AFTER supporting Newport County for the best part of 80 years, there’s only one place John Beal will be on May 12.

The 85-year-old, of St Julians, will be travelling to Wembley with seven other family members and friends to support the team in the FA Trophy final against York.

This is after going to watch his very first game at the age of five.

Due to his father Job and uncle Harry being ardent fans, Mr Beal followed in the family tradition attending matches weekly at the old Somerton Park ground.

This included watching County’s success during the 1938/9 season, when the club gained promotion to the Football League Second Division.

This is Mr Beal’s favourite memory of watching his team over the years.

He said: “I remember a lot of the older players, such as Albert Derrick.”

Mr Beal continued to watch matches until around 1944 when he went into the army, reaching the rank of sergeant and serving in India for three years.

He said: “I remember being in India in 1947 and hearing that County had lost 13-0 to Newcastle. I took a lot of jibes for that from my friends in the army.”

After coming out of the army in 1948, Mr Beal worked in a number of jobs including as a bus driver and in accounts but one thing remained the same – supporting Newport County.

Although he now only goes to a match every now and then, when he heard County was going to Wembley he said he knew he had to go.

The grandfather of three said: “I certainly wanted to go. It will be a great experience.

I’ve always followed them.”

Mr Beal will be travelling with his son-in-law David Stabler and two of his grandchildren, Robert Edmunds, 27 and Daniel Stabler, 17.