By Matt Richardson: A Tunstall pottery firm has backed Stoke City’s FA Cup final bid – by making a bone china replica of the trophy.
A dedicated team from Churchill China, based in Sandyford, hand-crafted the trophy, putting in over 150 hours to get the piece finished.
The Football Association sent the real FA Cup, accompanied by two bodyguards, to Sandyford so that detailed photographs and measurements could be taken to ensure an exact replica was created.
Head modeller Neville Kettle, who fronted the team, told Staffslive: “Getting hold of the trophy was fantastic – it is a once in a life-time opportunity to hold the FA Cup.
“It was a real team effort. There was five us who worked on it, each having our own section to do. We worked on it around the clock, if we didn’t there is no way we would have got it finished in time.”
The trophy, worth in the region of £6,000, secured the seal of approval from Stoke City players who got their hands on the replica before breezing past Bolton Wanderers 5-0 in the semi final.
It was an extra special moment for Neville as a lifelong Stoke City supporter: “My first game was back in 1962, Stoke against Ipswich and we won 9-1.
“I predicted a Manchester City against Stoke City final from the beginning, with Stoke winning 3-1.”
The replica can now be viewed by the public at the Churchill China factory shop.
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