ESPN to make history with Wembley FC
ESPN will break new ground this weekend when it shows the Extra Preliminary FA Cup tie between Wembley FC and Langford FC live on ESPN UK from 12.30 BST.
A host of former football internationals including Ray Parlour, Martin Keown, Graeme Le Saux, Claudio Caniggia and Brian McBride return to the game this weekend, stepping out for Combined Counties Premier Division side Wembley FC against Langford.
While a record gate is expected this Saturday at the newly refurbished Vale Farm ground, the game also marks a moment in broadcasting history: it will be the first time an Extra Preliminary FA Cup tie has been shown on live TV. The match will also be 'simulcast' – airing live in the UK on ESPN and simultaneously streamed to fans around the globe via Budweiser's Facebook page and www.BudUnited.com.
The match sees former England boss and Wembley FC technical advisor Terry Venables take his place in the dugout, rallying the legends out of retirement for another shot at playing in the most famous domestic cup competition in the world.
"The FA Cup holds some very special memories for me, from my time as both a player and a manager," Venables said. "The new boys coming in have a wealth of experience at the very highest level and people like Ray Parlour have the FA Cup winner medals to prove it. That can only help the lads here and shine a light on the importance of grassroots football here in the UK and around the world."
Jason Warner, global vice president of Budweiser, added: "Last season's FA Cup was one of the most nail-biting and exciting to date, and it's something we all want to see again. Broadcasting the game live on ESPN is a first for a tie at this stage of the competition, and in conjunction with the live stream online will bring the magic of the FA Cup closer to passionate football fans across the globe."
The chairman of Wembley FC, Brian Gumm, said: "We know the local community of Wembley has been hotly anticipating this tie since the draw was made and we announced the legends eligibility at a press conference back in June. We're looking forward to our fans turning up on Saturday to share what will be a brilliant moment in this club's history."
The progress of Wembley FC in this season's FA Cup is to be shown as part of a documentary series to be broadcast on ESPN from August 16, 2012 at 10pm. The eight part series entitled Dream.On. The Journey of Wembley FC chronicles the life of grassroots football in the UK, looking at the non-league side and the signing of a number of household names within the squad and staff.
To stay in touch with Wembley FC and their progress with Budweiser visit http://www.wembleyfc.co.uk and follow them on Twitter @WembleyFC
For more information on The FA Cup with Budweiser visit http://youtube.budweiser.co.uk