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Is FA Cup 3rd Round Now Added To The Beamish Collection?

8 years ago

All football fans live in the past to some degree but are you now officially ‘sad’ if you look back with yearning for what the FA Cup 3rd Round used to represent?

Unlike our friends down the road, we’ve never tasted life in the third tier of english football and so the FA Cup 3rd Round has always been our entry into the competition.

If I picture a time it is as a teenager in the late seventies, Newcastle United pretty rubbish at the time and still some time away from the Keegan revolution that would revitalise the club.

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Early December would have the weekend for 2nd Round matches and then the following Monday lunchtime somebody would have a transistor radio (kind of an early i-pad/smartphone…) in the schoolyard and at 12.30 (I think) there would be the FA Cup 3rd Round draw on Radio 2, the place for any sport on BBC Radio before the advent of Radio 5(live).

The sound of the balls being jiggled about and then picked out and the numbers/teams announced, this was high drama and could make or break your season. This was especially true in Newcastle’s position as we were marooned in the second division and with no play-offs invented yet, a whole chunk of clubs already knew that promotion or relegation was was most unlikely and so the FA Cup was all you had to look forward to.

The whole drama and excitement was based on the fact that no matter how rubbish/average your team were, if you got a decent draw and a bit of luck…who knows?

The whole idea of playing a weakened team would have produced very strange looks if you suggested that bizarre concept, or the idea that anybody would think finishing 9th in the league and getting knocked out in the 3rd round was remotely preferable to 11th/12th in the league and getting through two or three rounds of the FA Cup.

We had dreams, dreams which were always unfulfilled as Newcastle fans, but we still had them.

We dreamt of glory.

I especially remember 1981 and we  got through to the fifth round and a home draw with lowly Exeter, as good as in the sixth round already! So get a home draw in the quarter final (sixth round) and then anything can happen in a semi….Wembley!

Of course we took an early lead against Exeter, conceded late equaliser and humiliated 4-0 in the replay.

So what does the FA Cup 3rd Round represent these days?

A hindrance to most it would appear and the knock-on effect that to a large extent has sickened the fans.

Even the draw itself isn’t a big event, simply something stuck on the end of last televised match – instead of those once delicious 48 hours between playing and winning on the Saturday afternoon and then waiting fro the schoolyard on Monday lunchtime.

Is there redemption for the FA Cup? Well of course it isn’t a totally lost cause and unless you support a team that wins trophies then pretty much any fan will start to take an interest if you get through a couple of rounds.

However, wouldn’t it be just great if they awarded a Champions League place to the FA Cup winners instead of the modern day trophy that is finishing fourth in the top division?

You wouldn’t then be hearing Villa manager Paul Lambert claiming he’s speaking for the silent majority in wishing it no longer existed.

There would be no repeat of the embarrassment visited upon Newcastle United by Mike Ashley and Alan Pardew in recent years, where fans could quite rightly have had a strong case for claiming their money back on the non-triers ‘rule’.

I still dream of FA Cup glory and I’d like to think that one day the people running Newcastle United would feel the same.

NUFC To Win FA Cup 35/1 View All Odds HERE

Betting – Cisse First Goal 11/2 – NUFC Win To Nil 2/1 – Ben Arfa To Score A Goal 23/10

To view all Newcastle v Cardiff betting click HERE (Prices can fluctuate up and down)


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