A SOUTH Tyneside comic’s epic FA Cup adventure had begun to feel like a soap opera.
So Hebburn funnyman Andy Fury and pal Mark Tearney were happy to make a stop at the home of former TV hit Brookside, during the latest leg of their adventure in Liverpool.
The dedicated duo visited the famous location while on Merseyside for Everton’s FA Cup fifth-round triumph, over fellow Premier League outfit Swansea City, on Sunday.
But there won’t be a return episode, with London calling after Arsenal dashed hopes of a Merseyside derby quarter-final.
The pair – who are following the famous competition from its first kick in the qualifying rounds in August through to the showpiece final in May – will travel to the Emirates Stadium next month to see the Gunners entertain Everton.
It will be Wembley all the way from then on, with both the FA Cup semi-final and final held at the national stadium.
Andy, 31 and Mark, 35, a civil servant from Gateshead, are taking in all 14 rounds of the knock-out competition – following the winner of each tie until the 700 teams which started are whittled down to just two.
The pair’s gruelling journey kicked off in August with West Auckland Town’s 5-0 thumping of Tow Law Town in the competition’s extra-preliminary qualifying round. Eleven rounds, 16 games, dozens of goals, one abandoned match, hundreds of pounds and countless miles later, the pair are still enjoying the ride.
The unique FA Cup journey, titled Cup Runnings, is being recorded in a podcast and photo-blog after each game.
As well as documenting their own experiences, Andy and Mark have spoken to a diverse range of people involved with clubs along the way – from players and managers and their families to fans.
At Goodison Park they met up with former Toffees striker Graeme Sharp. Mr Fury said: “We found ourselves in Liverpool and so ended up going a little bit Brookside crazy.
“As well as visiting the set of the TV show, we managed to find time to interview Everton legend Graeme Sharp, rising pop starlet Jennifer Jewell and also Goodison’s Fan Zone MC Graeme White.
“As has been our luck we got one of the two southern teams left in the draw, so we’ll be visiting the Emirates in three weeks’ time.
“Many thanks to Everton legend Graeme Sharp for chatting to us for the podcast, likewise Liverpool’s pop sensation Jennifer Jewell and everyone else at Everton who was supportive, friendly and helpful.”