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  Sunday, 1 October, 2000, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
My first time...
Wembley fans
A special feeling for fans: a Wembley cup final
BBC Sport Online's football editor, Howard Nurse, recalls his first trip to Wembley in the mid-seventies.

Do you the know the feeling when your team wins a cup semi-final and it dawns on you that your club are going to be playing at Wembley?

It is one of the best feelings; the sheer excitement of the thought of going to Wembley is almost indescribeable.

For me, this happened when I was just 10 years old. It was the most exhilarating day of my first decade.

I had only become seriously interested in football the previous summer and now I was lucky enough to have the chance to see my home-town club play beneath the famous Twin Towers of Wembley.

Almost 25 years on and I can remember as vividly as though it was only yesterday how we set off on a rickety old British Rail train early that Saturday morning.

Not only was it my very first trip to the home of football, but it was also my first adventure to London. From where we lived in the north, it seemed like a million miles away (it was only 240.)


King's Cross to Wembley was my first experience of the London Underground and our excitement was almost uncontrollable as we first set eyes on the Twin Towers.

Up Wembley Way we walked. The anticipation was building. We were about to go inside the world's most famous stadium.

Fans from both teams mingled in the friendliest of atmospheres before kick-off but all I wanted to do was get my first glimpse inside the ground.

The fans streamed in and the atmosphere soon became electric. Everyone seemed to be wearing scarves and rosettes and were waving huge banners and shouting at the tops of their voices.

The teams came out to rapturous applause. Next was the national anthem and we were ready to start. Expectations were sky-high in both camps. Sadly, one team had to lose. The drama was about to unfold.

It was nerve wracking and the game seemed to fly by so quickly. My team did not start particularly well and we trailed 2-1 deep into the second half having missed a penalty.

But we refused to lie down and die. We had lost at Wembley 4-0 in the final the previous season and were not about to repeat that.

The equaliser came late in normal time and an extra 30 minutes of extra time were required. That was great, I thought, because nobody was in a rush to leave the famous stadium.

The action switched from end-to-end as both sides bravely sought a winner. There were near misses for both teams but when the final went into injury time of extra time, a replay at Bramall Lane looked a certainty.


One last push. "Handball referee" - it must be a penalty. It was - and what's more it was going to be the last kick of the game.

Up-stepped Sean Marshall and the ball flew past goalkeeper John Arnold, smashing against the back of the net to spark scenes of hysteria in our section of the crowd.

The glittering silver trophy was proudly lifted high into the air by captain Harry Dunn. We had won the 1976 FA Trophy, beating Stafford Rangers 3-2 after extra time.

We were Scarborough. Four trips to Wembley in the mid-seventies and three victory in five years beneath the famous Twin Towers. Not bad for a tiny non-league club from North Yorkshire.

The celebrations went on in the car park outside and what seemed like the whole population of our town started the journey back north.

How that journey seemed so much shorter with a Wembley win under our belts. There's no place like Wembley - especially when you're just a kid.

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