Up for the cup

I’m looking forward to Birmingham City’s cup game against West Bromwich Albion tomorrow.  It’s close to a sell-out and it’s been a long time since that happened at St Andrews. It should produce a good atmosphere and, if all the seats around me are filled, it will feel a little warmer than it does when the winter wind whistles through the gaps left by empty seats.

On the nine-minute mark, the Baggies fans will hold up a ‘Justice for Jeff’ banner and clap for one minute, as they have done and will continue to do at every game this season. This is to show their support for the Astle family who want to set up a charity to help former players suffering from similar head injuries to those that led to Jeff’s early death, educate sports people about head injuries and promote independent research. Click here to read the details at their campaign website.

I may also watch the Cambridge United versus Manchester United game on TV tonight. That’s the sort of tie that keeps the magic of the cup alive. There’s a nice article by a Cambridge fan describing his relationship with the club, “like an EastEnders marriage without the death”.

And if there is still some magic in the cup for you, the BBC is running a competition to choose members of the FA Cup Fans Choir, who will step onto the hallowed turf and sing Abide with me.  I’ve entered it though I can’t sing and have never been in a choir in my life.  It’s a long shot, but it seemed worth trying. The chances of Blues going far in the cup competition are not high but I hope the manager and players think it’s worth trying.