Magic of the FA Cup with Blyth Spartans v Birmingham City

Yesterday I decided to take in one of England’s greatest sporting traditions… the FA Cup. As a lifelong football fan my most deeply ingrained (and favourite) memories of the cup are of the great giant-killing battles as practically penniless non-league sides take on the millions and star-studded rosters of the elite top tiers of English football, and boy has there been some upsets along the way. Whether you’re a football fan or not the FA cup has an almost inexplicable excitement that you can only really understand when you’re standing there in that battered old stand, cheering on a team that on paper has no right to expect less than a hammering from their opponents and perhaps little ambition beyond going out there, giving it their all and doing their fans proud. But maybe… just maybe…

Today’s match was a classic example, with Mid-table Championship side Birmingham City taking on a team 120 places below them in the football pyramid, non-league Blyth Spartans – a game only the FA Cup could dream up. The game took place at Blyth Spartans’ home ground Croft Park and it seemed like the whole Blyth community were filling the stands for the occasion. I brought along the Leica M 240 to try to capture some of the essences of what makes this competition so unique.

Liam Shaw

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FA Cup with the Leica M 240. Blyth Spartans 2 Birmingham City 3, 3rd January 2015.

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