FA Vase final: Sholing spoil West’s march to the arch

Half-past two on a blustery and rainy afternoon in Wembley. The famous Wembley Way is near deserted and the small number of vendors are struggling to retain their enthusiasm for FA Vase final day. “Get your souvenir scarf, only a fiver,” pleaded one desperate stallholder. He was not going to get rich today. Ironically, my journey into London had started by bumping into someone who had won the Vase at Wembley in 1995 with Arlesey Town, former Watford defender Colin Hull. A sheer coincidence but a good omen and a reminder of the joy a Vase win can bring. That … Continue reading FA Vase final: Sholing spoil West’s march to the arch

West Auckland – Time is right to add the Vase to the World Cup

In the old days, when regional stereotyping was a popular [and acceptable] game, journalists and commentators  – anticipating a North v South FA Vase final –  would predict  that “Wembley will be awash with Newcastle Brown Ale on Saturday and Geordie tones would echo around the corridors of the old stadium”. Why? Because West Auckland (32 miles from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne) are in town to play Sholing. On the subject of beverages, mention Thomas Lipton in West Auckland and the chances are they won’t refer to the brand of tea that seems to have a big market in continental Europe. They will, … Continue reading West Auckland – Time is right to add the Vase to the World Cup

So, who the hell are Sholing?

The FA Vase always throws up an unknown team or two and this season has been no exception to that rule. Sholing FC have reached the Wembley final and will meet a more well-known team in the form of West Auckland Town. It’s North v South, a classic combination for a cup final. But who exactly are Sholing? You might be more familiar with their former name, VTFC, although that in itself doesn’t roll off the tongue like WBA or QPR. Scratch the surface a bit more and you come across their original name: Vosper Thornycroft. Sholing have been Sholing … Continue reading So, who the hell are Sholing?

World Cup Winners head for Wembley

Does anyone remember a TV drama in the 1980s that told the tale of a little team from the North of England winning the so-called “World Cup” at the back end of Edwardian England? Well, the club that achieved that honour, lifting the Thomas Lipton Cup  – he of the ubiquitious tea brand that you find in continental Europe but nowhere else – is bound for Wembley this year. West Auckland Town of the Northern League Division One, will line-up against fellow leaguers Dunston UTS in the FA Vase final on May 13. Back in 1909 and 1911, they won … Continue reading World Cup Winners head for Wembley