Arsene Wenger’s earliest FA Cup memory is having to pay to watch the final on a communal television in his village.
The Arsenal manager is poised to take charge of his seventh final on Saturday, having won the trophy five times.
Wenger has a lifelong affection for the competition, starting from when he was growing up in Duttlenheim, France.
"I remember when I was a kid I watched the FA Cup final in my village. We had to bring 100 francs to watch"
“For me it’s a massive achievement and a massive trophy,” he said. “I remember when I was a kid I watched the FA Cup final in my village. We had to bring 100 francs to watch the television. Old francs. What was 100 at the time is one today.
“[We paid] the school. Everybody in the village could watch the television. That was in 1955, 56, when there was no television [in homes]. The first television I got at home was when I was 15. Before that we had no television.
“I remember seeing Bobby Moore [play in my first FA Cup memory]. I don’t remember the teams but I remember the white ball.
“Because we played on fields, what was amazing for me was to see the pitch at Wembley, with the grass - it was unusual for us to see a pitch of that quality. And the ball rolling. We were used to seeing the ball bouncing over the pitch!”
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