Suffolk FA's Nigel Johnson just three away from achieving goal of attending every FA Cup round
Suffolk FA’s finance director Nigel Johnson is on a mission to attend each round of this season’s FA Cup, and he is now just three matches away from achieving his goal.
The trustee at grassroots club Sporting 87 has attended 12 matches in the competition from the Extra Preliminary round on Sunday, August 11 to last week’s Fifth Round Proper and hopes to also attend next weekend’s Quarter Final between Newcastle United and Manchester City.
He is then hopeful of securing tickets for the Semi-Final and Final which are always held at Wembley Stadium.
He said: “I was sat in church on that first Sunday and realised the FA Cup was later that day and I just decided I would try to follow a Suffolk club through it.
“From a Suffolk FA perspective it’s great to get to as many of the grounds locally as possible, but it’s also just great fun to get to as many places as possible and watch some great football.”
Nigel explained that a big part of his motivation for doing it followed him ‘suddenly’ becoming a widower last year, after 35 years of marriage.
“I am really enjoying it, despite the reason for starting it,” he said. “It gets me out and about, and keeps me involved.
“I suppose there’s no one to stop me going, but it has been a very hard year and the challenge is a good focus to have.
“And knowing I am targeting something keeps me going, there’s been a few games where the weather has been bad and you think about not going, but then I’ve realised I don’t want to miss a round.
“I didn’t have the best of luck with the Suffolk teams but it’s been good all the same.”
He said, despite the introduction of professional teams, his favourite match came right at the beginning, in Kirkley & Pakefield’s visit from Wroxham. After a 2-2 draw, Wroxham claimed a narrow 3-2 win in the replay.
“It was a really good game,” he said. “Neither side had anything to lose and both teams really wanted it.
“It had the proper feel of a cup game between two teams desperate to go further.
“The FA Cup really does hold a very special place in the non-league game – it used to be like that at all levels, but the focus on it just isn’t the same in the professional game any more.
“It’s been a great experience though at all the grounds and all the games.”
Johnson’s FA Cup journey EP: Kirkley & Pakefield lose to Wroxham in replay: P: Wroxham lose to Stamford AFC & Bury Town lose to Histon; 1QR: Soham Town Rangers beat Whitton United; 2QR: Lowestoft Town beat Needham Market; 3QR: Lowestoft lost to Carshalton Athletic; 4QR: Royston Town lost to Maldon & Tiptree; 1R: Ipswich Town beat Lincoln City in replay; 2R: Northampton Town beat Notts County; 3R: Brentford lose to Stoke City; 4R: West Ham beat West Bromwich Albion; 5R: Norwich City beat Tottenham Hotspur on penalties
More by this authorHannah Dolman