Quickly, Chris, will West Ham win the Emirates FA Cup?

Tuesday 16 Jan 2018
Chris Scull (second left) with former Hammers Dean Ashton (left) and Marlon Harewood (right)

Chris Scull reckons he talks for every fan when he says: “The idea of going to Wembley and winning The FA Cup is the ultimate”.

West Ham season ticket holder Scull is one third of ‘Quickly Kevin, will he score?’, a much-celebrated podcast which takes an irreverent look at football in the 90s.

The Hammers haven’t lifted The FA Cup since 1980, three years before Scull was born, but the east Londoner will never stop believing.

West Ham v Shrewsbury
  • Emirates FA Cup
  • Third Round replay
  • 7.45pm, Tuesday 16 January
  • at the London Stadium
  • Winning club to receive £67,500
He said: “Winning The FA Cup is the greatest dream you can have as a West Ham fan.

“We’re never going to win the Champions League, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll ever win the Premier League, so The FA Cup is our best chance of silverware.

“The idea of going to Wembley and winning The FA Cup is the ultimate. Mark Noble has said that he’d rather win The FA Cup than qualify for the Champions League, and I get it. I think fans feel the same way. It would mean so much to us.

“In our last season at Upton Park we finished seventh, but no-one will remember that. If we’d have won The FA Cup that side would have been remembered forever.

“The FA Cup is made for teams like West Ham, and any team below the top four really. The fans would love it.”

When the ground staff aren't looking...

West Ham host League One high-fliers Shrewsbury Town in an Emirates FA Cup third round replay on Tuesday night, following last week's goalless draw, with the winners travelling to either AFC Bournemouth or Wigan in round four.

The arrival of new boss David Moyes has prompted a mini revival at the London Stadium, but that upturn in fortunes hasn’t prevented Scull from fearing an upset.

He said: “Do I believe we could lose to Shrewsbury? Absolutely. One hundred per cent. We’re West Ham and we’re capable of having a rick against anyone.

“I’m actually really looking forward to this game because it’s a chance for us to really hammer a team. But then there’s 40 per cent of me that’s worried about going 1-0 down! There’s always some sort of shenanigans with West Ham.”

The brainchild of Scull and comedian Josh Widdicombe, ‘Quickly Kevin…’ is a trip down memory lane for many 30-somethings. Guests, including Matt Le Tissier, Paul Merson and Darren Anderton, are urged to share their favourite or funniest stories from the halcyon days.

(l-r) Josh Widdicombe, Matt Le Tissier and Chris Scull

However, Scull’s favourite memories of West Ham in the 90s aren’t as forthcoming.

He explained: “I’ve had so many ups and downs as a West Ham fan, particularly when I was growing up.

“I loved things under Harry [Redknapp] and when you see what players like Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole went on to achieve, you realise how special it is that they started out at West Ham.

“But I’ve also seen a lot of dross over the years.

“The defeat that hurts me the most actually came in The FA Cup, when we lost to Luton in 1994. I was 10 years old and it was probably the first time I was optimistic about West Ham. And it all came crashing down against Luton Town. That was heartbreaking. I also remember losing at home to Wrexham in ‘97.

“And then there was the time we had to replay a League Cup tie against Aston Villa because Manny Omoyinmi was ineligible. We won the game, replayed it… and then we lost. That’s classic West Ham.”

Although Scull, an experience design director at ORM, is short of his own FA Cup highlights, he believes the competition retains its majesty for players and fans alike.

Scull mused: “I absolutely love the tin foil FA Cups you see in the stands.

“It’s always a dad with his kid and I always wonder whose idea it was to make it in the first place. And they’re always massive. But I love them.

The classic tin foil FA Cup

“There’s loads of things about The FA Cup. I don’t think there’s another competition quite like it.

“When I was at uni, me and my mate used to have a bet during the Final over which player would be seen with the trophy lid on their head. Hours of fun!

“I also quite like it when you draw a lower-league team that one of your mates supports and you go to the game together and then give each other hell.”

Scull and Widdicombe have hosted podcasts on the 1994 World Cup, the Wales team under Bobby Gould and even Championship Manager.

And Scull hasn’t ruled out the possibility of dedicating a show to the most famous Cup competition in the world.

He added: “I’d love to do a ‘Quickly Kevin…’ FA Cup special.

“I actually thought about doing a podcast around the Chesterfield team from ’97. What an unbelievable story. I’d love to get Sean Dyche on the podcast. That would be amazing.”

By Glenn Lavery