And it remains a tournament that tugs at the heart strings like no other.
"I know what I felt when I had to go up the Wembley stairs to get the FA Cup," he said.
"The FA Cup represents the passion of football. It represents clean football. It represents the good smell of football.
"If you are in England, you feel it. You feel proud to be in football - even in the worst moments.
"That's pure football. That's the football you play as a kid in the street transported through time and space into organised competition and into the real world of football."