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Thatcham Town's road to Wembley

'Around the town you see scarves, flags and everything, it’s surreal'

Ralph Webb


01635 886653

Thatcham Town are just two days away from the biggest day in the club’s 124-year history.

On Sunday, Town travel to Wembley Stadium for their FA Vase final showdown against Northern League Division 1 side Stockton Town.

The build-up to the game has been intense, ever since Thatcham beat 1874 Northwich 3-2 (4-2 on aggregate) in the semi-finals on March 24.

Since then the Kingfishers have wrapped up the Hellenic League Premier Division title and lost two cup finals.

But the focus has always been on Wembley – and the club has been relishing life in the spotlight.

They had a pre-final photoshoot last week, and in the build-up this week they have trained at Reading FC’s Madejski Stadium and Selhurst Park, the home of Crystal Palace.

The players, manager Danny Robinson and his staff will spend the next two nights in a London hotel as they prepare for their big day.

As Robinson said: “Seventeen of them have got one of the most memorable days in their lives really, let alone football.

“Around the town you see scarves, flags and everything, it’s surreal.”

Off the field the run in the Vase has boosted the club’s coffers.

Pictured above: Alan Rashbrook – Club steward and kit man

Two huge home games against Bromsgrove Sporting in the fifth round and the semi-final first leg against Northwich, which generated a 1,000+ crowd, brought in much-needed cash.

And they are guaranteed at least £20,000 from the final, with the winners picking up £30,000.

Thatcham, though, are determined to bring the FA Vase back to West Berkshire on Sunday – and with 5,000 fans cheering them on, who’d bet against them capping a remarkable season in style?

Pictured above: Sylvia Bailey – Club Treasurer and tea lady

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