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Let us pray for Bradford City in cup final
The London hotel is booked and City’s preaching stadium announcer has got the Sunday off for Wembley.
Vicar Paul Deo, the man behind the microphone at Valley Parade, stirred up Aston Villa before the second leg of the semi-final after they claimed he had told fans to start sorting their rooms for the final.
The 52-year-old suddenly found himself a national figure when Villa boss Paul Lambert had a moan about it in the media.
Deo insists that he was misquoted, having said “looking” not “booking”.
He said: “I did genuinely say ‘you could be forgiven for going and having a look’. Next thing I know the national newspaper reporter is saying I’m telling everyone to book their hotels.
“It was very strange but you move on from all that. Media is usually for a time and a purpose.”
Deo waited until after Villa Park before booking his room for Wembley.
“I wouldn’t dream of doing something so presumptuous as to do it before,” he laughed.
“Your mind goes to the ‘what if’ possibilities but it wasn’t until the day after the second leg that I actually pressed the button and paid the money.”
Deo, City’s club chaplain since 2009, is on official time off from his regular role as vicar at Heworth Christ Church in York.
He explained: “Vicars do get five or six Sundays off as annual leave and I’ve chosen to take the entire weekend. We’re going down on the Friday.
“As the days go by, I have to pinch myself more and more. I’m getting giddy with excitement because it’s such a massive deal.”
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