Cup fever had me thinking back to my first experience of a cup match at The War Memorial Athletic Ground. The 24 April, 1974. I was 8 and my Dad took me to Stourbridge to witness the Glassboys take on Cardiff City, then of the Second Division (The Championship as it is known these days). Stourbridge were well on their way to winning the Southern League Division One North, finishing above both Burton Albion and Cheltenham Town, and their twin strike force of Chick Bates and Ray Haywood was enough to put the frighteners on any team.
In those days the Welsh Cup Final was a two-legged affair and this was the first of those two legs. A crowd of over 5,000 was crammed into Amblecote (5,726 according to the Welsh Football Data Archive). I managed to find a spot right by the fence on the cricket pitch side of the ground about two-thirds of the way towards the Shed end. For some reason I can remember very clearly where I stood. I also have a recollection of Cardiff wearing hooped blue and white socks to go with their blue shirts and white shorts. Of course, this may be my memory playing tricks because, in the official team phot with the cup, the Cardiff players are wearing white socks.
I have very little recollection of any of the game. I know, and actually remember feeling disappointed when leaving the ground, that Cardiff won 1-0 but I can't picture the goal going in at all. My main memory is of the ground being absolutely rammed. I had been to watch Stourbridge many times before and had never seen anywhere as many people there.
Cardiff went on to win the second leg 1-0 as well but only in front of 4,000.
So tomorrow, almost 42 years later, I will be there again standing next to my Dad watching the current group of Glassboys try to make club history.
I try to make this site as neutral as I can but for tomorrow......Come on you Glassboys. Make the Black Country proud again.