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Bobby Gould with BBC Wales' Rob Phillips
"I've got a lovely story about the FA Cup"
 real 14k

Thursday, 16 November, 2000, 17:57 GMT
Bobby's intimate cup memories

BBC Sport Online will be following the fortunes of a featured team from the first round of the FA Cup right through to the final. Our first victim is Cardiff City, who begin their campaign so near, yet so far, to the final itself.

It may be a little premature for any team involved in the first round of the FA Cup to let thoughts drift towards the final.

After all, no less than seven matches stand between the first round dreamers and a coveted place in the final.

But when you kick off your campaign at a ground standing in the shadow of the final venue itself, you could be forgiven for letting your mind wander.

Not least Bobby Gould, whose Cardiff City side are already within touching distance of the final venue.

The 2001 final will be played at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium for the first time in the absence of the soon-to-be-demolished Wembley and the switch brings back fond memories for Gould, who has got closer than most to the famous trophy itself.

Lawrie Sanchez
Lawrie Sanchez scores Wimbledon's 1988 winner

Intimately close, in fact.

Gould picks up the story after his Wimbledon side had just beaten Liverpool 1-0 in the 1988 final - arguably the biggest upset in the competition's history.

"I was in London in my flat and the wife had gone home to the West Country," Gould said.

"I didn't know what to do with the FA Cup overnight, so I put it in bed beside me," Gould laughed.

"So I actually slept with the FA Cup one night."

Wimbledon's startling triumph was secured through Lawrie Sanchez's glancing first half header and Dave Beasant's magnificent save from a John Aldridge penalty.

The lads have done well so I don't envisage being there - I am very very superstitious
  Bobby Gould is unlikely to watch Cardiff

Liverpool were easily England's top side at the time and Wimbledon had completed their meteoric rise from the footballing basement.

Gould is now nearer the basement than he was in 1988 as he prepares Cardiff City for their first round tie against Bristol Rovers, a club with a strong Gould attachment.

Gould played for Rovers in the mid-1970s and had what he claims was a good winning goal disallowed for offside in the FA Cup against Ipswich.

The East Anglians won the replay 6-0.

"Bristol Rovers is a wonderful club for me, I became manager there in October 1981, my first position as manager," he said.

"It is a club thought of very fondly in the Gould household."

That said, the Cardiff manager, who handed over first team coaching and selection duties to Alan Cork last month is expecting no favours.

Indeed, he may not turn up at the ground at all, as he has missed Cardiff's recent good run of form mostly because of scouting missions.

"The lads have done well so I don't envisage being there - I am very very superstitious," Gould explained.

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