THE BIGGEST MATCH IN THE FOOTBALL WORLD: Hungover Bono tunes in as birthday party goes flat

Nothing illustrates better the grip that English club football exercises on supporters across the globe than the clamour to see the FA Cup final. Independent correspondents shared the Wembley experience with fans from Sydney to Nairobi
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The Independent Online
"And you still haven't found what you're looking for." I said it to the guy sitting next to me, the one in yellow-tinted ski goggles who'd been shouting for Liverpool. He gave me his biggest grin of the morning, even though his team had just lost.

OK, so the bargirl had told me he was famous - "You, too, You, too," she kept saying. I'd been sitting next to Bono of U2 but, heck, he looked like just another hungover ex-pat to me. Actually, he was. Then they told me I was also sitting close to The Edge. Lost on me. I'm 40-something. But they tell me The Edge is famous, too.

"Been up all night. It was my birthday yesterday," Bono told me as the game kicked off. "We hit every club known to man, then we reckoned it was hardly worth going to bed. I'm sorry I look like shit."

"No probs, mate," I said. "You must have been with a lot of celebrities last night?''

"Nah, I try to avoid celebs," Bono said.

"Me, too," I said, "but they keep coming into my local."

That got me half a Bono-smile. I was referring to Churchill's, Miami's best British-style pub, where he and The Edge and a pair of skinny girls I'm told are world-famous models had appeared to watch the Cup final.

As always for big matches, the place was packed, even with a $15 entry fee. It's the only time Dave Daniels, the owner, makes any money. The fee is to cover his satellite subscription and for that Bono was able to tuck into bangers imported from Ireland, bacon, eggs, baked beans and toast.

I was downing pints of Guinness. Bono wanted vodka but Churchill's (despite the name) doesn't serve hard liquor. Kick-off time was 10am locally but, needless to say, Dave, the owner, managed to produce a bottle.

Bono and The Edge may be famous but Saturday was about football. Of the hundred or so expats who turned up at Churchill's pub, hidden away in Miami's Little Haiti district, few noticed the man in the yellow goggles. Those who did left him alone .

"Cantona, you should be at West Ham. You're wasted at Man United," yelled Gary Graham as the Frenchman wove his magic. "Up thee 'ammers," added Chris Hubbard, a businessman and West Ham fanatic who has lived in Miami for eight years.

To the Haitian immigrant kids who peered through the door, the football microcosm revealed the game at its best. As United players lifted the trophy, real Liverpudlians embraced real Mancunians. Dave Fanshawe, a 28-year-old security guard from Manchester, embraced Kenny Pugh, a 38- year-old Liverpool supporter, by the billiard tables when the final whistle blew.

Almost spontaneously Dave gave his United scarf to a local black girl, Donna, at the bar while Kenny pinned on her a Liverpool rosette.

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