Next Game: Preseason Friendly - Evesham Away on Tuesday 17th July at 7.45pm

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Wembley - Mixed Emotions

Sam King reflects on his day at Wembley.
Yesterday was a day that will live forever and a day in my memory. It was fantastic to see so many people from Hereford there. Old and young alike, everybody had a smile on their face. It was made that little bit more special by the fact that I got to watch the match with the better half, and some of the lads who always go to the games with me and who are my closest friends. To share an experience like that is fantastic, out of this world.

It really hit me at Hillingdon that we had made it to Wembley when we went to the tube station and there was a queue of around 30 Hereford fans all waiting by the two ticket stations for their turn to try and negotiate the tube. Our group had already done our homework and skipped the queue to use our contactless payment - yes, that is a thing, and you can actually do it in Hereford! Boarding the tube was another moment which brought a smile to the face when it was abundantly clear that 90% of the supporters hadn't the foggiest how to tackle the tube and exactly which train to get, and which direction. The better half needed to use the toilet but soon discovered that the London tube network aren't exactly renowned for their excellent restroom facilities. Onwards to Wembley Park!

Arriving at Wembley was surreal - having been 4/5 times to watch England play, and seeing Wembley way crowded with thousands, it was nice to small clutches of all four sets of fans enjoying the day. Many were having the 'arch' photo and had enough space to take the photo - something unheard of at England games! There were minimal police officers and a real buzz around the ground. 

Getting into the ground just in time for 'Ronaldo' was a deliberate ploy from our group. We wanted to see this beautiful creature, and it did not disappoint. The only disappointment was the fact that there was not a full pitch parade. Thanks to Wembley for letting this happen. The buzz and growing atmosphere before kick off was something to soak up. Talking to friends about how surreal it was, occasionally questioning where the 20,000 were when we reached the dizzy heights of league one!

When the players stepped out onto the pitch, the roar that greeted them was immense. It made me well up and a couple of tears did make it out of the eyes. There was one main reason for this.

The reality that Hereford were playing at Wembley and I was there, fantastic, but three people were missing from there who I would have given my left arm to be there. My Mum, Dad and Brother. We had spent many a season following HUFC around the country, going to places like Altrincham,  Woking, Tamworth, Burton. All in all, around 30 away trips, not to mention an unforgettable day at Leicester.

Now, why weren't they there? It's quite a simple answer, but one that must not be forgotten. We have lost some excellent supporters from the ranks over the past couple of years, Rich Burkin and Chris Powis to name a couple. These have stuck by their principles, similar to my family, and have not 'jumped' on the bandwagon. Similar to my family. 

Now, I'm writing all of this because I do believe that the whole way in which this club has come about has been that the actions of some of those who were in the posh seats and the campaign for their own agendas got the better of them. I will never forgive those in charge for denying me a trip to Wembley with my closest three people. All i can say is that we must not forget those supporters who have followed Hereford United through thick and thin and must be hurting much more than anybody after a defeat at Wembley. These people have had to endure the constant hype on the news, radio, in the town and on the forums even! Hype surrounding a team that, had even an extra 300 turned up regularly when in the conference, would probably still be going today.

The game? Irrelevant on hindsight, it was all about the day.

A day which was brilliant, but I sure as hell miss the fact that there were some notable absences, which were, on an individual note, my Father, Mother and Brother.