Home is where the Hart is in Shrewsbury Cup clash
Shrewsbury Town have been handed a mouthwatering home FA Cup tie with Premier League West Ham United.
The Montgomery Waters Meadow third-round clash will also bring the return of England goalkeeper Joe Hart to his boyhood club, 12 years after he departed.
And Hart took to Instagram to reveal his delight, posting a picture of him in his Shrewsbury days alongside the message: “That’s why the #facup is a magical competition.” He also put a picture of a house and a heart next to ‘#salop’.
Hart, 30, attended Oxon Primary School, followed by Meole Brace School, both in Shrewsbury, as a youngster.
The Manchester City loanee is not the only Irons connection with Shrewsbury, as former player David Moyes returns to the club he played for between 1987-1990.
Moyes, appointed at the London Stadium last month, does not have fond memories of a FA Cup third-round tie in Shropshire. He brought his Everton side to Gay Meadow in January 2003, where a Nigel Jemson double famously downed the Premier League outfit.
Paul Hurst’s side have enjoyed home success in the competition so far this season. They have beaten Aldershot and Morecambe to reach the third-round stage.
He said: “Having been drawn at home, we hope that the game will be a sell-out and it’s a nice reward for the fans.
“We know we will have to be at our absolute best to have any chance of causing an upset. It is something to look forward too in the new year, but we have a lot of games to concentrate on first.”
One day after his 17th birthday, he made his Town debut against Gravesend. Hart also played cricket for Shrewsbury.
After playing 58 times for Town’s first-team, he was swooped by Manchester City in 2006. He has made more than 300 appearances for the Etihad outfit, as well as becoming a two-time Premier League and FA Cup winner.
Chief executive Brian Caldwell added: “The draw against Premier League opposition certainly puts Shrewsbury in the spotlight once again which is great for everyone connected to the football club and the town.
“We also have the added interest of Joe Hart and David Moyes returning to the club so it’s sure to be a great occasion and one for everyone to look forward to.”
Wolves have been handed a home tie to top flight Swansea. Aston Villa welcome the winners of Woking or Peterborough and West Brom travel to Exeter or Forest Green.