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Wembley a doddle for Garry Thompson after Bradford City home truths
Wembley holds no fears for Garry Thompson – and not just because he’s been a double winner there before.
City’s in-form winger has tasted play-off success at the national stadium with both previous clubs Morecambe and Scunthorpe. He has also been a beaten JP Trophy finalist with the Iron.
But the real reason why going back there does not scare him one bit is a lot closer to home.
Thompson’s wife Chelsy and his mum have both done press interviews in the build-up to the big day. Compared to what they could have said about him, playing at Wembley again seems like child’s play!
Thompson laughed: “I’ve been a lot more worried about what my wife says on the radio than walking out tomorrow. I haven’t heard it yet but she could be packing her bags soon...
“And I’m dreading to read the article with my mum, especially if she’s got the old photo albums out. You’ll probably see me as a three-year-old in the bath. I’ve got her phone number ready to delete just in case!
“But this is all about memories. You want to turn round in 20 years and tell all the grandkids and your children about it. Not many get this opportunity, so you’ve got to make the most of it.”
Thompson has been staggered by the interest that’s been generated across the globe – “Stephen Darby was doing Al Jazeera TV, you don’t get many requests from them” – but there is also immense local pride.
He could well be the most famous footballer to come out of Kendal!
Thompson said: “It’s only a little town up in the Lakes. It’s good to be able to raise their profile through getting to the final.
“Family and friends still live up there and most of them are making the trip down. Nobody could imagine that a lad from Kendal could be playing in the Capital One Cup final.
“I don’t know of any famous people from Kendal, so it might just be me now. But there’s a real buzz because it’s a place where everybody knows each other.”
Of his two Wembley wins, taking Morecambe into the Football League remains the highlight – particularly as Thompson scored.
He said: “It was a bit of a daze. I look back at the DVD now and still can’t believe it’s actually me scoring – it’s a weird experience.
“There was so much elation because Morecambe had been in the Conference for so long. That jump into the league was special.
“It’s a club I hold very close to my heart because I was there for so long. It wasn’t just about football but about friends and that’s what made it so emotional.
“But this is completely different. It’s a national competition and the coverage has been phenomenal.
“Wembley is a smashing stadium and it’s going to be a full house tomorrow. I don’t care who you are, the hairs on the back of your neck will stand up and there will be a lump in the throat.
“And I’m sure it will be exactly the same for all our families and the fans as well when they see us walk out there.”
Framed shirts from the previous wins occupy pride of place in the Thompsons’ home – and there is room for one more.
But he is not going to get greedy and said: “If selected, it would be my fourth time at Wembley and not many can say that. It would be the icing on the cake.
“Hopefully we won’t need to come back again in May because we’ve already got promoted. But we’ll put the league to bed for now because you don’t get weeks like this too often.”