English football fans got the treat of a lifetime to see the English FA Cup trophy up close and personal as the prestigious trophy came to our shores on Monday.
Former national striker Stern John was present at the Piarco International Airport upon its arrival and said seeing the trophy brings back precious memories of playing in the FA Cup competition.
John, T&T ’s all time leading scorer with 70 goals, played in several FA Cup matches during his career.
John played in England for more than 10 years lining up for Derby County, Coventry City, Bristol City, Nottingham Forrest, Birmingham City, Sunderland, Southampton and Crystal Palace.
Yesterday hundreds of fans lined up at Movietowne in Port of Spain to get a picture with the world famous trophy.
Manchester United fan Daniel Rogers was in his glee yesterday.
“Glory glory Trini Man United,” he declared, “I’m honoured to be in the presence of the triumph of my favourite team and the best team in the world Manchester United and share in the glory of the FA Cup.” The FA Cup will make numerous stops throughout the Caribbean over the next week. Shortly after the FA Cup trophy touched down at the Piarco International Airport on Monday, John said it was great to see the trophy he fought for as a player.
“It means a lot to me, we all know the FA cup is one of the most prestigious trophies that you will play for. As a player playing in numerous FA Cup games I never had the opportunity to lift the FA Cup. I think having it in Trinidad is massive,” John said.
John added, “probably the closest I have been to the FA Cup or lifting the FA Cup was today. I got an opportunity to touch it and I think as a player you cherish those moments, although I never got to win it, but just being in the same room with the FA Cup is a great feeling.”
Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith knows people in T&T are excited that the FA Cup is in the country especially as Manchester United are the current holders of the cup. Smith said, “Trinidad and Tobago are huge English FA Cup fans, football fans, and we have quite a huge part of the population, I am not one of them, that are Manchester United fans, I am a Gunners (Arsenal) fan.”
Today the FA Cup trophy will be taken to Barbados, then to Jamaica from tomorrow to Saturday and will end the tour of the Caribbean in the Cayman Islands from Saturday to Tuesday.
Dwight Yorke, Manchester United Ambassador, who himself lifted the FA Cup in 1999 with United’s glorious treble-winning team, will join Flow as a special guest on the final leg of the tour to make a special announcement about the soon to be launched skills-development initiative for young footballers – another Flow/Manchester United partnership.
Trudy De Verteuil, director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations at Flow said, “Flow has partnered with Manchester United. We have been working with them for about six months and during that time we have worked very hard to bring the most exciting sports broadcasting to you and to our customers.