How Swansea moved to London for the day
IT may be the 90 minutes of football that really matters, but it's the day out that the fans love the most — and yesterday was the biggest day out of them all.
We left sub-zero Swansea at 7.30am on a minibus filled with anticipation and bacon sandwiches.
Score predictions and potential line-ups dominated conversation, as did the endless singing of Swansea songs.
It seemed every other car passing us had a Swans scarf flapping from the window as the majority of Swansea made for the M4 to London.
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One Swans fan on our minibus was 50-year-old Steve Kidwell, who has followed the club for about 10 years.
He bit into his third sausage sandwich of the morning and said: "It's a brilliant day out — always a great atmosphere with the Swans. And it will be even better if Swansea bring home the cup!"
The Leigh Delamere services was packed with lines of coaches and even a Swansea City limousine.
Droves of fans piled off the coaches to the toilets, which were not pretty but surprisingly efficient considering the mass of people queuing. As we approached the capital and our first stop — the bars of Harrow — we found a Swans-designated pub where Hymns and Arias were already in full flow.
I've never seen a pub so packed with people from Swansea — it was more like Landore than London, with the chatting, chants and singing of excited Swans fans as the beer flowed.
A gigantic Welsh flag hung over the window — the locals surely felt like outsiders.
We finally made it to Wembley well lubricated, and encountered the other 30,000 Swans supporters who made their way into the looming stadium, along with Bradford fans, who were in good spirits and great voice too.
With everyone warmed up it was time to hand over to the players for the main event — Swansea's chance to bring the cup back to Wales.