Chorley FC's Groundsman invited to help prepare Wembley pitch for FA Cup final

Ben Kay and his team stayed on the pitch overnight to make sure that the game could go ahead. Credit: Chorley FC

Chorley FC's Head Groundsman has been invited to join Wembley's grounds team to prepare the pitch for the FA Cup final in May.

Ben Kay slept on the pitch ahead of the non-league team's tie against Derby County on Saturday to ensure that the pitch didn't freeze in Friday night's sub-zero temperatures.

Ben made the decision to stay so that he could make sure that different parts of the pitch were heated.

His efforts were rewarded when Chorley took to the pitch later that day and beat Derby to secure their place in the fourth round for the first time ever.

Wembley’s Grounds Manager, Karl Standley was inspired by the story and has since reached out and invited Kay to join his team to help prepare the hallowed turf of Wembley Stadium ahead of this season’s final. 

Karl said: "Hearing about the work Ben and his team put in to prepare for Chorley’s Emirates FA Cup game was really inspiring.

"Their hard work and dedication were rewarded when the odds were stacked against them. It is a privilege to be able to invite Ben to join our team and help us prepare the pitch for The Emirates FA Cup Final, one of the biggest days in Wembley Stadium’s calendar."

Ben: "I’m absolutely thrilled to have been invited to Wembley for the Emirates FA Cup Final.

"I was shocked when I received the message, but obviously genuinely touched by the offer and delighted to accept it.

"I can’t wait to step out onto the famous turf and experience the thrill of being at Wembley. The FA Cup is such a special competition and to be involved in this way is a dream come true."

Terry Robinson, CEO of Chorley FC, said that the amount of work put in to get Saturday's game on was "phenomenal".