UK soccer final dream comes true for Bay trio

Arnold van Jaarsveld, Audrey Sacks and Andre van Jaarsveld off to watch Manchester United vs Chelsea FA Cup Final.
Arnold van Jaarsveld, Audrey Sacks and Andre van Jaarsveld off to watch Manchester United vs Chelsea FA Cup Final.
Image: Brian Witbooi

Ticking off a major bucket list item, two brothers, a cousin and their wives jetted off to England on Thursday to watch the FA Cup final between Manchester United and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium.

Since as early as the 1960s André van Jaarsveldt, 62, his brother Arnold, 64, and cousin Aubrey Sacks, 67, had dreamt of watching the FA Cup final together.

The trio arrived in England yesterday ahead of today’s much-anticipated match.

André’s brother Arnold, who suffered a heart attack last year, said he was looking forward to the journey and their nine-day trip to the Untied Kingdom.

“You live every day and die only once – we are going to enjoy ourselves,” semi-retired Arnold said.

Now retired after 40 years of hard work, Sacks, who has visited the UK before, said it was a trip the trio had been looking forward to for many years.

Unfortunately Sack’s wife, Virginia, was unable to go with them as she recently suffered a heart attack.

“We have worked flippin hard for this and now we have the opportunity to do what we have always wanted to,” said Sacks.

During their trip Sacks, André and his wife Lindy, along with Arnold and his wife Merina, will watch the FA Cup final, catch comedian ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, a tribute concert to Michael Jackson and a Rolling Stones concert before heading back to Port Elizabeth on May 28.

“I am most looking forward to the atmosphere, win or lose; we are going to enjoy the soccer,” said staunch Manchester United fan Sacks.

The trio and the two wives left clad in Man United regalia including personalised shirts of their favourite team.

Recounting watching the 1996 FA Cup final live in Wembley, Arnold said it had been a lifelong aspiration to watch a final alongside his brother and cousin.

“We are going to have a great time,” he said.

Tickets to the FA Cup final range between £420 (R7 190) and £2 250 (R38 518) each.

Tonight’s final at 6.15pm local time is running for the 137th time.

Asked if the group would make a turn at the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle today before the match, all three replied with an emphatic “no”.