Premier League footballer Emmerson Boyce says it will be a dream come true when he leads Wigan Athletic out at Wembley Stadium for an FA Cup semi-final against Millwall on Saturday.
The 33-year-old defender-cum-winger will captain Roberto Martinez’s side at the famous stadium cheered on by a small army of fans from his hometown.
Boyce, who used to go to Quarrendon School (now Aylesbury Vale Academy), has been a firm fans’ favourite at Luton, Crystal Palace and Wigan for his wholehearted leadership not to mention the odd spectacular goal or two along the way.
A career of commitment and professionalism will be rewarded with a Wembley appearance on Saturday.
The occasion brings a wry smile to ‘Boycie’s’ face as he remembers pretending to play at Wembley with his brothers and friends as they enjoyed kickabouts on the streets of Aylesbury as kids.
Boyce told The Bucks Herald ahead of the biggest game of his career to date: “It will be a special occasion to play at Wembley.
“It’s a dream come true.
“As a kid I used to pretend I was playing at Wembley with my brothers Rodney and Patrick and with Skins (friend David Smith) and Andrew (Awadzi).
“To step out at Wembley and maybe leading the side out, will be one of the highlights of my career, it will be my first time there, so it will be amazing,” he added.
Boyce came through Sunday’s 1-1 draw with relegation rivals Queens Park Rangers unscathed and barring injury looks set fair to realise his lifelong dream when the match kicks off at 5.15pm on Saturday.
Proud dad, Melvin, has arranged a coach to leave from Alfred Rose Community Centre at 1.30pm on Saturday filled with family and friends to see his son fulfil his dream.
Emmerson’s sister Stephanie told The Bucks Herald: “We are all very excited, after all it’s not everyday you get to watch your brother play at Wembley.
“We are very proud of Emmerson and what he has achieved. Saturday means a lot to him and his team mates and we are honoured that we his family and friends can be there in support and to see him fulfil that dream.”