Garry Thompson will make one final important check before he boards the bus for Villa Park – to make sure his TV is set up right.
The striking image of Thompson standing ram-rod straight after scoring against Arsenal in the quarter-finals was a moment that summed up City’s incredible Capital One Cup odyssey.
The man himself has watched it back frequently – but not at home after he FORGOT to record the game!
Thompson admitted: “I was back in Kendal the night before so I don’t actually have it on my planner at home.
“But luckily my sister-in-law and father-in-law have taped it, so when I nip round I do tend to sneak it on the telly ...
“I see the celebration and I don’t know what I was doing. I lost my bearings for about 30 seconds, which was why I’m looking towards the Arsenal fans.
“Usually that’s where our fans are in a league game – the Arsenal supporters must have been wondering why this bloke was flashing his name at them! But it was a mad game that will live long in the memory.
“I wouldn’t mind if I got paid some royalties every time it was on the TV advert but unfortunately I don’t.”
Thompson was restricted to a cheerleading role for City’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa in the first leg after spraining his knee three weeks ago. He is back in contention for the return after admitting he feared the absence could have been much worse.
“You see people get injuries innocuously just falling, and that was in the back of my mind. I knew I’d tweaked something but as the discomfort got worse I thought I’d done some serious damage.
“It’s one of those injuries that can put you out for eight or nine months if it tears properly. Luckily enough for me it was days rather than months.
“That period from the Sunday morning when I came in for treatment to the Monday afternoon when I got the results was the longest day of my life.”
Thompson made sure he still played a part in City’s stunning Valley Parade victory by cajoling his team-mates in the dressing room. Despite not being involved, he still went through the gamut of emotions.
“I was more delighted than anybody that we won. It was such a rollercoaster of a game from leading 2-0, then conceding, only to score again – it was so up and down.
“I tried to be more vocal in encouraging the lads before they went out and was in there again at half-time to keep geeing them up. We’re all in it together.”
Now Thompson stands 90 minutes away from a possible fourth appearance at Wembley. He scored in Morecambe’s win that clinched promotion from the Conference and went twice more with Scunthorpe.
He said: “We lost in the Johnstone’s Paint final and went back six weeks later and got promoted there.
“It’s a superb place to play your football and I wouldn’t mind another trip.
“But I’d rather visit Wembley in a final and be promoted than go through the nerves of a play-off.
“Our bread and butter is the league and if we only visit Wembley once this year, it would be nice if that was in the Capital One Cup.
“The fans deserve it more than anything. They haven’t had a lot to cheer about in recent years and hopefully we’re raising the profile of Bradford City again.
“It’s good that people are talking positively about the club and you’re in the press for the right reasons.
“Our main aim is promotion and that’s not changed. Everything else is a bonus.
“But there are so many good things to come out of this and it also helps to attract players, and the likes of Michael Nelson can only strengthen us as a unit.”