Couple to travel 3,000 miles to watch Man City v Sheffield Utd - but will sit at opposite ends of Wembley
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A married couple will attend an FA Cup semi-final after travelling more than 3,000 miles from home - but will be sitting at opposite ends of the stadium.
Caroline Oatway, 32, is a Manchester City fan but hubby Shaun Littler, also 32, is a die-hard Sheffield United supporter. The couple were watching the moment when the teams were drew to play against each other at Wembley on Saturday April 22 live from their home in Boston, USA.
And when they realised they would be visiting in family then, they decided to get tickets - in their clubs’ respective ends. The pair will even travel down to Wembley Stadium separately as Caroline plans to go with her friends, while lifelong Blades fan Shaun will travel with his family.
Caroline, originally from Manchester, is confident her side will win, but admits it’s ‘going to be a long flight’ back home next week for whoever’s team loses. She said: “I certainly hope City are going to win.
“On paper they definitely should but football doesn’t that work that way and I’ve followed City long enough to know that they don’t always work that way. It should probably be comfortable for us but who knows. We keep saying it’s going to be a long flight for one of us.
“We don’t actually fly until next Thursday so there is a little bit of a cooling down period from now and then.”
She added: “We were watching the draw live and we just knew it was going to happen. We knew we was going to be in the UK and kept saying how amazing and crazy it would be for the two sides to play each other.
“I wish we would have recorded our reactions because there was just about 30 seconds of silence with our heads in our hands. It was the draw neither of us wanted really because Sheffield United obviously wanted the best chance of reaching the final.
“I just thought that the next couple of weeks are going to be interesting living with Shaun and then seeing his family of Sheffield United fans.”
Shaun, who works in financial recruitment, said that at first the couple didn’t want the draw but they realised it would be a ‘great day’ for them both.
He said: “It’s a funny one really because it’s the draw neither of us wanted. We wanted the best chance to get to the final and we’ve drawn City and they are the hardest team who will completely destroy us to be honest.
“We realised we would be over for the game and then realised what a day out it will be. I think then we realised what a great day it will be for us as individuals and as a couple and for our families as well.”
Shaun thinks Sheffield United will ‘probably get beaten by about four or five goals’ and that City will win.
Shaun, originally from Sheffield, said: “My head says that we will probably get beaten by about four or five goals. My heart says that you never know and it’s 90 minutes.
“I look back at the Wigan FA final in 2013 and they beat Manchester City - they were massive underdogs. Nobody ever gave them a slight chance of winning and they ended up beating them with a last minute goal. We’ll just be hoping for the best.”
The couple are planning to travel down to Wembley separately as Shaun will be travelling with his family and Caroline will be traveling with her friends. But they’ve said they will meet up before the match for a ‘friendly pint’ and to ‘wish each other luck.’
Caroline, a sports journalist, said: “We are planning to have a pint together and it will be me and my Manchester City friends and Shaun and his family. We said we would have a friendly pint and wish each other luck.
“We’ll probably meet each other on Wembley Way as well because it’s a special occasion being on there.”
The couple, who have been together since 2009 after meeting on MSN, had already planned a trip to visit their family in the UK when the game was announced. But Caroline said she thinks they would have ‘possibly made the trip’ down to London to see the match.
She said: “It’s not every day that the two teams play each other as they’ve only played each other four times in total since we’ve been together. I think we might have possibly made the trip direct down to London.”
Sheffield United and Manchester City have played each other just four times since Shaun and Caroline got together, and every single time Manchester City have won. After a game in 2019 where Sheffield United’s goal was disqualified, Caroline said that after the match, Shaun came ‘stomping up’ to her and his face ‘was like thunder.’
She said: “It’s good fun actually because City have won every game which is obviously good for me.
“The first time we played each other there was obviously a big build up and some of Shaun’s family came to Manchester. I was in the home end though and he was in the away end.
“It was a pretty controversial game because Sheffield United scored first and it was disallowed.
“Then I think there was some controversy around one of City’s goal as well.
“We met up in the bus queue after the game and Shaun came stomping up to me with his arms folded and his face was like thunder.
“I don’t think we spoke for the whole of the bus journey home which was a bit funny.
“I’ve said this time that we’re not travelling together.”