GARY Bowyer has recalled his childhood memories of the FA Cup, including the time his footballing father was forced to go to church.

He picked out Arsenal’s thrilling 3-2 FA Cup final win over Manchester United in 1979 as his earliest memory, before bemoaning dad Ian’s bad luck in the competition.

He said: “My family’s from Manchester so we went up there to see my grandad and Uncle John, who was a big United fan, and I remember Alan Sunderland heading in for Arsenal at the death.

Laughing, the Bantams boss added: “As soon as that game finished, I can remember going out into the street and there was a bunch of lads playing footy in a little circle.

“Because I wasn’t a local, so to speak, I ended up playing for Arsenal.”

Bowyer’s father Ian won two European Cups and two League Cups at Nottingham Forest, but famously the club never won an FA Cup under Brian Clough.

Gary recalled: "My dad had an absolute nightmare playing in the competition.

"Forest would never get past the third round, and I can remember him saying to my mum, who's a big church-goer, I'll go with you if we get through.

"They did eventually, so he had to go."

The Bantams start their FA Cup journey this afternoon when they head to Shrewsbury in the first round.