03 MAY 2013

Good Luck Tunbridge Wells Football Club

Ten thousand people – one person in every five men, women and children who live in Tunbridge Wells – will be travelling to Wembley tomorrow to see our town's football team play in a national cup final.

What a treat this magnificent team have given our town. Through the long, dark days of one of the most miserable winters on record they have kept a swelling crowd entertained, excited and exhausted by tension. It came partly from a weekly agony about whether the matches would be played at all. The crucial home tie against defending FA Vase holders Dunston UTS had to be postponed three times because of abysmal weather, before finally being played at the fourth attempt in early February. It was worth the wait – and being frozen in the arctic Culverden – with a sensational win that gave a glimpse of the glories within reach.

Martin Larkin's boys have put the fans through the wringer. No less than three of the six rounds were won only after extra time being needed. At Larkhall, Jack Harris scored the winner in the very last minute of the 120 minutes played. And none of us who travelled to Shildon will ever recover from the nerve-shredding tension that saw a solid 2-0 first leg lead quickly shatter into a 3-2 advantage for the Co Durham side. But Wells are a team that never gives up, and they give their best when fighting back. To take the game to, naturally, extra time and then coolly win it with five minutes to go is Tunbridge Wells through and through.

The whole team at Tunbridge Wells FC deserve a huge thank you from our town. Martin Larkin and his players and coaching staff, and the ice-cool Chairman Joe Croker and his dedicated team of volunteers who work tirelessly week after week to run the club, and Larrytech who have loyally sponsored the team for years. Together, they've given the town a day that will become part of the history of Tunbridge Wells.

There are many wonderful things about living in Tunbridge Wells. But the chance of seeing your home team play football at Wembley was something we could never offer. Not any more! Best of luck, The Wells – it's been a thrilling journey and tomorrow will be an unforgettable day.

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