Bradford City Blog: Countdown to kick-off

Kevin Mitchell is blogging for ITV Calendar about Bradford City's big day at Wembley Photo:

There are just a few hours to go to arriving at Wembley to watch Bradford City play Swansea City in the Capital One Cup Final and I have to pinch myself!

Before thinking about what might happen this afternoon, on a personal note I have to say a few thank you’s (hark at me you’d think I was on stage at an awards dinner!!) anyway, I would also like to do a bit of name dropping just to emphasise the me, me, mebit but after all, the Bantams are at Wembley so all of us City fans can put protocol to one side for one day.

Despite watching most home games and some away matches I’m not a season ticket holder so there was a genuine fear about acquiring a ticket for Wembley, I’d already queued early morning to buy an away ticket for the Villa game and friends Kevin Wilkinson and Andy Frith as season ticket holders had helped re-the home matches. (Work commitments means that I have to miss the odd game that’s why I’ve no season ticket NOT because I don’t want to see every game. I am a true City fan and hate it when I’m not there. That’s the disclaimer over with!!)

For the Final I needn’t have worried as the former City favourite and the current Carlisle United Manager Greg Abbott paid up front for 4 tickets and posted them to me as I reciprocated giving the money to Lauren his daughter who works in Bradford, it’s perfectly legit but just shows what a nice guy, no, a great guy that Abbo’ is. He’s also a good football manager with a hard exterior but inside he is one of life’s nice people and I make no apologies for saying that.

Fans beginning to arrive at Wembley.

Please bear with me as the name dropping continues but only briefly. The tickets have enabled me to sit with my son Rich’ who lives in London and he is in a band called Chapel Club (check them out) but despite being full time he’s always skint as he pays a fortune torent a house in Leytonstone therefore there’s no ninety quid forthcoming to me! My great pal of 40 years, Dave Worrall is sat alongside me and Steve Morley whoplayed sgt Lamont in The Bill for 10 years until 2001 is also sat with us and I haven’t seen him for 20 odd years. He now teaches drama at the London girls school for drama and he rarely refers to the telly only saying how proud he is that all of his girls got A grades in their ‘O’ levels last year(is that what they’re still called?). The point is; I am not only going to watch my favourite football team play in a major Cup Final that will be beamed aroundthe globe but I’m sat with people that I respect and love dearly and hopefully we canal l celebrate together.

Bradford City Manager Phil Parkinson Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Before then there’s a journey that begins at half seven (as long as Clarky arrives on time – he’s cadging a lift)

Around a dozen of us will set off in convoy in three cars, and with abit of luck we’ll park up and then go have a look around the shops – I am joking!!!

It’ll actually be the pub (surprise, surprise) although not too many to drink until after the match as weall want to be compos mentis and savour the atmosphere.

An early start for these Bradford City fans as they travel down to Wembley

There is of course a football match to be played and we’re all certain that Phil Parkinson the City boss will have told his players to enjoy the occasion but boy do they need to be focused to beat the Swans – and we all reckon Parky will have told hisplayers just that but it’s hard for the fans not to get carried away.

Can you imagine a sea of around 33,000 claret and amber supporters that will totally overshadow the black and white of Swansea City? Their end will look like the north sea compared to our Caribbean – am I bias? Too right as everyone that I associate with is; bias and patriotic to the core.

See you at lunchtime - ish.

This is Kevin Mitchell's second blog for ITV Calendar. Click here to read the his first.