This post was originally published on Richard Ayers’ personal blog.
What a day.
Everyone from MCFC is exhausted. The build-up has been unbelievable (as Micah Richards would say – it’s his only adjective) and then you add the adrenalin, the pressure, the happiness… and I don’t really think it’s sunk in for them all.
When I left the Mandarin Oriental at midnight, there were a smattering of stragglers, but the majority of the party had made its way to bed. No hijinks, no madness, none of the high-rolling scandal the papers might talk about. This was a bunch of people who are knackered and genuinely over-wraught.
As one said to me, her first game was in 1977, when she was 6, and the last win had been 1976… so it’s been all her life – all of it – that she’s been waiting for this moment. The emotion was palpable. Several times people talked me through how it felt and nearly came to tears. Bless him, but the match-day operations director has, in the last 10 days, become a father again, seen the club he’s worked for for 14 years reach the qualification stage of the Champions’ League… and now win the FA Cup. Remarkable.
The digital media team have done me proud as well. 16 pieces on video which will make more than that by the time we’ve edited and divided it into chunks, text stories, picture galleries, fan reaction, twitter commentary, Match Day Centre live coverage,…
One of our guys has followed the cup all the back to Manchester on the train.
We had 20 minutes IN THE CHANGING ROOM! which is unheard of and will be great viewing.
And, as Garry Cook said in his emotional, inspirational speech – it’s just the beginning of more great things to come…