Journalism student Tom Carter was given the opportunity to test his reporting skills - together with classmate Luke Pawley - by capturing the atmosphere and excitement of Leicester City's first FA Cup final appearance since 1969. Here's his account.
I’ve never seen so much passion on show in one moment. The hugs, the tears, the sheer joy that Leicester City, after five attempts, had won the FA Cup final.
It was a moment I feel blessed to have been a part of.
And I’m not even a City fan, strictly speaking. I didn’t grow up in the area and I’ve not seen first-hand the tireless commitment of the supporters.
But after this weekend at Wembley, part of me will forever be a Fox. Through thick and thin, Leicester City embodies the true meaning of a football club whose success is earned, and with the unmatched passion of the fans, their potential is boundless.
How did I end up there, on that hallowed turf, witnessing this moment with my DMU colleague Luke Pawley? Through De Montfort University and its partnership with LCFC.
Luke and I both study Journalism and were offered the chance to prove our skills and report on the biggest game of the season on behalf of the university.
It was our job, one as a lifelong superfan and one an impartial – but madly excited – observer, to capture the magic of the FA Cup, and make sure everyone was there with us.
It may have been just us two (physically) going to Wembley, but we were buoyed on our way by the astonishing force of support from the masses of Foxes fans around the world.
And the team would need it. The deck seemed stacked against Leicester from the start - Jonny Evans went off injured in the first half, Vardy missed our best chance of the game.
But then Youri Tielemans took charge.
In simple terms, a rocket. In football terms, a moment of gold.
Tielemans’ strike was nothing short of exceptional; 25 yards out and one chance to change the tie - he took it.
When the ball hit the back of the net, the eruption from the crowd was unbelievable. Screams of happiness, tears of joy - I simply can’t describe it.
Tom (left), together with Luke Pawley, his Journalism classmate
But I was one of the lucky ones, being able to watch Leicester City win their first-ever FA Cup. There were thousands of fans probably far more deserving than me. Yet I did my best, on behalf of DMU and those that couldn’t be there, to capture the pure emotion of the moment.
As Kasper Schmeichel lifted the trophy above his head, the momentous nature of the occasion got to me.
For that minute, I was a Fox. A supporter of the blue and white. How couldn’t you be?
It is moments like that which make you realise football is more than just a sport - it’s a lifestyle.
Every fan that wears the Leicester City badge on their chest brings with them spirit and emotion beyond the boundaries of definition.
When the former Fox Ben Chilwell ‘scored’, the Leicester fans were gutted. It was heartache and betrayal mixed into one. But VAR saved us…
For Leicester supporters, celebrating a disallowed goal was as good as scoring one. The FA Cup dream was still alive.
When the full-time whistle blew, the Leicester City fans had their moment. Tears were flowing, and the cheers were unstoppable. After 52 years, their moment had arrived.
In the euphoria, I couldn’t help but feel blessed to be part of the celebrations. Seeing Brendan Rogers and the club owner holding the FA Cup, one just had to feel a deep warmth. This was more than a win - it was a monumental occasion.
Posted on Monday 17th May 2021