A Fleet family have achieved every football fan’s dream - having the FA Cup in their home for the day.
Tanya Barrow, 44, hosted the iconic trophy as part of a Football Association initiative to introduce a new generation to the magic of the world’s oldest domestic football competition.
The FA Cup Dreams scheme was launched by FA Cup winner and former Liverpool and England player Michael Owen and offers once-in-a-lifetime opportunities including the chance to win a sleepover at Wembley Stadium the night before this year’s final.
As part of the initiative, the FA Cup became part of a football-inspired event in the Barrow’s family home on Sunday, with visitors coming to see the official trophy in the living room throughout the day.
Tanya said she had to read the email asking if she wanted to have the FA Cup in the house for a day a couple of times to make sure she was reading it correctly.
“The FA Cup, in our house,” she said. “Not a replica, not in a glass box, but in our actual house. The actual FA Cup.”
Tanya, a full-time blogger and mother of three, said she invited lots of friends over to lift the cup, not telling them what was going on.
“We just said they had to come to our house for a football-themed party,” she added.
“The look on their faces as they saw the FA Cup on our coffee table was just bonkers.
“The security guards – yes, it has its own team of security – were on hand to show everybody how to lift it and quite happy for everybody to have their moment and their photo.”
Football-mad visitors included 11-year-old Rhys Bailey, seven-year-old Liam Halpin and members of Fleet Town Girls FC.
Tanya, who supports husband Bruce in supporting Manchester City, said: “Everyone knows about the FA Cup. It’s one of those iconic things that you recognise whenever you see it.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would have the chance to see it in my lounge for a day.”
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/TheFACup .