dreams came true for two footballers from south east Northumberland on Sunday.
Whitley Bay Football Club’s Kyle Hayes and Paul Robinson both picked up winners’ medals after the Seahorses’ defeat of Leicestershire’s Coalville Town in the FA Carlsberg Vase final.
Paul described the experience as an amazing feeling as he lifted the trophy for the third year in a row.
The 26-year-old, of Seaton Delaval, said: “To win it three times is sensational. I did not think we would win it once, but to win it three times is just amazing.”
Whitley Bay beat Coalville 3-2 in what was one of the most entertaining games of football the competition has seen.
Coalville dominated early on, but it was Whitley Bay who broke the deadlock after 28 minutes through Paul Chow.
Coalville did look to have pulled one back straight away, but it was disallowed leaving Whitley Bay ahead at half-time.
It was Coalville who scored next, though, bringing the score all square before Lee Kerr put Whitley Bay back in front just three minutes later.
With ten minutes to go there was another equaliser, and extra time looked inevitable, but Chow converted a Kerr free kick, and that was enough to seal victory.
Goalkeeper Kyle, 21, of Ashington, sat the tie out on the bench but still enjoyed the experience as thousands of fans cheered on his team after travelling down from North Tyneside for the day.
Paul, one of six players to feature in all three cup finals over the past three years, added: “The last two finals have been pretty comfortable, but this year we were in a real match, and the character of the team shone through.
“They had their chances, but I thought we deserved it.
“The fans were unbelievable. The noise when the first, second and third goals went in was just unbelievable.”
The result puts Whitley Bay in the history books as the most successful team in the competition, having won it four times, as well as being the only team to win it three years in a row.