Banbury United striker Chris Wreh wants to engrave his name in FA Cup folklore … just like dad Christopher did with Arsenal


CHRIS WREH knows all about the magic of the FA Cup.

Banbury striker’s father Christopher scored the goal which brought Arsenal to the final in 1998, where they beat Newcastle 2-0.

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Chris Wreh hopes to be an FA Cup hero for Banbury after his father Christopher won the semi-finals for Arsenal 23 years ago
Former Liberia ace Christopher Wreh peaked in his career when his goal knocked out Wolves for Arsenal in the 1998 semi-final

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Former Liberia ace Christopher Wreh peaked in his career when his goal knocked out Wolves for Arsenal in the 1998 semi-finalCredit: Rex

Wreh Snr, debauched from Monaco the previous year by boss Arsène Wenger, sank the Wolves as the Gunners won their first league and cup double since 1971.

And he was named in the starting XI on that sunny May afternoon at Wembley – alongside stars such as Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit and Marc Overmars.

Now his son is hoping to make a name for himself when Oxfordshire-based seventh tier Banbury plays host to League Two Barrow in front of ITV4 cameras on Saturday night.

Wreh, 25, said: “I was only two years old when my father scored in the semi-finals and played in the final, but what he achieved is anchored in me and in my family.

“It’s obviously part of my journey and I’ve seen all of my dad’s videos.

“The Barrow game will be a big day for me and it obviously brings to mind daddy’s story in competition.”

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Wreh started his career at Northampton Town before joining Arsenal academy – where his teammates included Alex Iwobi and Chuba Akpom.

He also played for Rushden & Diamonds, Aylesbury FC, Dunstable Town and Rushall Olympic, then joined Southern Premier Central from Banbury this summer.

Managed by former Coventry and Brighton ace Andy Whing, the Puritans are on a 19-game unbeaten streak – the longest in their history.

They have reached the FA Cup first round two seasons in a row and are aiming for the first time to qualify for the second round by beating ailing Barrow, who has not achieved a win for seven years.

Wreh, who has scored eight goals so far this campaign, said: “This will be the biggest game of my career, and we will work hard to cause an upheaval.

“But I have to forget it all, put it aside and do my best.”

Arsenal fan Wreh worked as a recruiting consultant before quitting his full-time job earlier this year to focus on his football career.

I am confident in my abilities and I believe that I can improve myself … He (my father) gives me advice and tells me where I can improve.

Chris Wreh

He said: “I knew Banbury was the right place for me to sign when I spoke to the manager.

“They help me develop because my goal is to try to play as high as possible in the leagues.

“I am confident in my abilities and believe that I can improve myself, so I hope to achieve it.”

Liberia-born Wreh Snr, 46, who also played in England’s lower leagues with Bishop’s Stortford and Buckingham Town, is back in his home country, where he is an assistant coach for the national team.

And the happy father will connect tonight from the capital, Monrovia, to watch his son.

Wreh said, “We have brief conversations about everyone he’s played with. But for me, he’s just my dad, so we don’t religiously talk about his football career.

“He gives me advice every now and then and tells me where I can improve.”

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