Leicester City and Chelsea fans have given their reactions after a thrilling evening of football in the 2021 FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium.
With Leicester City and Chelsea fans back at a football match for the first time in what felt like an eternity, emotions were always going to be flying high in London.
Twenty-one-thousand fans were allowed into the stadium as part of the government’s Events Research Programme, which contributed to a study into the effects of crowds at major events.
The history of the FA Cup, the magic and the drama grips fans every year. When Youri Tielemans’ 63rd minute shot flew into the top corner,
“What an absolutely incredible day at Wembley,” Tom Carter, who studies in Leicester and was lucky enough to get a ticket to the game, said.
“Being one of the privileged few that could see the Foxes win their first FA Cup – it was a monumental occasion and I was so grateful to be there. It was an honour to be able to witness sporting history.”
For Leicester supporters who were unable to join their fellow fans at the game, the joy was not the slightest bit diminished from their seats in living rooms across the county.
“It was bittersweet at first, us being in the FA Cup final but not being able to go. I was so jealous of their fans, it took away from my excitement for the game a tiny bit,” said Leicester City fan David Duffield.
“But then as the game grew ever closer, I sort of snapped out of that and the nerves took over. Excitement, too, but mainly nerves. I felt like I was going to be playing in the game!”
But when Leicester scored, and when the final whistle blew, those feelings drained away.
“I still can’t find the words to sum this up. It’s still so raw. I’m beaming. The passion, the energy, the occasion. Every single player, staff member and fan at Wembley today was part of history for our football club.
“Even though I couldn’t be there, it’s a moment I’ll still cherish forever. Of course I will.”
For Chelsea fans, though, it was a tough one to take. Chelsea supporter Oliver Taylor, like Tom, has personal connections to the city of Leicester so the result is slightly less bitter for him.
Speaking after the game, he said: “What a crushing blow. The emotional rollercoaster of Ben Chilwell’s late equaliser, only to find out that was was fractions offside through VAR. Heartbreak.
“It’s the magic of the FA Cup, though. If there was a team to lose to, it was Leicester. It’s clear to see how much wining the FA Cup means to the team, its fans and the city as a whole. Leicester were the better team tonight.”