Normally our dog barks at the TV, on Saturday it was me: NI Leicester fan on FA Cup win

Two Northern Ireland men got their hands on one of the most coveted trophies in world football on Saturday as Leicester City won the FA Cup at the fifth attempt.

Sunday, 16th May 2021, 12:12 pm
Updated Monday, 17th May 2021, 10:12 am
News Letter journalist Graeme Cousins with the latest recruit to the Northern Ireland Leicester City fan club - his dog Shadow

Carnlough’s Brendan Rodgers guided his team to success while former Manchester United defender Jonny Evans lifted the trophy for the first time after going beyond the call of duty to play through the pain barrier (albeit for 30 minutes) with a heel injury.

And while a large amount of neutrals in the Province cheered Leicester’s win, there were also some bona fide Foxes fans celebrating in NI. One of them was News Letter journalist Graeme Cousins

Reliving the excitement he said: “I received some nice messages from fellow football fans on Saturday night, a lot of them pleased that Leicester had beaten one of teams who were part of the breakaway league that disgusted most right-thinking supporters.

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Leicester City's Jonny Evans celebrates with the trophy after the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture date: Saturday May 15, 2021.

“Hopefully our win on Saturday has brought back a little bit of magic to the FA Cup and reminded us of how important it is to have supporters cheering on their teams.

“Sadly for me, unlike when we won the league in 2016, I didn’t have as many people to celebrate with.

“My son Ben was a Leicester fan back then, but has since defected to Liverpool. My daughter Lucy used to have a soft spot for the Foxes but now she only likes to play football and hates when I have it on the TV.

“Instead my wife and I shed I few tears as the players and fans celebrated inside Wembley. Karen isn’t a big football fan but she does enjoy a TV drama, and that’s what the FA Cup served up on Saturday.”

Leicester City's Wes Morgan (left) and Kasper Schmeichel lift the trophy as they celebrate winning the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture date: Saturday May 15, 2021.

Graeme, who was at Wembley in 2000 along with his dad Clarke to watch Leicester win the League Cup, said: “I could happily watch Youri Tielemans’ winning goal every day until I die, Kasper Schmeichel’s two saves – especially the second one – were like something out of an action movie, then Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell, formerly of Leicester, had his equalising goal ruled out by VAR by the narrowest of margins.

“And if the hairs on the back of your neck didn’t stand on end hearing the noise made by the fans inside Wembley then you’re not a football fan.

“By the time the final whistle went I was a mess. It’s normally our dog who barks at the TV, but on Saturday I was guilty of the same.

“The players were genuinely ecstatic to lift the trophy and being able to celebrate with the fans after their absence for so long was special.

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers (right) and Chairman Khun Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha with the trophy after the Emirates FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture date: Saturday May 15, 2021.

“It was lovely to see our chairman Khun Top was part of the scenes of euphoria, pointing to his father in the heavens, and not sitting in a faraway boardroom counting his billions.

“I’m so proud to support a proper football club with a proper owner.”

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