EMMA HAYES feared she would end up giving birth at Wembley during Chelsea’s triumph over Arsenal in the 2018 Women’s FA Cup final.
And the Kingsmeadow boss, 45, says the contest — which was a big part of her childhood — will always remain dear.
Hayes and Chelsea are aiming to reach their third tournament final this yearCredit: Rex
Hayes says her favourite FA Cup final memory is being ten days away from giving birth to her son Harry when Chelsea beat Arsenal to win the trophy in 2018Credit: Getty
When asked what were her most memorable cup moments she recalled that 2018 final, saying: “My favourite Chelsea one was me ten days from giving birth to my son Harry.
“I remember sitting in the chair with us 3-1 up thinking, ‘Thank goodness, I don’t want an early labour’.
“I was so relieved because I could have gone into labour at any point.
“I probably shouldn’t have been there but I promised to remain calm.
“I think it’s one of the reasons why my son has adjusted so well to being a fan.
“It’s because he’s so used to being in the womb pitch side with me in really big moments!
“That’s why I think he’s so comfortable with crowd noise.”
The FA Cup, which Chelsea have won twice under Hayes, is a contest fondly regarded by the Blues chief in her current job and during her 2006 to 2008 stint as assistant manager of Arsenal.
Hayes added: “Even in my early years being at Arsenal with Vic (Akers) the FA Cup was always special, a special competition.
“It’s dear to me because it’s so entrenched in my childhood.
“And I’m from North London, and with Wembley, I’ve been there five or six times as a coach and I felt this is great, I’m used to being here, it feels quite homely.”
City have been boosted with winger Hayley Raso returning from injury.
Gareth Taylor’s Man City side are looking to retain the Women’s Cup following their triumph against Everton last year.Credit: Getty
But the hosts will be without midfielder Ruby Mace and Alanna Kennedy in defence, with both players cup-tied.
Boss Gareth Taylor said: “We were under the impression they could come back in because their previous teams were eliminated. It’s massively disappointing.
“What an opportunity for them to play in this game and that’s been taken away, but we move on and make the best of it. It’s a big challenge.”