Manchester City v Wigan Athletic
The FA Cup with Budweiser
5.15pm, Saturday 11 May 2013
Live on ITV & ESPN
Winning club receives £1.8m and runner-up £900,000
Buy the official match programme online here
The FA Cup silversmith Thomas Lyte this week returned the famous trophy to The FA in preparation for Saturday’s Final.
After spending the last year with the current holders, Chelsea, The Cup was handed over to Thomas Lyte for some last-minute maintenance ahead of the Wembley showpiece.
Jim Rosenthal presented the official handover in Mayfair’s Burlington Arcade and he was joined by former Manchester City midfielder Paul Lake and one-time Wigan defender Kevin Kilbane.
Also in attendance was Kevin Williams, Thomas Lyte’s master silversmith, and he explained a bit more about his involvement with The Cup.
He told FATV: “The FA, to their credit, let the [winning] club keep The Cup, so [it] gets a year of going round, being celebrated so it’s therefore going to get knocked and dropped and dented and it’s my job to take those out.
“This year there was a reasonable amount of damage, some big creases, and we managed to get it back to the condition that everybody knows it as The FA Cup.
“It’s a fragile old thing now. It’s had lots of knocks and bumps and so when we repair it the metal gets thinner, so we’re at a very precarious stage that when you’re working on it, you’ve got to be careful that you don’t get it to the point where it’s beyond repair.
“It’s a craft that I absolutely love being involved in and have spent my life doing.”
Kilbane and Lake then told us how they saw Saturday’s Final going.
Kilbane said: “Manchester City are obviously going into the game very heavy favourites but I wouldn’t rule Wigan out.
“They’ve played some of the top teams over the last couple of years and outplayed them at times and won convincingly.
“The key players for them over the last couple of weeks have been Callum McManaman and Shaun Maloney. [Arouna] Kone’s been playing well and coming into his own up front, so I think if they can get those three players in form they’ll be the ones that can go on and win it for Wigan.
“I’m hoping that’s it’s a good Final and I think Wigan could surprise a few.
“To play in a Cup Final for a small town like Wigan it’s a wonderful fairytale and that’s what The FA Cup is all about."
Meanwhile, Lake added: “Because of the tumultuous expectations we have now at City, all eyes are going to be on City winning The Cup again so it’s going to be a real challenge.
“But if we bring our 'A' game, I think we’ll have too much for Wigan.”