Abject display piles on Wembley misery for Wanderers fans
I wake up at 6.23am, seven minutes before my alarm goes off.
I log onto Facebook and it is packed with status updates from fellow Wanderers fans, full of nervous excitement.
City’s win on the Saturday has turned our romantic if unrealistic dreams of beating Manchester United in a repeat of the ’58 final into the very real prospect of actually winning the FA Cup.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
We might be favourites to beat Stoke, but I’m worried.
I just hope the players don’t share my concerns.
Me and the parents arrive at The Reebok at 7.30am and join the thousands of other giddy Wanderers fans boarding the convoy of coaches set to trek en masse down to London.
It’s all smiles, but then I have a flashback to Cardiff 2004.
I just hope Wanderers don’t freeze, like they did that day.
We stop off at Norton Canes services on the M6 Toll and it’s full of Boltonians – it’s like the Market Place on Christmas Eve.
The sun’s still shining and everyone’s still smiling.
We fork out the best part of £10 on two coffees and a Mars Bar and we’re on our way – next stop Wembley.
We get there at 1pm and have a good three hours to soak up the sun and soak up the atmosphere.
That, sadly, was the best bit.
Because there followed the worst 90 minutes of Wanderers’ season.
The fans turned up in their thousands, it’s just a shame the players didn’t turn up too.