NOBODY has lived the FA Cup dream quite like Worcester City captain Graham Hyde.

Any young footballer's wish is to play in an FA Cup final at Wembley -- and Hyde did just that 12 years ago for Sheffield Wednesday.

The 34-year-old midfield veteran appeared as a substitute in the 1993 final against Arsenal that finished 1-1, taking to the field alongside Wednesday stars Chris Waddle, David Hirst and Chris Woods.

He also came off the bench days later, replacing Danny Wilson, when the Gunners triumphed 2-1 in the replay.

Andy Linighan was the unlikeliest of heroes that night, heading a dramatic last-minute winner in extra-time.

From the Sheffield side, only Hyde and midfield war-horse Paul Warhurst -- now at League Two side Wrexham -- have survived long enough to continue playing first-team football each week.

Many have stepped into management, such as Roland Nilsson, Nigel Worthington, Carlton Palmer and Wilson.

Hyde, 35 next month, admits he would love another FA Cup adventure, this time with Worcester.

He skippers City today in the third qualifying round tie against Tonbridge Angels at St George's Lane and professes to having a special connection with the competition.

"FA Cup games are always different," said Hyde. "I think everybody looks forward to them more than league games. It's because it's 'The Cup'.

"I've got some good memories of the FA Cup. Playing in the '93 final at Wembley was fantastic. It seems such a long time ago now.

"I'm fortunate to have played in the final. It's one of those things that, come the end of my career, I can look back and say I've been there and done it.

"I came on as sub in the final and the replay and remember them well. It went to extra-time and Arsenal scored from a corner with the very last kick of the game. That was disappointing, but it was still a great experience. I think almost all of the Wednesday players have hung their boots up by now."

Hyde was absent for City's 7-0 thrashing of Bemerton Heath Harlequins in the previous round as he tended to his father who had suffered a heart attack.

And victory over the sub-standard Wessex Division One outfit has proved to be Worcester's sole triumph in their last seven matches.

Hyde believes a decent FA Cup run can provide a source of confidence for City as they strive to overturn a poor start to the Nationwide North campaign.


Two successive wins, Hyde implies, can give the St George's Lane team the impetus they need to charge up the league table.

Hyde added: "Confidence is always important, whenever you play. It helps the forwards score goals and helps defenders keep clean sheets.

"Hopefully, we can get through in the FA Cup, get a bit more confidence and take that into league games.

"We know we need a few wins to start moving up the league. Everybody knows the position we are in.

"And we must get those sooner rather than later. Before we know where we are, it will be Christmas and half-way through the season.

"Not winning becomes a bit of a habit. It does not help our players or supporters. Everybody gets anxious, living on nerve-ends.

"As soon as you put one or two wins together it relaxes everyone and people can feel more comfortable about our situation."