Steve Palmer's blog about his son Stanley - who has Down's Syndrome - & the extended family. All about Down Syndrome and learning disability.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

The FA Cup final and Down's Syndrome

It was an emotional day at Wembley yesterday for a number of reasons. Singing 'Abide with Me' took me back to my 16 year old self who dreamt that one day he'd get to go to the FA Cup final. Yesterday, despite the result, I was there, with my brother-in-law Andrew, his brother, and two other friends. And I burst into tears for the hymn that is traditionally sung at 2.50 pm. (I didn't cry when Stacey Soloman sang the national anthem, but I could have if she'd butchered it much longer). 

Stanley Matthew Palmer (for non-football fans, Stanley Matthews was a famous Stoke player) was there in spirit, as was his Arsenal-supporting brother.....because this was the FA Cup final and football isn't more important than life; it mirrors life. I wrote in 2005 about the dramatic events of May 2002. 

One of the delights was seeing a Stokie with Down's walking up to the ground, just as Wembley Way ended. He was so excited. I know that his family was so proud about the day and about the man's presence there.

I'd like to send congratulations to Manchester City for their performance and their victory. But I'd especially like to congratulate those Man City-supporting families who include someone with Down's. 

And thanks go to a very special person for making it all possible with the tickets. You know who you are. 

In many ways yesterday, our family also won.

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