The FA Cup goes to Milton Keynes
The world’s most famous domestic football trophy is heading to Milton Keynes, as a new FA initiative giving young fans an opportunity to have a sleepover with The FA Cup enters its second phase.
Children visiting The FA Cup Trophy Tour ahead of the first four rounds of the 2012/13 competition are being chosen at random to win the iconic trophy in their homes for the night, with Milton Keynes selected as the next region to host the Cup ahead of the Second Round Proper.
In one of the ties of the round, MK Dons host AFC Wimbledon at Stadium mk on Saturday 1 December, the first time the sides have met since the original Wimbledon, FA Cup winners in 1988, were relocated to Milton Keynes 10 years ago.
The unique FA Cup Dreams initiative kicked off in the lead-up to the First Round Proper last month, with seven-year-old football fanatic Finley Slimm becoming the youngest ever winner of The FA Cup, taking the trophy home for the night.
On his win, youngster Finley (7) said: “As an Aston Villa fan, it might be the only chance I get to see it.”
Dad Steven (45) also commented: “Heading down to The FA Cup Trophy Tour and having our picture with The FA Cup was unbelievable, but having it in our home for the night was truly magical, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we’ll always remember.”
Icons of the English game such as Bobby Moore, David Beckham and Steven Gerrard have all won The FA Cup in their playing careers and this summer saw 758 clubs confirm their competition entries with an overall aim of reaching The Final at Wembley Stadium on 11 May, 2013.
The FA’s Sir Trevor Brooking commented: “The FA Cup goes hand-in-hand with some of English football’s greatest moments and it’s a competition that holds such fond memories for fans up and down the country.
“No other football competition in the world matches non-League minnows against giants of the game. You just have to look back at last season’s Third Round and Tamworth FC travelling to Goodison Park against Everton FC. It’s that sense of occasion and the unexpected that gives The FA Cup such a magical feel.
“The FA Cup is one of the most recognisable pieces of silverware in world sport and we hope that a new wave of football mad youngsters can fall in love with the competition like generations of children before them.”
Under-12 year-olds will be given the chance to enter a prize draw as part of The FA Cup Trophy Tour in Milton Keynes from Friday, 23 November, with the winning child hosting the trophy overnight on Sunday, 25 November.
There will be a further two opportunities to win a sleepover with The FA Cup trophy before the Fourth Round Proper comes to a close, as a new generation is introduced to the magic of the world’s oldest domestic football competition.
Here is Sir Trevor Brooking talking about his best memories of the FA Cup