2015 FA & BBC Cup Choir at Wembley Stadium
What a day it was! The winners of the BBC Songs of Praise FA Cup Fans Choir competition took their places on the hallowed turf at Wembley, fulfilling their dreams by singing ‘Abide With Me’ before the Cup Final. They all have FA Cup Finals unique stories. Sixty-four lucky football fans, a mix of male and female fans with ages ranging from the early 20s right up to 100 years, each represented their football club as they joined with The Band of The Brigade of Gurkhas in front of 90,000 people and viewed by over 250 million people on Saturday 30 May 2015
Over 1,300 people applied to take part in the unique experience to sing ‘Abide with Me’, which has become a constant fixture since first sung at the final in 1927. No singing experience was necessary to apply for the competition; those selected to perform the hymn at the FA Cup Final. However, they were ‘shaped up’ and ‘grilled’ by BBC Songs of Praise & FA Cup commissioned International record producer Steve Thompson. Several media outlets broadcasted the performance including BT Sports, Sky Sports, etc.
FA Cup Revisit
On 27th December 2015, BBC Songs of Praise looked back at one of the most memorable moment of 2015 when the FA Cup Fans Choir sang ‘Abide With Me’, along with 90,000 people at Wembley Stadium in May. Steve Thompson was the conductor on the day.
Steve then organised a reunion for the choir on 6th December 2015. He was asked to switch on the Christmas lights in Totton, Southampton ‘Totton Christmas Lights and Lantern Parade‘. In turn, he then asked the FA Cup choir to join himself and his wife Velveta. After the main event, they all then enjoyed catching up with each other.
“I’ll never forget yesterday – it meant so much to me. There’s no explaining how wonderful it felt.”
“I think we can all feel proud of what we achieved; a historic expression of football unity from its roots up.”
“I do hope that the BBC do this again, as it has given 64 supporters from around the country an opportunity that really does only happen once-in-a-lifetime.”
“I was a bit apprehensive about taking part in such a momentous occasion, and I was so glad that you and the folk from the BBC and Songs of Praise did everything you could to put me (and the others) at ease so that we could enjoy the experience, which I certainly did.”
“The memories will “Abide with me” forever and although we will never know how many people we have reached out to through this event I am sure many lives will be changed.”
“I have run out of adjectives to describe the whole weekend but I am sure you know what I am trying to say. Have just watched Songs of Praise on T.V. and I started blabbing yet again, when will the tears dry up???????”