From Rothwell to Wembley on the FA Cup trail

FABRICE Muamba collapsing, a party in Plymouth and £3 entry to Rothwell Town – a gang of dissident Kettering Town fans have seen it all this season.

The half-dozen-strong group took on the challenge in August to see a game in every round of the world’s oldest football competition, the FA Cup.

From standing among 75 supporters at Cecil Street, for Rothwell Town’s tie with Raunds nine months ago, the team will today complete their amazing feat by going to Wembley and watching the final.

The idea was started last summer when the group became disenchanted with supporting the Poppies following the move to Nene Park in Irthlingborough.

Simon De Choisy, 44, of Stanion, said: “It started in the Rothwell Charter with a coin toss between seeing Rothwell Corinthians or Rothwell Town.

“The coin landed for Rothwell Town and a journey started we probably all thought we would not finish.”

After Rothwell Town saw off Raunds, they watched the Bones then lose to Barrow Town, who in turn lost to Rushall Olympic.

The group then travelled hundreds of miles to see Stourbridge at Plymouth before then seeing Stevenage and then Tottenham. When watching Tottenham at home to Bolton in the quarter-final midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed.

Mr De Choisy said: “The place went so quiet, everyone willed him to pull through.

“It was so emotional.

“There were people crying all around us, it was quite a moment.”

A replay followed before a semi-final at Wembley and now the final.

Mr De Choisy said: “It’s been an amazing achievement which has proved to us the magic of the FA Cup still exists, especially for the non-league clubs.

“We’ve met so many great people who really care about football, it’s been a joy.”

The team – which also include Mr De Choisy’s son Daniel, Peter Short, Chris Hipwell, Harvey Long and Nick Walden – are already planning another challenge for next season.

Mr De Choisy said: “We may now follow every round for the FA Vase.

“But for now, following the game, on Sunday we’re planning a dinner in Leicester to celebrate the achievement.”