Metro's extra trains for South Shields FC fans ahead of Wembley trip

Metro operations manager Grant Powell, Metro driver Andy Wilson and mini Mariner James Powell at Bede Metro station wishing luck to Mariners player Barrie Smith, in the driving cab.
Metro operations manager Grant Powell, Metro driver Andy Wilson and mini Mariner James Powell at Bede Metro station wishing luck to Mariners player Barrie Smith, in the driving cab.

All aboard the Wembley express!

Tyne and Wear Metro is set to lay on extra services for South Shields FC fans heading for their big day out at Wembley next month.

South Shields player Barrie Smith can't wait for Wembley.

South Shields player Barrie Smith can't wait for Wembley.

The Mariners will travel to the national stadium for the first time in the club's history on Sunday, May 21, when they take on Cleethorpes Town in the final of the FA Vase.

Messages of support have flooded in for Shields since they won their semi-final last month, and now Metro has signalled its backing.

Nexus, which owns and manages Metro, will be running additional early morning Metros for supporters making their way to Newcastle to catch their connections to London ahead of the 12.15pm kick-off.

The first early Metro trains from South Shields towards Newcastle on the day of the final will depart at 6.30am.

The train carried a message of support for the Mariners.

The train carried a message of support for the Mariners.

Metro will also be showing its backing for the club in the build up to the showpiece final, with messages of good luck going out on passenger information displays at Metro stations across the borough.

A train accompanied with the message 'Wembley SSFC' pulled into Bede Metro Station - the station closest to the club's ground, Mariners Park - this morning.

Nexus customer services director Huw Lewis said: “It’s going to be a historic day for South Shields and we are expecting a lot of fans will be taking the Metro on the first leg of their journeys to London.

“We have some extra early morning departures in the plan so that fans can get to Newcastle Central Station in plenty of time to board the mainline services headed south.

“We’re also doing some good luck messages on our information screens as the whole North East gets behind South Shields FC and hopes that they can bring that cup back from Wembley.”

South Shields FC player Barrie Smith said: "It was fantastic to see Nexus make such a great gesture for the club ahead of our trip to Wembley.

"We have received so much support throughout the season, and we truly do appreciate it.

"We're on target to have well over 10,000 fans heading to Wembley, which is going to be incredible.

"Nexus' gesture means that it should now be easier for many of them to get there, which I'm sure they will appreciate.

"This just further demonstrates how so many people and businesses are coming together to support the club."

The services could be particularly useful for those heading to London on the extra train which has been organised by Virgin Trains on May 21.

An additional service to London King’s Cross will depart Newcastle at 07.08am.