The F. A. Cup Final

Sunday 22nd May

I am writing this on Saturday lunch-time, so I don’t know the result (which you will do reading this), but to be quite honest – does it matter?  The F. A. Cup just isn’t that important anymore, unless you happen to support Crystal Palace or Manchester United of course (or even West Ham who will be in Europe if Man. U. win {too complicated to explain}).  There is simply too much football on TV these days; we even had the women’s F.A. Cup final last weekend, which was a must-see for all sports fans (sorry ladies but, though they play wonderfully, very few are household names).

Time was when the F. A. Cup final was practically the only football on telly.  I can remember as a kid our house would be full, we were one of the first to get a TV and Grand-dad and Uncle Raymond and a few neighbours would sit around the tiny black and white Murphy with a crate of brown ale and cheer on West Brom or Blackpool or Preston North End, sides which barely trouble the commentators these days.  The picture was tiny and grainy and it is a wonder we could see anything at all, but it was always an exciting occasion (I expect Mum. Nana and other wives would be in the kitchen preparing half-time sandwhiches).  The first time I really got excited by TV football though was the ’66 World Cup with Eusebio playing for Portugal and the North Koreans surprising everyone and England beating West Germany in the final.  We were actually on holiday camping in Spain when England won but many of the Spanish would wave and shout “Bobby Charlton” as we passed.

We don’t have Sky Sports so at least we aren’t quite so bombarded as some, and I will try to catch at least the England and Wales games in the coming Euro Championships but the times have passed when I watched every World Cup game.

So, good luck United – you need to win something, it doesn’t seem right without you challenging for titles every year.  And let’s hope that Palace at least make a game of it – you never know, they might have even won it by the time you read this.