THOUSANDS of Leeds Rhinos fans are descending on Wembley to cheer on their heroes in the Challenge Cup final.
Rhinos said 43 coaches packed with fans were due to set off from the club’s Headingley Carnegie stadium ahead of the club’s clash against Hull KR.
Chris Chapman, 54, of Pickering, said: “I’m most looking forward to the occasion itself. I’ve not been before. My memories are of us losing at the old Wembley in the 1980s. But I’m hoping for a victory today. I think it’s going to be quite tight but I’m going for Leeds by 10 points.”
Ollie Baxter, 23, also of Pickering, said: “I went to the FA Trophy final seven years ago when there were about 25,000 fans. I’m looking forward to a full Wembley today. I think it’ll be a close game - just one try in it. But I’m going for Leeds.”
Tina Guthrie, 47, of Chapel Allerton, said: “It’s my first time going to Wembley. It’s very exciting as I’ve not been there before. I’m really looking forward to it. We’re going to stuff them.”
Harvey Linden, 29, of Headingley, said: “I’m looking forward to the chance to win it again and make a bit of history. My prediction is 24-14 to Leeds.”
Players were given a special send off when fans gathered at the club on Thursday afternoon.
Forward Carl Ablett said: “All the lads really appreciated all the support and hopefully we can give all the fans something to cheer about.”
Pubs across Leeds have decked the walls with blue and amber and are due to screen ttomorrow afternoon’s match on TV. Dawn and Mick Burke, who own The Buffers pub on Rakehill Road, Scholes, have tripled the number of Leeds Rhinos posters, shirts and memorabilia at the pub and have orgainsed a free barbecue from 5pm on Sunday when they hope to be celebrating a Rhinos’ victory.