From Gander Green Lane to Wembley

Posted on 05/04/2022 By

Sutton United's fixture board - "See you at Wembley!"

From Gander Green Lane to Wembley we came. 15,000 to support Sutton United. The minnows of the Football League. The culmination of a fairytale story of two year’s success against all the odds. Win or lose, didn’t matter. We were playing at Wembley for the first time in 41 years. Back then, as a non league amateur team.

Sport can raise your spirits to the heavens and break your heart moments later. This is how it was at Wembley last Sunday. Sutton were leading the league cup final up to the 96th minute in added on time. Against a team leading a higher division.

They had played their hearts out and deserved to win. Even in those last frantic minutes we thought, or rather we hoped, they would hang on. Just one more minute for them to throw tired bodies on the line. But Rotherham never gave up either, and they equalised with one minute to go.

It was heartbreaking, and likely that Sutton had nothing left in extra time. And so they lost, but won the hearts of all 30,000 at the game, and many more watching on television. It was an unforgettable day, and this story is now an acknowledgment of how proud we all are to support a truly special football club.

Heading for Wembley

Sunday morning and I discovered I couldn’t go! Too big to be allowed entry through Wembley’s strict health and safety rules. So I asked my tiny namesake, Brooklands Bertie, to take my place. I am so pleased to hear that he was a big hit with the Sutton fans!

Andrew, Daisy, Herbie and Brooklands Bertie with their Sutton United shirts.

The family. The club shop was open at Gander Green Lane, and Andrew bought Daisy and Herbie new Sutton United shirts. Herbie was a Ball for the day and is almost family.

Brooklands Bertie by the sign for Supporters Coach 2.

Here’s our coach.

Brooklands Bertie and the statue of Bobby Moore at Wembley.

Wembley. Bobby Moore.

Andrew, holding Brooklands Bertie, in front of the Bobby Moore statue.

Andrew and Bobby Moore.

Herbie with Brooklands Bertie sat in Wembley Stadium.

Herbie.

Daisy and Brooklands Bertie sat in Wembley Stadium.

Daisy.

Jenny the Giraffe. Sutton United's Club Mascot.

Jenny. Club mascot.

Clive, Sutton United's Kitman, running on the pitch.

Clive. Kitman. Been to over 3,000 Sutton United games. 70. Runs like the wind. A volunteer, who made fame last year in the national press by being christened “The Dancing Kitman”.

Video screenshowing image of Sutton and mascot, along with the kick-off time of 15:00

Not long to kick-off.

 

David and Emma, with Brooklands Bertie.

David and Emma. Father and daughter.

Tim Vine arriving on the back of a Papa Johns delivery bike.

Tim Vine. Comedian. Sutton resident and supporter. Arrives on a Papa Johns delivery bike!

The Sutton United players lined up on the big screen.

Kick off approaching.

National Anthem:

The text "Football stands together" on the Ukrainian flag.

For Ukraine.

A screen shot from Sky TV's coverage showing Bobby taking pictures with his phone, along with Daisy, Herbie and Andrew.

Sky TV. Daisy, Herbie, Bob, Andrew. David, Emma. Brilliant seats. Thank you David.

Screen showing final score 4:2 to Rotherham after extra time.

96th minute. So near yet so far. Winning hearts, but losing the game.

Lighting a Candle for Diddley and an Unforgettable Day

Bertie, Brooklands Bertie and the football programme with a candle lit for Diddley.

An unforgettable day.

—————-

Football    


  1. Phil Barnett says:

    That was a hard way to lose, so near yet so far, but that’s football and it’s never over until the final whistle. Such a shame to be so very close to winning. At least you were there to witness a stirling effort and there is no shame in losing in such a manner to a team from a higher league. Also I didn’t know Tim Vine was a supporter – a great comedian.

  2. katherine lanham says:

    wow.. a day at Wembley… so fantastic… I went to school with Tim Vine’s brother.. Jeremy Vine. We were in the school production of The Winslow Boy by Terence Rattigan. I played Catherine Winslow, he played Sir Robert Mortimer. He was very funny too.. we made each other laugh so much, we couldn’t look at each other during the performances…

    Gutted you lost Bob too, but as Phil said.. that’s football

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: