Growing up in Boreham Wood was lots of fun and allowed us to forge lifelong friendships, which Jackie and I still hold dear. It is where we got married and our children were born. Therefore, being at the Bournemouth game with my family and sharing that experience with some wonderful people was an honour and a privilege. Getting to the last 16 of the FA Cup means that, if the councillors and town officials don’t miss the chance to capitalise on it, the Club/Town/Community will get a lift and some well-earned recognition after living in the shadows for too long – not to mention the chance for us all to build even more memories and friendships in the north of our great country in the 5th and, not necessarily, final round!?
Some of our standout moments include: –
Seeing one of my dearest friends walk through the door, where a big group of us were having pre-match Sunday lunch in Boscombe, after not being sure if he would get a COVID all-clear to attend the game; getting texts from Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal etc. fans all day wishing us and our little club so much luck; arriving at the ground and feeling slightly intimidated at first and then totally reassured when we turned into the BWFC section and saw (and definitely heard) our fellow supporters; resolute Ricketts scoring the match winner on the 37th minute in his 37th year; steadfast Stephens and heaven-sent Evans with a they-shall-not-pass attitude; Kane the conqueror displaying a command performance; Ashby-Hammond’s acrobatic antics and inspirational rearguard heroics; watching every single player put in a superhuman effort in a seaside sensation against a Premiership chasing team; Luke’s utter joy and emotion at his lieutenants monumental achievement; seeing the young girls and boys in our stand with grins from ear-to-ear and thinking they will be able to tell their grandchildren that “they were there” on one of BWFC’s most historic days!
Above all, the final whistle, and what unfolded will stick clearly in my mind because what I saw, through tear-filled eyes, was truly awesome and filled my heart with pride, making this senior citizen feel like I was 20 again; witnessing the players’ elation, exemplified by Will Evans roaring like a Viking colossus in front of delirious Boreham Wood followers and his team mates; the tears, the hugs, the overflowing of emotion, seeing Luke and Danny celebrating and at last, getting the praise they really do deserve, I will never forget as long as I live – that’s what made the experience so special and an such an epic occasion.
In truth, as Luke said to camera, it is almost impossible to put into words how we feel and I, plus all the Wood Army coastal invaders that evening, wouldn’t-have-missed-it-for-the-world.
Everton here we come!