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Dover Athletic boss Chris Kinnear carried the West Ham United flag in the parade ahead of Centenary FA Cup final in 1972

By Richard Harvey

Saturday, May 6, 1972 is a date Dover Athletic boss Chris Kinnear says he will never forget and remembers it as though it was yesterday.

It was the day he experienced the magic of being involved in a Wembley final and he’ll always have treasured memories of it.

Now Kinnear finds himself just two rounds away from making a return trip, with Dover, in the FA Trophy final, and in a completely different role to the one he fulfilled all those years ago.

Kinnear carried the West Ham United flag in a guard of honour as Leeds United and Arsenal entered the famous old stadium for the 1972 FA Cup final.

Dover manager Chris Kinnear
Dover manager Chris Kinnear

It was the Centenary final, which Leeds won 1-0, and the FA marked the occasion with a special pre-match parade of all 37 previous winners with their club flags being carried.

Kinnear, an apprentice with the Hammers at the time, had the honour of carrying West Ham’s.

He said it was something he’d always remember, especially the noise from the 100,000 crowd.

“It was deafening when the teams came out of the tunnel. It sent shivers up your spine.

“It was amazing to be a part of such a special occasion – I feel so lucky to have experienced it and it’s something I will always treasure.”

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