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 Friday, 24 January, 2003, 11:33 GMT
Dagenham's sister act
Sylvie Robinson (left) and Gloria Dunn
Sisters in arms: Sylvie and Gloria

Sisters will be doing it for their team when Dagenham kick off at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Gloria Dunn and Sylvie Robinson are travelling up to Norwich to cheer their heroes on in the fifth round of the FA Cup - and carry on a proud family tradition.

Sylvie, who works in Dagenham's Peacocks store, has had red and white blood coursing through her veins for as long as she can remember.

"I've been going for about 35 years," she reveals.

"Our dad used to be on the turnstiles - he was an avid supporter. He'd love all this."

Sylvie believes the game against Norwich will be a draw - "And then we'll get them back here and beat them".

Roy's Pie and Mash shop
Roy's Pie and Mash shop flies the flag

To continue the dream theme, who would she like in the fifth round - Manchester United? Arsenal? West Ham?

"Ooh no, not West Ham - I wouldn't want any of the top teams - I'd rather have someone we've got a realistic chance of beating so we can get through to the quarter-finals!"

Sylvie will be going to the game with Gloria, her son, her brother, his wife, their kids, the goldfish... well, you get the picture.

"It's a right family thing!" she laughs.

Over at Roy's Pie and Mash shop, Gloria is equally upbeat.

"I think we've got a realistic chance," she says. "Why not? Even if we don't get a result, at least we'll give it a good go."

Conga

Sadly not everyone shares the sisters' enthusiasm.

In fact, walking through Dagenham town centre you'd be forgiven for thinking they'd just been knocked out in the first round by Runcorn Working Men's Club.

"I don't think half the people here know what's going on," sighs Sylvie. "They don't take much notice."

Pat Shaw, chief barmaid at the Dagenham and Redbridge social club, agrees.

Dagenham club barmaid Pat Shaw and electrician Terry Bennett
Loyal club servants Pat Shaw and Terry Bennett (electrician)

"They don't seem to be that interested, but it was a different story when we beat Plymouth in the last round. They were doing the conga in the street."

Pat is particularly looking forward to the Norwich trip so she can meet Delia Smith.

"I make the players' sandwiches every Thursday after training and every year they buy me a Delia cookbook," she explains. "I hope they're not trying to tell me something!"

One thing is certain - if the Daggers pull off an unlikely victory on Saturday, everyone will be going out for a slap-up meal. Roy's Pie and Mash shop is ready and waiting.


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23 Jan 03 | FA Cup
24 Jan 03 | FA Cup
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