THE result may have been disappointing, but Jordan Nixon's proud father said he would make the gruelling journey from Azerbaijan to Wembley again in a heartbeat.
West Auckland Town’s goalkeeper could do nothing about Hampshire-side Sholing’s 71st minute winner in Saturday’s (May 10) FA Vase final and even came close to equalising in the final seconds after dashing upfield for a corner.
But regardless of West’s heartbreaking 1-0 loss, which left the players in tears on the Wembley turf, the Nixon family said they were immensely proud of all the lads.
Nixon’s father Scott, who is midway through a month-long shift on an Azerbaijani oil rig, made the 3,000 mile trip by road, sea and air to see his son at Wembley.
He said: “If I had to do it again tomorrow knowing the result would be the same I would be there like a shot.
“It’s my son playing at Wembley, for me the result was not important, I did not think about the score because it was more about him being here.
“We’ve gone from watching him play on the school field through the ups and downs of him wanting to be a professional footballer to seeing him at Wembley.
“There’s no way I would have missed today.”
And Mr Nixon, who met up with wife Barbara, other sons Liam and Luke and around 40 other friends and family to see him play, said he was not surprised to see his son running up to the opposition end to try and force an equaliser.
He said: “It’s something I always knew he would do, he has visions of scoring the goal that saves his team, he came close.”
Sylvia Nolan, Nixon’s football fanatic grandmother, was one of the first to get pitchside to console the keeper.
She said: “He was very disappointed, but I told him how proud we all are of him.
“It’s been a wonderful experience despite the result.
“I got to see my grandson play at Wembley and we are so proud of him.”
His mother Barbara, who decorated her Quaint and Quirky tearoom in Stockton in West’s black and yellow colours to celebrate the occasion, said: “You can’t fault the players at all, they kept going right to the end and I think were unlucky not to win.
“We are still going to go and have party and celebrate West getting to Wembley.”
Saturday (May 10) was West Auckland’s second FA Vase final in three years.
Seven members of the squad were at the County Durham club when they lost 2-0 to Dunston UTS in 2012.
West had been hoping to make it six wins in a row for Northern League teams in the FA Vase.