Win Wigan Athletic and Manchester City signed FA Cup Final balls

FA Cup with Budweiser logoThe Ball is Round has teamed up with the official FA Cup sponsors, Budweiser, to offer one lucky fan the chance to win a pair of footballs signed by this year’s FA Cup finalists, Wigan Athletic and Manchester City.

Wembley Stadium played host to one of the most dramatic finals in FA Cup history on Saturday as Ben Watson headed home a last minute goal to give Wigan Athletic their first major trophy in their 81-year history.

Before the match Budweiser premiered an epic Fan Film, embodying the magic of The FA Cup through the eyes of the fans who make it so special.

The film tells the story of this season’s FA Cup from the fan’s perspective and continues Budweiser’s commitment to bring The FA Cup closer to fans. Over the course of the competition thousands of photos have been submitted via Twitter using #tothedream. You can watch the film here

One image from Lewes FC, submitted by TBIR to #tothedream even made it onto Wembley Way as part of a display of images taken throughout the course of the FA Cup.

To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize simply email the answer to this question, along with your name, age and telephone number:

How many minutes of stoppage time does the Fourth Official indicate in the Budweiser Fan Film?

a) 3
b) 4
c) 5

Competition closes at 12pm (midday) on 22nd May 2013

Competition is open to 18+ and UK residents only. Terms and conditions apply.

Winning Participant will be informed via email by 3pm on 22nd May 2013. The Winning Participant must confirm acceptance of the prize via return email by no later than 3pm on 24th May 2013.

Please ensure you read full terms and conditions available at before entering the competition.

© 2013 AB InBev UK Limited, all rights reserved. Please drink Budweiser responsibly.



Living the dream.

I was on the phone as I wandered down the steps of Wembley Park tube station and nearly missed it.  In fact I had to do a comedy double-take as my eye caught a glimpse of silver.  There on the wall was a picture.  Not just any picture.  But one that simply summed up the magic of the FA Cup.

8730131244_7aae835fe5_b (1)A silver foil FA Cup….but one not only featuring the badge of the mighty Rooks, but also one I had taken.  There, on the wall, about to be seen by 80,000 people.  The cup, made by Laura Brooks, wife of Club Sec Kev, was the property of young George when he took it along to Lewes’s game against Hendon, ironically played just a long throw-in away at Wembley FC.  A beaming smile spread all the way from Wembley to Brighton.

Manchester City 0 Wigan Athletic 1 – Wembley Stadium – Saturday 11th May 2013
I was here to take in the final, thanks to Budweiser.  Pre-match hospitality was top-notch and I wasn’t one of those fans whose seats are always empty 10 minutes after half time on the TV.  The match report has been read a million times by now but who didn’t cheer (apart from City fans) when Ben Watson’s header hit the back of the net.  Sitting among the City fans I allowed myself an “oooh” and then suppressed a smile, as too did the guests around me.  In one simple nod of the ball, the magic of the FA Cup returned to our hearts.  Yes, the FA have ripped the soul out of the tournament, but even as a neutral, fuelled with free food and beer, it was a day never to forget..

To the dream….

Tomorrow I will be attending my first ever FA Cup Final at Wembley stadium.  Even though I’m not a Wigan Athletic or a Manchester City fan, I am still very excited…oh, and those top chaps at Budweiser have only gone an included a couple of my pictures in the official promotional video, To the dream.  Happy days.

Swansea City show they have no respect for reputation or league position

No Premier League team will have enjoyed their trip to Wales this season thanks to the form of Swansea City who have taken on all comers with their brand of exciting passing football.  Reputations and league position could for very little in these parts as Abi Davies tells us after the visit of Manchester City yesterday.

Having been defeated just 3 times in the league this season prior to Sunday’s fixture, Manchester City should have felt confident that they could retain their place at the top of the division by taking 3 points from a side they beat 4-0 on the opening weekend of the campaign.

However Swansea’s character, determination and growth in maturity was prevalent at The Liberty as the Welsh side played with an air of confidence and belief that meant they were not remotely overawed by their big spending opponents.

In a game where the pressure was firmly off Swansea and solely on their high flying counterparts, Brendan Rodgers side were presented with the games first chance when they were awarded a penalty after Joe Hart brought down Wayne Routledge, following a great move from the home side. Continue reading

Swans come away with pride from painful debut

Abi Davies made the long journey north for Swansea City’s Premier League debut.  Despite the scoreline they can be proud of their team’s performance.

Less than 3 months since completing their rise from the brink of obliteration to the top flight of English football, Swansea City headed to Manchester to make their Premier League bow at The Etihad Stadium.

The Welsh side were without club captain Gary Monk, who sat out the game due to his foot injury. Whilst left back Neil Taylor also missed the fixture through suspension, following his dismissal in the first leg of their play off semi final against Nottingham Forest.

Brendan Rodgers handed full league débuts to summer signings Danny Graham, Steven Caulker and Dutch international keeper Michel Vorm.

Despite playing a pivotal role in Swansea’s promotion winning campaign, Joe Allen had to settle for a place on the bench as Kemy Agustien made his first start for Swansea since their FA Cup defeat on January 29th with the 24 year old Dutch man offering a larger physical presence in the middle of the park. Continue reading