So on Sunday 27th February 2011 I set off from a friend's place in Kingston to go and take photos at Wembley. I took great pleasure in telling people who asked that I was "covering the Carling Cup Final", rest assured that was something I labeled it myself. I wasn't on a job, I’m not a journalist and I didn't have a ticket. So basically the statement was a lie. I'm a very convincing liar.
Luckily I avoided having to go through central London. For some reason the powers that be had decided that the weekend of the 26th and 27th would be a good one to do rather major engineering works on the underground. Now I fully understand that this kind of work is essential to the smooth (ha) running of the transport network, but to close about a third of the tube on days when there was arguably the biggest game of the 6 nations at Twickenham and then the first major final of the football calendar the following day? Seems like some poor planning to me. A man I met at Wembley who is an Arsenal fan said after I had raised this issue with him; "They (the tube gods) just really enjoy fucking people over, they knew loads of people would be using the tubes this weekend so it gave them a great chance to fuck loads of people over." How profound.
Anyway, I arrived at Wembley Central station at around 12:30 after it had been a beautiful morning all over London and as soon as I stepped out to begin my adventure it started raining. Lots. And it didn't stop until about half an hour before kick off. By this point my feet had been so wet for so long I was starting to believe i'd contracted trench foot. The Birmingham fans kept me on my wet toes though. They were good fun all day; they were very vocal/drunk and were overall pretty open to being photographed. The same can be said about the Arsenal fans, in that they were happy to be photographed, only they all turned up about half an hour before kick off when almost all the blues were inside the stadium. I think if I lived in London and it was pissing down all day, i'd have left at the last possible moment too.
So here's a selection of the photos I took, obviously because the Birmingham fans were the only ones there for a good few hours they are the subject of most of them. It's not an anti Arsenal thing; they just didn't turn up for ages. I didn't get to watch the match as I had to get a train back to Bath but it seems the Arsenal players didn't really turn up either.