AS A WEST Ham player, Trevor Brooking was on the receiving end last time Town won in the fifth round of the FA Cup in 1972.
Now the FA’s director of football development, he’s hoping Andy Ritchie can repeat the feat of Ian Greaves, the manager who guided Town to a memorable 4-2 win over the Hammers at Leeds Road.
That was one of only two times in nine attempts since the War that Town have made it through round five to the quarter-finals (the other being in 1955, when Liverpool were beaten 2-0 at Anfield).
But while he has nothing against Chelsea, Brooking – now, of course, Sir Trevor – would be delighted if Town are in the bag when he oversees the quarter-final draw at 1.30 on Monday.
The 1980 FA Cup winner – he headed the only goal of the 1980 final for West Ham against Arsenal – believes the presence of 10 non-Premier League teams in the last 16 is great for the competition.
“Some have said that it would be good to see more of the big sides in the last 16,” he said.
“But from my point of view, I think it is better if you can get other clubs and other fans to experience a longer FA Cup journey.
“To have only six Premier League clubs left is amazing. And with the way that the draw has gone this year – with Arsenal playing Manchester United – one of the top four is guaranteed to go out.
“There are plenty of good stories to look out for in the fifth round with Huddersfield going to Chelsea and Bristol Rovers hosting Southampton.
“Certainly Middlesbrough (at Sheffield United) and Portsmouth (at Preston) have got tricky ties.
“Boro face a tough test on a Bramall Lane pitch that Manchester City found hard to deal with.
“And Dave Nugent, of Portsmouth, going back to Preston will be another little story to watch too.
“There are a number of teams outside the Premier League who could quietly find their way through to the semis or even final.”
The last non-top flight team in the final were Millwall, who lost 3-0 to Manchester United in 2003.
The Lions visit Town for a League I game on Tuesday.
Full FA Cup draw: Tomorrow (3.00 unless stated) : Bristol Rovers v Southampton (12.30), Cardiff v Wolves, Chelsea v Town, Coventry v West Brom, Liverpool v Barnsley, Manchester Utd v Arsenal (5.15). Sunday: Preston v Portsmouth (4.00), Sheffield Utd v Middlesbrough (2.00).