Alvechurch boss Ian Long and one of the club’s record-breaking stars from the past enjoyed getting their hands on the Emirates FA Cup before winning a place in today’s draw for the First Qualifying Round.
Before beating North West Counties League Hanley Town 2-0 in Saturday’s Preliminary Round to go into Monday lunchtime’s First Qualifying Round draw with 30 other EVO-STIK League clubs after the weekend’s action, the world’s most famous silverware was at Lye Meadow to recognise the EVO-STIK League North club’s unique place in the competition’s history books.
Back in season 1971-72, Derrick Davis was a member of the club’s record-breaking squad who famously won a place in the Guinness Book of Records for winning the longest ever cup fixture, an 11 hour, six match marathon tie in the Fourth Qualifying Round against Oxford City.
Davis, who played in five of the six matches 46 years ago to set a record that will never be broken following the advent of penalties, returned on Wednesday to the the home of last season’s Midlands League champions before the weekend’s 185 ties with his grandson, Harry, already a regular for Alvechurch U9s.
After teaming up with Long, his staff, many of Church’s current squad and their U18s to promote the competition’s rich history, Davis told the FA’s website: “Having the trophy here brings back a few memories. For a little club like Alvechurch at that particular time it was a fantastic achievement, but a long drawn out episode. It was very tiring actually, but it was an adventure. We had a fantastic time. It’s an incredible club.”
After the weekend’s 185 ties, 31 of the 44 clubs in the EVO-STIK League’s North and South divisions are going into the hat at Wembley with 13 of the clubs still facing replays. Look out for the full draw here soon after it is made.