The story of the season so far; Marine.
It has been remarkable by the little side from Crosby as the eighth-tier club have reached the famous third round of the FA Cup.
A collective effort which has seen the magic of the cup as alive as it has ever been before.
Bayleigh Passant, the lad who was pictured going the off license for some celebratory drinks, has been a pivotal figure for The Mariners.
The scouser will be the goalkeeper standing in the way of one of the greatest managers of all time, Jose Mourinho when Tottenham Hotspur come into town.
A fourth-round spot is up for grabs and Passant is as buzzing as the rest of the city for the chance to see the non-league club progress through and says the belief the team has is pivotal to why they have reached this far.
Marine have had to play a lot of games in the FA Cup to get to the third round having played seven all together starting with a 2-1 win against Barnoldswick Town which for Passant installed the belief into the whole side.
“When we scored the two late goals from the 88th minute in the qualifying first round and won 2-1 we all had great belief in what this team could go onto, we have a never say die attitude and fight to the last minute.”
Bayleigh Passant only joined Marine in the summer after being on the books of Tranmere for eight years then everything seemed to fall in to place for him after the effects of the worldwide pandemic.
“I was released from Tranmere because of the situation with COVID where they had to release more players than just myself, but personally for me when I joined Marine, I had the chance to play regular football at a good level and at a young age I knew it be hard for myself to break through at Tranmere with having two other keepers, I didn’t want to leave Tranmere but everything happens for a reason.”
“This pre-season I was training with Marine, was on loan last season at Runcorn linnets when I left them in early December, I wanted to go on loan to Marine from Tranmere that same season.
“I was lucky enough to know Alan Morgan (Assistant Manager) through my eight years at Tranmere and when Alan heard that I was released he spoke to the gaffer and rang me up, I didn’t hesitate at the chance to join as I knew the history of Marine and what a great team it is.”
Now Passant is part of the history for the great team that he joined, regardless of the result against Tottenham this side of players will be remembered forever for the momentous journey they have come on.
Getting to the third round has been great to watch and be apart of especially with the videos from the dressing room going viral singing Sweet Caroline making all the fans feel like they were there when they are unable to watch the special moments of winning each game happen before their very eyes.
Passant also went viral himself as he was pictured going the off license in his full kit to buy some more drinks, as they say you have got to be mad to be a goalkeeper.
“It was my birthday, just won the second round and wanted to celebrate with the lads.
“You can see the celebrations of the videos in the changing rooms and we couldn’t believe that we done it again in the last minutes of extra time.”
Being in the draw for the third round and watching in anticipation for your team to come out the hat is always an eagerly awaited and anxious watch even as a fan so when you are a member of the team waiting for a draw that will impact the club on a monumental scale it is a massive moment.
Bayleigh revealed who he watched the historic moment with saying: “I watched it at home with my parents, brother and sister and when we got drawn at home, we all waited for Robbie Savage to pick the next one, you could see his face light up and when he said Tottenham, we couldn’t believe it as Jose is one of the best managers in the world.”
Jose is one of the best and will be forever but maybe this trip to little old Marine will stay with him forever especially if the impossible happens and Marine go through with millions watching on with the game being shown on BBC.
When Bayleigh was asked about whether the team genuinely think they can pull off arguably the biggest FA Cup upset in modern times he said: “Yes as I said we have great belief in what we achieve going into every game, we have youth and experience throughout the team, and you don’t get to the third round of the FA Cup without having belief.”
Belief has been the key for the little team from Crosby and that will be the key for them all when they line-up in a game that for many will be the biggest in their careers so far.
With the whole city behind them the confidence is brewing and why should it not, Marine have made it this far.
Let’s hope that Passant will be going to the offy again to get a bit more than just a couple of packs of Moretti and Peroni for his teammates this time round.
A classy choice of beers for a classy team who have won everyone’s hearts and now Passant will be waiting to be the hero against one of the biggest teams in England.
England’s captain will be shaking in his boots.
And so he should be.
Sunday at five o’clock, the whole of Merseyside will be tuning in, you do not want to miss it.
By Elliot Thompson