour after me arrives at around the same time due to driving with rocket fuel in his tank. Amazingly we are both positive about the game and for some reason just believe its going to be our day.

Mood ………………………confiden    stress levels   30%

4.00pm

Get in our seats, not allowed to hang flag as it may obstruct view of people in lower tier but looking around ground there are other flags of a similar size hung up.

Mood ………………………….annoyed stress levels 30%

4.30pm

Get the team news, Alcaraz in for Caldwell great, Gomez in for Watson, not so great. Alcaraz has been key to our improvement in form since February and gives far more stability at the back and Watson is more defensive minded than Gomez ( who isn’t) which we may need to counteract Aguero and Tevez.

Mood ……………………………………hopeful   stress levels 40%

5.10pm

The teams come out, look for Joseph’s wheelchair and then spot him being carried by Boyce. Note Marriner come over to him, nice touch. Look around and there are a number of people openly crying, A tremendous gesture by the club for a very brave little boy and once again re-enforces what a fantastic bond there is between the fans and the club.

Mood……………………………proud

6pm

Game has ebbed and flowed and we have had more than enough chances to consider ourselves unlucky not to be ahead. Clichy must be sick of the sight of Callum who has skimmed him every time. Didn’t think it was a penalty on Espinoza, it looked an exaggerated fall.

Thankful Robles is six foot five, if he had been six foot four his feet wouldn’t have stopped Tevez shot

Get a text from Colin in the Caribbean, can’t find anywhere to watch the match and is gutted, has no idea of the score, I text him the update and promise I will let him know any updates.

Mood………………………… quietly confident stress levels    50%

6.15pm – 6.55pm

Stress levels going up and down like a Blackpool roller coaster. McManamna and Maloney both go close and amazed they take Tevez off for Rodwell. Zabaleta gets a second yellow (thought it should be a straight red but he’s gone whatever).

7pm

Three mins of injury time, turn to Sawdcotor and utter the fateful lien, “ we are knackered, we need to score now as I am not sure my heart will stand 30 mins of extra time”, and blow me down we do. Mayhem erupts in the Wigan end with lots of devil horn signs in block 507. Everyone hugging each other and screaming jibberish, it looks like we are going to win the FA Cup, we just need to hang on for a couple of minutes

Mood……………………………anxious   stress levels     99%

7.05pm

Its over, we’ve won, singing and dancing erupts in block 507 with the worst example of a dad dance to i’m a believer that you have ever seen by yours truly much to Sawdoctor’s amusement. Sawdoctor tries to persuade me we should continue the party down King St. I decline hoping he is joking.

Caldwell and Boyce jointly lift the cup, another nice touch. Credit to Vincent Kompany who applauded all the Wigan players up for the trophy unlike some of his colleagues. A fine ambassador for MCFC.

Mood……………………………..ecstatic  stress levels nil

7.10 – 7.50pm

Lets party, 20,000 plus Wiganers go absolutely mental, I’m so proud of the team and credit must go to Bob for getting the tactics just right.

8pm

Make our way back to Dollis Hill , a three mile walk in torrential rain. I must apologies to any Wigan fans who were confronted by a middle aged man running up to them shouting arragh we’ve won, it

was me and I won’t do it again I promise.

Arrive back in Dollis Hill well soggy but don’t care

Mood……………………….happy   stress levels  nil

10pm – 11.30pm

Heading up the M1, listening to talk sport phone in, fan after fan comes on to extol the clubs family ethos, the best bit of P.R. we could have. All of them come over very well and in Danny Kelly ti was probably the best presenter they have to host the show. Son texts daughter to see if she’s set off yet, told major queues on M6 so decide to continue up the M1. I stop at Leicester services  for something to eat. Walk in to be surrounded by 100’s of City fans all of whom were very sporting in defeat.

Mood ……………………..Content   stress levels    10%

 

 

11.50pm

Another text from daughter traffic bad around Birmingham and Stoke, I decide to conintue up M1 past A50 and get on M62 at Leeds. Just after A50 sign that M62 is closed junctions 29-27. Not sure which ones they are but pretty sure they’re ones I need. Son and girlfriend both asleep in the back fo the car so no stimulating and witty conversation on the topics of the day.

Mood…………………………tired            stress levels   40%

12.40pm

Yep M62 closed where it joins M1 so end up going round Leeds on M621 to get to M62. Gentle snores in the back of the car as I add another 15mins to my already long journey.

Mood……………………………More tired   stress levels 50%

1.40am

Home at last, go upstairs to find my daughters dog fast asleep on my side of bed, A battle of wills ensue which I just win . Receive text from Sawdoctor to say he has just arrived home as well. A long but wonderful day

Mood……………………..veyr tired, very happy    stress levels 20%

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