Belmont Wanderers Football Club

Our Trip to Wembley

Asia Piwien

Last weekend we put together a trip to Wembley for our club to go and watch the SSE Womens FA Cup final between Chelsea LFC and Notts County LFC. It was a trip put on for several reasons, the club wanted to give something back, consolidate its new members with old ones and inspire the children by watching such a prestigious event.

Being the first ever Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley, the day would be forever part of history and our small club would be part of it. On the lead up to the event we were made aware that one of our Under 12s Hazel-Freya Thomas (Chelsea Fan) had won a competition put on by the sponsor SSE, to play a starring role and walk out with the FA Cup, this made the event even more special.

The day arrived bus loaded up with 48 people from the club and some others driving down. We had children from all ages under 8s, under 10s, under 11s (boys), under 12s, under 14s, as-well as coaches and parents too. The atmosphere and excitement was through the roof and we hadn’t even left Hereford yet.

We arrived at Wembley stadium where we met up with other members of the club, two others had been given the hospitality tickets from the competition and making the most of the exclusive access. With about an hour before kick-off, we took the opportunity to have some photos done on Wembley Way, not only that we managed to catch the Wembley cam and feature on the big screen outside.

11831650_1650166295200140_5336023781036599233_nOne of the coaches had also bought a match day program, now this is not an unusual thing at a football match, but on a closer inspection, who would we see in one of the pictures some of our girls wearing kits from a previous game we visited. So on this historic day we would also appear in the first ever Womens FA Cup final program too!!

After taking the photos on Wembley way we attracted come media attention from a fan based YouTube channel with almost a million subscribers. They interviewed our Head of Girls Development Chris Tipping, then went onto interview the children. The day was becoming even more exciting by the minute, our kids felt like little stars!! We can’t wait to see the video!

Before we knew it was time to go and take our seats to get ready to watch the match, we had a fantastic view, many commented how close it seemed to the pitch. The events began to kick-off we had singer Becky Hill perform her hit single “Gecko’s Overdrive” as well as sing the national anthem. Then at 2.50pm they began to bring out the FA Cup and there was Hazel-Freya on the big screen and walking in front of us onto the Wembley pitch, amazing everyone was equally excited, OK maybe Chris was a little more (being his daughter).

We watched an exciting game with all glued to it, although the children (maybe some of the adults too) enjoyed the Mexican Wave a little too much which made it around the stadium at least three times. The game saw Chelsea LFC beat Notts County LFC 1-0, a close game although Notts County seemed organised Chelsea had the extra strength moving forward. We stayed to watch them all pick up their runner up medals, then to watch Chelsea LFC lift the FA Cup, the roar of the record crowd of 30,710 was out of this world, you could see the excitement on the children’s faces.

Many of the members/player commenting on how great the whole day was, leaving feeling inspired, enthusiastic and full of admiration for the sports women we just watched.

The club would like to thank all that took part and for those that didn’t rest assured we will endeavour to get involved with more exciting events going forward. A special thank you goes out to our Chairman Dan Pitt who come up with the idea and made sure it happened. An equal thanks goes to the club staff and volunteers that helped out on the day making sure children were looked after at all times, we should mention the great hospitality put on by SSE looking after Hazel-Freya.

In a short period of time our humble club has managed to be on BTSport, BBC Sport/News, Manchester City WFC Website, Bristol Academy media, visit Wembley, feature in local press, interviewed by YouTube’s copa90 and even be in the FA Cup Final match day program. We as a club are making it our mission to make football exciting for the children/adults involved as well as help promote and grow grassroots football in the county of Herefordshire. Now is a great time to be involved in football, especially women’s, we urge you to take your children to your local football club and get involved, be part of it and enjoy what so many our members do!

To see a full gallery of the event please click here

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