South Shields FC fans are already on their way to Wembley

Confident South Shields FC fans are already provisionally booking their transport to Wembley.

Tuesday, 7th March 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:11 am

Graeme Brett who owns Westoe Travel in South Shields says more than 100 people have already booked transport and hotels in the hope of seeing the Mariners reaching the FA Vase finals.

Despite having a two-legged semi final to contest - the first game being held this Saturday against Coleshill Town in Warwickshire - many Mariners fans are preparing for victory.

Graeme, who is also one of the club’s sponsors and has decked out his Westoe Road business in honour of the team,said: “We have had whole families wanting to make provisional bookings to travel down to Wembley and stay overnight.

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“There’s already a lot of people who are very excited and are backing the team 100%.

“Hotels will be busy that day as it’s the FA Vase final and the FA Trophy final on the same day.”

He added: “We predict that if the team makes it to the finals there will be several thousand people wanting to go and watch.

“I think we’d be looking at between 5,000 and 10,000 heading down to London.

“There’s much chance of Newcastle or Sunderland getting to the national stadium these days, so South Shields FC is their best bet to watching a team they support play there.

“I don’t want to be tempting fate but I think they will stand a good chance of getting there. We’re backing them.”

The Mariners are also waiting with baited breath to see if more tickets will be released within the next 24 hours for this weekend’s away matched.

Coleshill’s chairman Paul Billingham is hoping to give South Shields any unsold tickets - as The Mariners’ away allocation of 300 was sold out within hours.

However, it all depends on whether Warwickshire Police will allow such a high number of fans to mix as there’s no segregation at the 2,100 capacity ground

On Saturday he told the Gazette: “Our ground is quite rural so we’re always in contact with the police explaining how many people are expected, how many cars will be arriving.

“We don’t envisage any problems with supporters, we never have any bother, and we aren’t expecting any from the Shields fans.

“But if the police state that they have to be separated then we just wouldn’t be able to do it.”