Everyone who was part of the day in Sydney and witnessed the match as part of the Sydney Hammers will have their own memories of how it unfolded.
Chances are though, every recollection revolves around excitement, pride, delight, despair, frustration, desperation, sheer joy, unbridled ecstasy. Nothing at all like most West Ham games or overall seasons then…!?
So following those feelings and fitting them to points throughout the day, I’ll try to document how the day developed.
Cup final days are all about the anticipation building before heading out for the match. And a fantastic growing support group around the Sydney Hammers meant plans were well in place for a bubble bursting event.
I’d say the excitement for most of us started as soon as we woke up. From early on there were some great comments on the Facebook page coupled with photos of all things Claret and Blue being laid out.
The week had dragged on long enough with the build-up and all the talk, and match day hardly flew by.
But crowds started gathering at Cheers Bar from 5pm, well ahead of the midnight kick-off, more for mutual support and counselling than anything else.
Numbers slowly grew as the afternoon turned into evening, with around 40 bubble blowing boys and girls in full voice by around 9pm.
Then came the period of pride. The group marched in full voice down George Street and towards the Royal Exhibition Hotel. Flags were flying, chants were being recited with gusto and arms were raised aloft in praise.
We were representing West Ham Down Under, and doing it the way it should be done. Joking with passers by, receiving hoots from passing motorists, and drawing nothing but baffled smirks from any police officers we walked by. No damage, no aggression, no carnage.
And then we made it to the REx, fully kitted out with flags, banners, balloons and scarves. We had created a true supporters pub and a caldron of East End excitement.
When the kick off finally came around, the pub was a heaving with Hammers. Estimates are that around 300 fans crowded together to watch the match, and delight followed when Carlton Cole’s goal meant West Ham went in one nil up at half time.
But true to usual form, it was followed by the feelings of despair, frustration and desperation, as Blackpool equalised. Statistics of them having more than 70 per cent of the possession did little to settle nerves, and some clear chances were thankfully wasted.
The game, so much of a lottery in itself, was ebbing towards extra time and the prospect of penalties when Vaz Te smashed home.
Cue the feeling of sheer joy. The weight was lifted, the apprehension eclipsed by relief and scenes you’re unlikely to see at a live football match in Sydney.
Beer flew everywhere and women were sheltered as the celebrations in the pub mirrored those of the thousands gathered back at Wembley.
And after battling through the four minutes injury time, the final whistle was greeted with unbridled ecstasy. It was the culmination of a long season, and had culminated in the ultimate prize. If even somewhat belated, promotion to the premiership was the main aim, and it had been achieved.
The delight was immeasurable as the hundreds of fans burst into deafening renditions of Bubbles.
It was the perfect end to a great day in the history of West Ham, and the Sydney Hammers.
The supporters group stuck together, and in fact flourished, following relegation, and the support, passion and fun of the event suggests there’s far more to come now we are back in the big time.
Here’s to enjoying many more days of West Ham success in Sydney.
C’mon you Irons!