106996499 danhumphriesbristolcity - Essex family completes FA Cup journey with final tickets
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Essex family completes FA Cup journey with final tickets

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@ColchesterDan

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The family enjoyed the fifth round tie between Bristol City and Wolves

A family swept up by the magic of the FA Cup have secured tickets for the final, meaning they have been to a game in every round since September.

Dan Humphries, 37, and sons Liam, eight, and George, six, started at Brantham Athletic, in Suffolk, in the second qualifying round in August.

The journey has taken them to 11 games at places like Brightlingsea, Barnet, Billericay, Peterborough and Millwall.

“I never thought we would get this far,” said Mr Humphries, from Essex.

“I am a big fan of the FA Cup and can remember back to the days when it really was an all day thing, and perhaps was more popular than it is today.”

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Dan Humphries

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Dan, Liam and George’s journey began at Brantham Athletic in Suffolk – the club plays in the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties Premier Division

The adventure began when Mr Humphries, a data analyst for a bank, heard the FA Cup trophy would be at the Brantham Athletic v Eastbourne Borough tie and decided to take his sons along.

He said: “As a Colchester United fan, I am not likely to see it at an actual game so I thought I would take the boys and get a picture with it.”

From then on the family were enthralled by the competition and decided to watch a game in every round.

Their journey has seen them watch giant-killings – when Fulham were knocked out by Oldham Athletic – and see extra-time winners – when Watford overcame Wolves in the Wembley semi-final.

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@ColchesterDan

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The family at Brightlingsea’s third qualifying round tie against Torquay

The family’s story led to them being given tickets for the Wembley showpiece, between Manchester City and Watford, by a sponsor and their exploits being featured in the matchday programme.

“The boys have loved it,” said Mr Humphries. “They’ve seen it grow from 200 people at Brantham to 90,000 for the semi-final.”

The FA Cup actually has 14 rounds, starting in August, but the first qualifying round, preliminary round and extra-preliminary round had already been completed before the Humphries family started their trophy trek.

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@ColchesterDan

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The family watched the semi-final between Watford and Wolves at Wembley

Mr Humphries, who also has a daughter Charlotte who is too young to attend the games, said the friendliness of fellow fans had been a highlight.

“In Peterborough, one chap saw me struggling to park and when we told him what we were doing he let us use his driveway,” he said.

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@ColchesterDan

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Liam and George with the Posh mascot at the Abax Stadium where Peterborough drew 2-2 with Bradford City before winning the replay

But with Colchester United’s run ending back in the first round who will the family be backing come kick-off?

It seems it is Manchester City’s stars who are the main attraction.

“The boys love players like [Sergio] Aguero and [Raheem] Sterling and they were like ‘wow, we are really going to see them play’,” Mr Humphries said.

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