Jamal Lowe: Portsmouth’s Checkatrade Trophy final against Sunderland will end my Wembley boycott
Jamal Lowe has stubbornly spent a lifetime evading Wembley’s enchanting lure.
An onerous challenge considering he grew up within its shadow.
Now, finally, Pompey’s winger will succumb, his enduring patience richly rewarded.
Lowe has long vowed never to set foot at the home of English football unless on playing terms.
Not even a spectator presence by the age of 24.
Yet on Sunday, he will be among the Blues squad on duty against Sunderland in the Checkatrade Trophy final.
And Lowe is relishing breaking that Wembley boycott.
He said: ‘I’ve never been to Wembley stadium - and I grew up in Harrow, which is 15 minutes away!
‘My missus has been there twice to watch Ed Sheeran, my mum’s been there, my missus’ mum has been there, everyone has been there but me.
‘I’ve been to the outlet next door, there used to be a Wembley market in the car park and I went there hundreds of times. I’ve been to the train station hundreds of times, just never inside the stadium.
‘I’ve never wanted to watch a game at Wembley - my first visit should be to play there.
‘If I never play at Old Trafford, fair enough, I will go when I retire. I want my first time to be playing, if I ever get that chance.
‘It’s going to be an amazing experience playing at the national stadium for Pompey, but pretty much I only want to go if I’m playing.
‘It’s the same with an English shirt, everyone was buying England shirts in the summer. I’m not going to buy one unless I play for England, that’s just the way I am.
‘I did get an England shirt when I played for England C, so technically have one in my house and I’ve worn it. But I will not buy one, I will never buy one!’
Lowe is enjoying his most prolific Pompey season yet as he continues to flourish upon his Football League return.
Initially with Barnet, he featured for seven non-league clubs before handed a comeback by Blues boss Paul Cook in January 2017.
Within four-and-a-half months, the attacker netted twice at Notts County to earn promotion to League One.
The Blues were League Two winners three matches later, capping a sensational Fratton Park entrance for Lowe.
Now he has the opportunity to record more Pompey memories.
He added: ‘It’s a massive achievement to get there, then you see the amount of tickets sold.
‘I’m so looking forward to it, to play in front of that many people, to play at Wembley with all my family there will be amazing.
‘I scored a couple of important goals at Notts County not so long ago and this will be another big day, hopefully it will end with some magic.
‘Having said that, it has to be promotion ahead of Wembley, although both would be great.’