Cinema owner Kevin Markwick was proud to bring the FA Cup to Uckfield yesterday and he’s hoping it will come back to Sussex again in a few weeks time.
“It would be wonderful to see it on an open-top bus going along the sea front at Brighton,” he said.
“But,” he added. “The Seagulls face Manchester City in the semi-final, so it’s not going to be easy, let’s face it.”
It was quite by chance that the cup came to Uckfield just after Brighton and Hove Albion won their way to the FA Cup semi-final.
The date was fixed months ago without any way of knowing what would happen the meantime.
“It turned out that all the planets were in alignment,” said Kevin.
He made the most of the special day inviting people in to take selfies with the cup, sample a cocktail created for the occasion and choose from a celebratory menu. Gully the Seagulls mascot was there too.
Kevin said the day was a great success. People were queuing out of the door at 10am to see the cup and were very generous with donations to the Seagulls charity, Albion in the Community.
The event brought back memories for Roy Lewis who saw Brighton play in the 1983 FA Cup final. They drew against Manchester United (2-2) then but lost out in the replay (4-0).
Roy’s family, all Seagulls supporters, joined him when he came to be photographed with the cup.
The sad thing is that Kevin, who took part in, and won, a charity auction to bring the cup to Uckfield, won’t be able to watch the Seagulls’ big game on Saturday, April 6.
He will be at a cinema owners’ conference at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, and the best he will be able to do is find a British pub to watch the game on TV.
The FA Cup final is scheduled for Saturday, May 18.