The countdown to Wembley continues...SADDLERS' fans turned out in force as they stepped up their preparations for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final by getting close to the famous silverware that they hope will be heading to the West Midlands on Sunday.
Walsall supporters young and old took the chance to see the Trophy as it toured the town recently.
The Johnstone’s Paint team took the Trophy to a host of locations over a busy 48 hours, starting at the Johnstone’s Decorating Centre in Queen Street.
There was huge excitement as the Trophy arrived at Delves Junior School in Bell Lane, where seven-year-old Daniel Ryder was presented with four tickets to the Wembley Stadium Final for winning the Johnstone’s Paint Design a Shirt competition.
The Trophy also visited BBC WM, Oakwood School and HomeServe.
Businesses, schools and community groups were also encouraged to ‘Paint the Town Red’. Painting and decorating students at Walsall College took the challenge literally by painting some of their workshops in Saddlers Red.
The famous Walsall Hippo, which has been painted red by artist Sarah Watts to celebrate The Saddlers’ march to the Final, even had a visit from the Trophy.
The main event of the Trophy Tour was on the Tuesday evening when around 250 Walsall fans turned up at Banks’s Stadium. Walsall manager, Dean Smith, and players including Adam Chambers, James Chambers and Romaine Sawyers, mingled with supporters and posed for photographs with the Trophy. Former boss, Chris Nicholl, entertained fans with tales from yesteryear.
The evening concluded with a fans forum, led by BBC WM, giving supporters the chance to throw questions at Smith, Adam Chambers, Nicholl and ex-goalkeeper, Mick Kearns.
Ben Wilde, brand and sponsorship manager for Johnstone’s Paint, said: “We had a fantastic time in Walsall. The club has not played at Wembley in its 127-year history, and you can tell that the supporters are really looking forward to the experience.
“It was great to take Trophy out into the community and to give so many people the chance to see it.
“The Final is now just days away now and we’re looking forward to a fantastic game of football between two great clubs.”