The New Wembley Stadium
It has been 17 years since the Town were last at Wembley, when it was the old Wembley Stadium. A victory beneath the Twin Towers that day saw Swindon claim a place at the top table of English football – the Premiership. Now the old stadium has been demolished and a shiny new one built in its place with a huge steel arch taking over the mantle of iconic architecture from the Towers.
I have already been to the new stadium twice (it was opened in 2007), but this will be the first time that Swindon have played there since the redevelopment. There will be something like 100 or more coaches making the trek along the motorway from Swindon to London, with many more people getting there by car, train or whatever. More than 31,000 Town fans will be making the journey, and we will all be cheering on the team to (hopefully) a great victory.
Swindon Town have only ever played at Wembley three times – the 1969 League Cup Final and the play-off finals of 1990 and 1993 for a place in the top division of English football. My Dad went to all three matches, and took me with him for the last two. Sadly he passed away three years ago, but I know he will be looking down on the match this time – he wouldn’t miss this for the world. I will take something of his along with me tomorrow, maybe his old watch, so that his spirit will make the journey even he can’t be there in person :-)
Swindon Town win the 1993 Play-Offs to book a place in the Premiership
Swindon have never lost at Wembley, beating Arsenal in ’69, Sunderland in ’90 and Leicester City in ’93. The ’93 match was one of the best ever seen at the famous old ground, and I am hoping that tomorrow’s game will be equally as entertaining, although frankly, so long as the Town win I don’t care!! The nerves are starting to jangle.
Now, where did I put my flag.....