A footballer from Daventry lived every young boy’s dream on Sunday when he not only played in, but won a cup final at Wembley.
Ryan Haynes and his Coventry City teammates lifted the EFL Trophy after beating Oxford United 2-1.
The result saw Coventry claim their first trophy since their famous FA Cup victory in 1987.
“It’s what everyone dreams of doing,” said Ryan, who grew up in Daventry and attended Ashby Fields Primary School and William Parker School.
“When you’re younger you watch England play there, you watch the cup finals on TV and you one day aspire to playing a game there. Luckily I got the chance to do that on Sunday.”
Ryan, 21, was scouted by Coventry and offered his first contract in July 2004. After eight years as an academy player he was given a two-year scholarship in 2012, making his full debut in April 2013 against Brentford.
Coventry’s season has been interspersed with protests as fans continue to oppose the club’s ownership by hedge fund Sisu Capital.
The club has had rent issues in the past eventually resulting in them groundsharing with Northampton Town at Sixfields, yet the fans’ unrest did not stop them from coming out in force at the weekend.
The record capacity for an EFL Trophy final was broken by the 74,434 in attendance, of which 43,000 wore Sky Blue, and Ryan was impressed by the turnout.
“It was pretty incredible really, it felt like a twelfth man. It just shows how big the club actually is.
“I didn’t realise how many people were there until the game ended, but when I looked up I thought: ‘Wow, that’s pretty special!’”
In the stands on Sunday were Ryan’s mum and dad, aunt and uncle, and cousin.
They all made the trip from Northamptonshire to watch him play, and Ryan was able to meet up with his parents later in the evening to celebrate the win.