My memories of that final are special, and for once, that is not because of the day itself or even being in attendance. A month before, I made a bold but life-changing decision; to quit my job and go and meet my now fiancee in Asia. When we met, she already had a trip around the world planned. After just a few dates, we both realised what a massive problem this was going to be.
Two days into her trip and I couldn't handle the idea of not seeing her for three months, so made arguably the most important decision I've ever made. I handed my notice in, booked a flight and I was set to go. Perhaps an even bigger sacrifice was my decison to give up my FA Cup final ticket in order to do this, something which even now I don't think Laura has ever given me anywhere near enough credit for!
Anyway, fast forward to our time in Hoi An in Vietnam on the day of the game. Having spent the afternoon hunting high and low for a bar that would be open through the night to show the game, and failing, I had to make do with watching the final on a tablet in our hotel room. What. A. Perfromance.
Arsenal dominated and should have had the game wrapped up by half-time. Aaron Ramsey eventually proved the decisive match winner, his second cup final winning goal in his time at the club. At this point, Laura was awoken by my jubilant screams and I'm sure the rest of the hotel probably was too.
The next day, Laura was suffering with illness, so I went exploring alone. I decided beers were needed, so went and sat in a lovely bar sitting on the river in Hoi An. Here, I met an Australian, also named Tom, and we shared six beers together, having spent the day telling stories of our travels and me boring him about Arsenal. A majestic day. I returned to the hotel room, 6 hours later, with a brand new vest that I had haggled for in my drunken state.
"Good day!?" Laura asked. She wasn't wrong!