Newcastle manager Eddie Howe will return to Wembley on Sunday looking to win the League Cup final against Manchester United in tribute to his late mother.
Howe is aiming to lead Newcastle to its first major trophy since the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.
However, as the 45-year-old walks out onto the Wembley turf, he will cast his mind back to the day his mother Anne took him to the national stadium as a child.
“She took me for a tour around Wembley as a five, six-year-old, lifting the fake FA Cup, walking out with the fake crowd noise. She was there doing that with me,” Howe told reporters.
“My football opportunity is all down to her, really, so certainly during this week, I’ll be thinking a lot about her and the part she played in my life.
“But those memories as a kid, I’ve never forgotten that day. Wembley for me was an amazing place, a place I was desperate to come back to in some capacity in football.”
Howe’s mother, who died in 2012 after a short illness, was a single parent who raised her children while holding down multiple jobs in order to provide for her family.
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She will be firmly in Howe’s thoughts at Wembley, where the Newcastle boss will have his three brothers and sister supporting him in the crowd on Sunday.
Her work ethic and dedication are traits Howe says he has inherited
“I’d say 99.9 per cent is all down to her because she was my driving force as a child,” Howe said.
“She was a massive, massive influence on me, and I’m doing everything now really because of her.”
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