Essex family completes FA Cup journey with final tickets

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Dan Humphries with sons Liam and GeorgeImage copyright
Dan Humphries

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Dan Humphries said he was having an “amazing day” at Wembley Stadium with his sons George and Liam

A family swept up by the magic of the FA Cup have been to a game in every round since September.

Dan Humphries, 37, and sons Liam, eight, and George, six, started at Brantham Athletic in Suffolk in the second qualifying round in August.

The journey has taken them to 11 games at places including Brightlingsea, Barnet, Billericay and Millwall.

Mr Humphries, from Essex, said it had been an “amazing day”, adding “I never thought we would get this far”.

“Today feels like mission complete. It is everything we hoped for and more,” he said.

“I am a big fan of the FA Cup and can remember back to the days when it really was an all-day thing, and perhaps was more popular than it is today.”

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Dan Humprhies

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The family’s story features in the official FA Cup final programme

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Dan Humphries

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Dan, Liam and George’s journey began at Brantham Athletic in Suffolk – the club plays in the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties Premier Division

The adventure began when Mr Humphries, a data analyst for a bank, heard the FA Cup trophy would be at the Brantham Athletic v Eastbourne Borough tie and decided to take his sons along.

He said: “As a Colchester United fan, I am not likely to see it at an actual game so I thought I would take the boys and get a picture with it.”

From then on the family were enthralled by the competition and decided to watch a game in every round.

Their journey has seen them watch giant-killings – when Fulham were knocked out by Oldham Athletic – and extra-time winners – when Watford overcame Wolves in the Wembley semi-final.

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@ColchesterDan

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The family at Brightlingsea’s third qualifying round tie against Torquay

The family’s story led to them being given tickets for the Wembley showpiece, between Manchester City and Watford, by a sponsor and their exploits being featured in the matchday programme.

“The boys have loved it,” said Mr Humphries. “They’ve seen it grow from 200 people at Brantham to 90,000 for the semi-final.”

The FA Cup actually has 14 rounds, starting in August, but the first qualifying round, preliminary round and extra-preliminary round had already been completed before the Humphries family started their trophy trek.

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@ColchesterDan

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Liam and George with the Posh mascot at the Abax Stadium where Peterborough drew 2-2 with Bradford City before winning the replay

Mr Humphries, who also has a daughter Charlotte who is too young to attend the games, said the friendliness of fellow fans had been a highlight.

“In Peterborough, one chap saw me struggling to park and when we told him what we were doing he let us use his driveway,” he said.

But with Colchester United’s run ending back in the first round who will the family be backing come kick-off?

It seems it is Manchester City’s stars who are the main attraction.

“The boys love players like [Sergio] Aguero and [Raheem] Sterling and they were like ‘wow, we are really going to see them play’,” Mr Humphries said.

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@ColchesterDan

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The family watched the semi-final between Watford and Wolves at Wembley

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