25 Feb 2014
In - Football

Former Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton striker Mark Bright is a big fan of the FA Cup. He spoke to us after two of his former clubs fought it out for a place in the quarter finals at stake. Charlton came out victorious winning 2-1.

Bright played in excess of 170 games for Wednesday, scoring 67 times between 1992 and 1997 and proving a popular figure in these parts – particularly by dint of some special FA Cup moments.

The Stoke-on-Trent product went on to finish his playing career at The Valley, posting 34 appearances in two seasons between 1997 and 1999 for the Addicks and chipping in with ten goals.

Bright told Wednesday's match day programme: "You go through the games you played for those clubs and with Sheffield Wednesday it was an amazing time for me, in terms of going all the way to the FA Cup final.

"The chance to play at Wembley for either of these two sides is very real and you have to dare to dream. You just have to say, if we beat these and get another good draw, we could play X, Y and Z.

"If you get into the quarters, anything can happen."

Speaking on the FA Cup, Bright continued:

"People say they are not bothered and don’t want to be in the cup. All I say to that is, at the end of the season what are your memories of that season? If you stay up, there is always a great feeling to survive.

If you make the play offs, you say ‘great, we’ve made the play-offs’. If you get promotion you say ‘brilliant, we’ve got promotion’.

But for those clubs who have great cup run and you have an epic game against one of the big clubs, you always turn round and say ‘remember we had the cup run’.

"I’m not sure you would ever say ‘remember we survived’. You just talk about the glory. I can’t understand when managers have a chance and they field a weakened team. Last year nobody played more games than Bradford. They played so many games with a small squad, yet got to the League Cup final and got promotion.

"I’m an FA Cup man. I’ve been to two finals and both went to replays.

"I think it’s the best thing for any footballer because we all know you can be lucky and win the cup - but you can’t be lucky and win the Premier League."

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Away from the pitch, Bright is currently one of many high profile sportsmen who have signed up for Men United, a team that calls on men to join together in a movement against prostate cancer.

Of his work on this front, Bright said: "Over 80,000 men have taken the test. I’ve been involved for five or six years and its getting the kind of publicity now that it’s always craved for.

"If you reach the age of 45 plus you are at increased risk as a man. You don’t necessarily want to be, but you are in it, you are a statistic. You need to get yourself checked and look at the symptoms. If you are in any doubt whatsoever there is a helpline number, or go and see your GP.

"The partnership with The Football League has had a big impact and you can see the managers up and down the country wearing the badges. Then there is Movember. It’s good to be a part of something trying to make a change for the better.

"This is as important to men as breast cancer awareness is to women. It’s a huge deal."

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