A recently retired footballer in the Tyne Valley has been explaining how it felt to play in a cup final at Wembley.

Queen Elizabeth High School teacher Graeme Armstrong helped Hebburn Town lift the FA Vase last month, and the forward explained how it felt to play at England’s national football stadium.

“It was amazing to play at Wembley, you never think the opportunity will come especially in the last year of my career,” said Armstrong.

“When you see it on TV, you just don’t recognise the size and magnitude of the stadium.

“Everything from the bus driving underneath the stadium to get to the changing rooms, the size of the big screens with your name on and the flames going up when you enter the pitch, the experience won’t be anything I’ll ever forget!

“It was great to be part of the winning goal, I missed a chance earlier in the game, so to be part of the winning goal was relief more than anything!”

The game was also watched by thousands of viewers live on TV, but Armstrong admitted any pre-match nerves quickly disappeared.

“Naturally there were nerves in the build up to the game, but to be honest, the easiest part is when you actually start the game and your playing as you forget about everything else going on and you just focus on the football,” explained the forward.

“You don’t really think about the people watching at home and you just concentrate on trying to win the game.

“Although the day was an amazing experience, I’m not going to lie, it would have been the icing on the cake to have your friends and family there watching and being able to celebrate with them.

“I did feel that was the one thing missing from the day, but nice that they could watch it at home.

“Although I have been lucky to have a successful career, there will always be people who question your ability and may tell you that you

aren’t good enough, whether that be players, managers or fans.

“The key advice would be to trust yourself and your ability ... at times people

will question you, but everyone has an opinion and this does not mean they are correct.

“I started playing for Haltwhistle Under 16s and ended up playing at Wembley, so everyone has the opportunity to do well as long as you have belief in your own ability.