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When Sol Went Up...

Relive Pompey's 2008 FA Cup triumph

17 May 2018

It is a day that will live long in the memory of everyone packed inside Wembley and those watching from around the world.

On May 17 2008, Pompey did something that the fans of most other clubs will never get to see.

Kanu's goal at the national stadium was enough to see off Cardiff and ensure the FA Cup would be heading back to Fratton Park for the first time since 1939.

Looking back, it appears as though Pompey's name was destined to be etched on to the trophy that season.

A dodgy red card for Ipswich and come-from-behind win over Plymouth, before David James' penalty save and a last-gasp own-goal at Preston.

Then came the trip to Manchester United – the only top-flight team the Blues would face – where Sylvain Distin made a clearance that still seems impossible to this day and Sulley Muntari tucked a penalty past stand-in keeper Rio Ferdinand.

Suddenly, Harry Redknapp's men were the only Premier League side left in the competition and favourites to win the trophy – that is when the nerves really set in.

So to Wembley and Kanu's goal saw off West Brom, despite Milan Baros appearing to handle in the build-up. Again, fortune appeared to be on our side.

The final will certainly not be remembered as an all-time classic – supporters of other sides have probably forgotten it already.

In fact, some of the finer details may be a bit hazy to Pompey fans, with a few celebratory drinks no doubt knocked back during the course of the day.

But those scenes at the final whistle will survive even the most potent of hangovers.

Tears of joy flowed, as those inside Wembley embraced the people around them – husbands, wives, family members, friends or even complete strangers.

Then came the moment when Sol Campbell led the side up those steps to collect the FA Cup from Sir Bobby Robson and hold it aloft.

Not that the celebrations stopped there, with a reported 200,000 people coming out to cheer the Blues on an open-top bus ride around the city.

Pompey's fall from grace since then has been well-documented, although last term's title triumph signalled the start of their ascent back up the divisions.

And a decade on, the memories of that special day in May still burn as bright as ever.

All together now: "When Sol went up to lift the FA Cup..."


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