A lifelong Manchester City fan is heading to Wembley today and looking forward to one thing above all – the smile on his son’s face should City lift the FA Cup.
Ged Malone, from Clayton Bridge, put a City shirt on 11-year-old Jack as early as possible and now the youngster is set for his first Wembley visit.
And Ged is ready to embark on a grand day out with the youngster, which he hopes will be one of the most memorable days of Jack’s life.
“I’m massively excited,” he told MM.
“Not only for myself, because my only other Wembley experience was the playoff years ago, but I’m more excited to see my son enjoy the day out as well.
“He’s been watching City since the day he was born and unfortunately I don’t get to take him to as many games as I’d like to.
“We’ll set off early and grab some lunch when we get down there – if I’ve got a bit of time I might show my son a few sights in London.
“Then head over to the ground, hopefully see City lift the FA Cup and I imagine it’s going to be quiet journey back – there’s no doubt Jack will be shattered by then and fast asleep.
“He’ll be bouncing up and down all afternoon, fingers crossed.”
Jack is fortunate enough to be a Blue in the most prosperous and promising period of the club’s history, with FA Cup triumph in 2011 and the Premier League last season.
And, despite enjoying the opportunity to share those moments with his son, Ged is quick to remind him things weren’t always so easy for City fans.
“We watched the final game of last season at home – we’re a big blue family so we all watched it together around the TV set,” he said.
“We only live about a mile away from the ground so when the final whistle went we were straight in a taxi down there to celebrate.
“Jack loved it – he’s been spoilt rotten seeing City win as much as they have done in the past couple of years.
“I’ve been following City all my life, so I grew up in the Kippax, watching week in week out – I’ve done it the hard way, through thick and thin.”
Ged admitted he is constantly waiting for all the success to fall apart, as it has done in the past, which makes him enjoy every minute even more.
And he is convinced this season is a success, with or without victory over Wigan at Wembley – by comparing it to life less than a decade ago.
“I think we have had a terrific season,” he added. “Obviously it’s disappointing not to win the league, but if we think where we were eight or nine years ago.
“I can remember on a Tuesday night, watching City play Bradford City in the pouring rain, so to finish second and look forward to another Champions League campaign – it’s a fantastic season all in all.”