Newport Pagnell: The town turning green and white ahead of football team's historic Wembley final

Newport Pagnell
The whole town of Newport Pagnell is getting behind their team. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Say the name Newport Pagnell, and many people will immediately think of the service station off the M1.

But this little town near Milton Keynes now has something else to be remembered for.

The local football club, Newport Pagnell Town FC, is gearing up for the biggest match in its history on Sunday lunchtime when the team will head to Wembley to contest this year's FA Vase final.

There they will face Littlehampton Town FC, a team from Sussex, for the biggest prize for clubs in the ninth and tenth tiers of English football.

  • ITV News Anglia's Andy Ward reports from the club's Willen Road ground

Newport Pagnell's football team was initially formed in 1963 and has never played at the national stadium.

However, that will change on Sunday when nearly 7,000 fans descend on London to back their team - a remarkable turnout when you consider that the town's population is only 16,000.

The Swans have successfully made it through seven rounds to reach Sunday's Wembley showpiece, winning a penalty shootout against Hamworthy United in front of a capacity crowd of 1,700 at the club's Willen Road ground in the semi-final.

The high street is full of white and green flags. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The club has gained more fans the deeper they've gone in the competition, and is now backed by a young group of supporters who call themselves the 'Newport Ultras' and dance around with an inflatable swan at matches.

Ever since their spot in the final was confirmed, the town has caught Wembley fever and the high street is now draped in white and green flags.

Schoolchildren at one of the local schools, Portfields Primary, also donned their green replica shirts on Friday to get behind the club ahead of the big day.

  • Pupils from Portfields Primary preview the big game

Thanks to local musician Josh Henry, the club also has an unofficial cup final song as well.

The track is called 'Swans Song' and focusses on the team's dream run to Wembley.

All proceeds from the song will go towards a fund to build a stand in memory of club stalwart, Steve Dart, who died in January.

  • Watch Josh play a rendition of his song 'Swans Song'

"The reaction has been a little bit overwhelming," Josh told ITV News Anglia.

"I've probably cried five times just thinking about the final at Wembley. It just seemed the right thing to do for all of the money to go back into the club, because without the volunteers here, this club wouldn't exist.

"But, as they say, wherever there's success there's probably a musician riding on the coattails of it!"

Members of the club have told me they're hoping to put on an open top bus parade for the players, regardless of the result on Sunday.

A fitting tribute to a team who will always hold a special place in the hearts of people in this little corner of Buckinghamshire.

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