A FOOTBALL fanatic from Solihull realised his dream by taking part in the inaugural Emirates FA Gaming Cup at Wembley Stadium.
Alex Manners made the trip to the home of football after receiving an invitation to the computerised cup where he represented Yeovil Town.
Involving 64 gamers from around the country, the event saw each team that made the third round stage of this season’s FA Cup represented in the sport’s virtual format of FIFA.
The 19-year-old was knocked out in the fourth round after tasting defeat to Leeds United, though admitted he had the trip of a lifetime.
Solihull College student Alex said: “It was the first ever Emirates FA Cup gaming tournament and I was chosen to represent Yeovil Town – a team I requested.
“It was quite surreal playing the game of FIFA in the England dressing room, not only that but we also was guided around the stadium and made our way through the tunnel, sat on the side of the pitch and met various football presenters.
“It was disappointing to exit the tournament at the fourth round but ultimately I had a great day out.”
It seems his visit to Wembley still hasn’t quite satisfied the Widney Manor resident who now has his eye on visiting all 92 football league grounds.
The Birmingham City fan has already made his way through 65 turnstiles around the UK – though still has grounds including Newcastle, Carlisle and West Ham to visit.
He added: “My passion for football started when I was younger as my uncle was a Birmingham City fan and he took me along to my first game.
“I was hooked on the sport immediately and I set myself the target of visiting all 92 football league stadiums.
“Everything about me is football – I love the sport, grounds and different atmospheres generated.
“The most challenging stadiums to visit are the ones far away, though stadiums that sell out each week such as West Ham are often hard to visit and sometimes we do have to sit in the away end.
“Being based in the Midlands does help but I see the away trips as days out too – it’s great to visit all the different areas our country has.”