Brandywell Stadium Event Controller, Billy Scampton, was, for a change, given the chance to relax and enjoy a Derry City Football match on Sunday.
An FAI invite to the Aviva Stadium was in recognition of his sterling work at the Brandywell throughout this season - and his previous 14!
So the self-confessed massive Candystripe fan was able to enjoy the final as much as any Derry fan could, with the tension lasting until the very final whistle.
“I was biting my nails at the elbow by the end of the game. Where the ref pulled those three minutes of added time at the end of the game from, I’ll never know. It was just such a roller coaster of a day, between those three minutes and their equalising goal at the end of the 90 minutes. It certainly was one of the most dramatic finals I can remember.”
Billy described the day overall as “absolutely fantastic”.
“I’ve been a supporter from 1985. I’ve worked at the Brandywell for 14 years and of all the FAI finals that has to be the best, if only for the sheer magnificence of the settings. The Aviva stadium was fantastic. We’ve been to the RDS, Lansdowne, Tolka, and I’ve worked the last four so this one was special.”
Billy, who collected the 2011 FAI Match Day Management Award, said: “I was speaking to senior Gardai and they were full of praise for the Derry supporters. They are a credit to the town. The back room team also deserve a lot of credit.”
Billy admitted that the occasion was tinged with sadness as his mind turned to two supporters who weren’t there yesterday - the late Paddy McDermott and Declan Curran.
“Both those massive Derry fans would have been in their element yesterday.”