Portsmouth family with a special souvenir of Pompey’s Wembley triumph – the match ball!
A MILTON family not only got the chance to revel in Pompey’s Checkatrade trophy victory but also got to travel home with the match ball – an honour usually only reserved for hat-trick heroes.
The Glover family managed to grab the ball after it was kicked into the stand by left back, Lee Brown, following the victorious penalty shoot out.
Daughter Lottie, 10, was the first to get her hands on the ball as it was launched into the crowd as part of the after-match celebrations.
‘As the ball came into the crowd I managed to get my hand on it but I couldn’t catch it. The ball then bounced off someone behind me and my mum managed to grab it,’ she said.
‘After the ball went into the stand it bounced four rows behind me before I managed to grab it,’ said mum Cassie, 42. ‘There were 85,000 people in the stadium so it’s amazing that we were the ones to end up with the ball. It capped an amazing day with a brilliant atmosphere. I was so deflated when they scored and wasn’t confident about penalties, but we took them brilliantly.’
Husband and Pompey fanatic, Darren, 48, moved quickly to ensure no-one else could get the ball.
‘I quickly told her to put it up her shirt so it couldn’t be knocked out of her hand. The whole day was absolutely fantastic and to finish up with the match ball was a one in a million chance,’ he said.
Cassie proceeded to make the train journey home with the ball firmly retained under her shirt for ‘safe keeping’.
‘Everyone thought I was pregnant,’ quipped Cassie.
Lottie added: ‘On the journey home we got Sunderland and Pompey fans asking if they could buy the ball. One fan even offered £500.’
One of the few times Cassie did reveal the ball was outside of Wembley Stadium where she spoke to a Pompey club representative about getting the ball signed.
‘We gave our contact details to arrange to get the ball signed,’ said Cassie. ‘We have since received a phone call from Pompey and have been informed that Mark Catlin is going to arrange for us to come in to meet the players and get the ball signed. The club are also going to give us a certificate of authenticity as proof it was the cup final ball.’
Twin boys, Alfie and Bill Glover, 11, along with sister Lottie, 10, are under strict instructions not to play with the ball.
Bill said: ‘It was a brilliant day out. It’s amazing to think out of everyone who was there that the ball came to us. All my friends have been asking how we got it.’
Brother, Alfie, added: ‘I have another signed ball but this is special because it’s from the cup final.’
Darren intends to buy a glass display case in which the ball will take pride of place in the house.