Like 39,000 Huddersfield Town fans at Wembley and thousands around the globe, Dean Hoyle is “hoping and praying” for promotion at Wembley.
It’s the biggest game in world club football – worth an estimated £200m to the winner – and superstitious Hoyle joked that he’s “bricking it” ahead of the showpiece.
The match is the culmination for Hoyle of almost a decade of work in transforming Town’s fortunes, and he’s doing a charity cycle ride to London to replicate events of 2012, when Town won promotion at Wembley to the Championship.
“Let’s hope for the same result!” he beamed, admitting there will be a tear of pride in his eye, win or lose, at the final.
“This is a huge thing for Huddersfield Town and the magnitude is immense.
“Not being disrespectful to the FA Cup final, this game is bigger with a 220m TV audience, so it’s huge for the town of Huddersfield and we are 90 minutes away from achieving what many felt was impossible.
“It’s been a dream to be in this situation, a vision, but now it’s a reality and if our boys turn up and perform then win or lose they will do this town, this club and myself proud. I’m not an overconfident person, but if our boys turn up then we’ve got a really good chance.”
Hoyle believes the final will be tight but that Town are ready to cap a superb season – they finished fifth in the Championship and beat Sheffield Wednesday in the play-off semi-finals to reach Wembley.
“It’s been a wonderful, wonderful season, the best I can remember since 1979 when Mick Buxton got me hooked and my old friend Graham Johnson turned left instead of right in Heckmondwike and took me down Leeds Road to watch,” he said.
“Whether it’s in 90 minutes or with extra-time and penalties, who knows, but we are just all hoping and praying.
“Personally, whatever happens in the game I hope it’s decided by the right game of football and there is nothing controversial, because that would be heartbreak for either team.
“We wish Reading all the best, but I think everyone who has watched Town this season knows that if we perform, we are in with a really, really good chance.”
Hoyle says he is looking forward to the occasion but trying not to think about the result.
“I think I will have a tear in my eye regardless because there are 40,000 Terriers going down and if we get the ball over the line we are a Premier League club and the dream will have come true,” he said.
“If I’m chairman of the club and that happens then fantastic, because all I am is the custodian of fans’ dreams and if I can help make those dreams a reality then happy days.
“But it’s not down to me, it’s down to David (Wagner) and the boys.”
So what would a £200m injection do for Town as a club and the area in general?
“For the economy and for the football club it’s a huge step change – as it would be for Reading as well,” said Hoyle.
“It would put us firmly back on the map – this is a great club with great tradition and great history and, if we can do it now and reach the Premier League, everything will come true and I’ll be the proudest person in West Yorkshire.
“The incredible support shows how everybody has got behind the club and we are all just hoping we can get the ball over the line and bring Premier League football to this wonderful town.”