Grimsby Town took on Wrexham at Wembley in the 2013 Final.
By David Barber - Monday, 25 March, 2013
The FA’s superfan saw football in a snowstorm
Whose idea was it to play football in winter?!
On the previous weekend (16/17 March) I called six grounds where games were scheduled to be played on Saturday in the Purley area and found they were all cancelled because it was raining.
On Sunday morning in Regent’s Park the only people around were runners.
My Tuesday and Wednesday night games were also off and I wasn’t too optimistic about seeing anything at the weekend just gone with the dreaded word “snow” being included in the forecast.
At 1pm on Saturday I started ‘phoning a list of non-League sides in the London area and couldn’t come up with any game that was on.
But Barnet’s League Two fixture with Cheltenham Town was still being shown in the BBC’s list, so I set off for Underhill 1.30-ish. Whenever we saw daylight on the Northern line, it was snowing hard and all the roofs and gardens had a substantial covering. I got off at High Barnet, with a few dozen others, in blizzard-like conditions.
The Barnet ground staff, plus some volunteers amongst their fans, had cleared the snow off the pitch during the morning and you see it piled up at the sides and behind the goals. But it was still coming down and large areas of the pitch were white again. It was a bit of a mess to be honest but fair play to everyone involved for getting the game on, including the officials.
It was a 0-0 draw, with both sides desperate for points at each end of the table, and the players put on a great show on a difficult surface.
At half-time, with some of the pitch lines disappearing, a couple of chaps came out to paint them blue! They had things like lawn-mowers with a revolving bit in the middle that laid the blue stuff down. The crowd was an impressive 2,400 and I noticed that everyone standing in my section was wearing a woolly hat.
There was no danger that yesterday’s FA Trophy Final at Wembley would fall foul of the wintry weather.
I was sitting very close to the tunnel and saw a game that got better as it went on. Wrexham, making their first Wembley visit, won on penalties and I thought they deserved their victory. The crowd of 35,266 was the third highest in Trophy history.
When I was a student in Liverpool but still supporting Crystal Palace, I saw them play at Wrexham in a midweek game they had to win to have a chance of promotion from the old Third Division.
It was their last game of the season but it was Wrexham’s penultimate and they only needed one point from either game to be promoted instead of Palace. It was 2-2 with 90 seconds to go…
Then Palace won a corner at our end and Rachid Harkouk, an Algerian international, gave us the lead with an overhead kick. In the last seconds Jeff Bourne made it 4-2 and we went mad. Wrexham lost their last fixture against Mansfield, which I also went to, and we were up!
Games this season = 130
Games in total = 6,425
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