1. ITV Report

A tale of guts and glory: West Ham to take on Manchester City in Women's FA Cup final in front of a record crowd

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Sejal Karia

It is a tale of guts and glory that could easily grace the silver screen.

But for now the battle between Manchester City and underdogs West Ham United Women in the final of the Women's FA Cup will be played out in front of a record crowd of more than 50,000 at Wembley on Saturday.

The Hammers have had something of a fairytale rise to reach their first final of the competition, in their first season as a professional club.

City are bidding to win the cup for a second time, following their success in 2017.

West Ham captain Gilly Flaherty is keen that young girls watching on in the crowd or at home are inspired by the clash.

Gilly Flaherty, captain of West Ham United Women has thanked fans for their fans. Credit: ITV News
Manchester United v West Ham United Women - FA Continental Tyres Cup - Group Two North - Leigh Sports Village Credit: PA

West Ham United have also been caught up in a row between the Premier League and MP Dawn Butler who has accused football bosses of not treating women’s football “as seriously as men’s football”.

The shadow women's minister is appalled West Ham were not granted a request to bring forward their Premier League game against Southampton this weekend in order to avoid a clash with the Women’s FA Cup final.

However, Flaherty brushed aside the furore and said the support from the club's fans had been instrumental in helping the women's team reach the final.

She said: ''I've spoken to a few West Ham fans that are going to be leaving the men's game early so that they can come over and watch it and they've been so supportive especially on social media.''

Manchester City's Georgia Stanway (left) and Gilly Flaherty during the FA Women's Super League match in October 2018. Credit: PA

West Ham only became a professional team this season. Before then, they were in the third tier of women's football.

However, when the new 11-team, full-time Women's Super League was formed, they were moved into the top division.

It means that West Ham are in their first ever FA Cup final.

Coached by Matt Beard he has signed former England internationals Claire Rafferty and Gilly Flaherty, followed by Manchester City’s Scotland striker Jane Ross. He also selected 19-year-old Swiss born star Alisha Lehmann..

Manchester City celebrate after winning the FA Women's Continental League Cup final Credit: PA

The crowd should break the 45,423 record set when Chelsea beat Arsenal in last year's final.

The record crowd for domestic women’s football in England was set in 1920 when 53,000 watched the Dick, Kerr Ladies against St Helens Ladies at Goodison Park.

The world record stands at 60,739.