AN ARSENAL man got his hands on the FA Cup a full week before his team contends for the prize.

Gunners fan John Fisher, 21, was among hundreds of people aged two years and upwards who queued to have their photo taken with the silverware of dreams, which is insured for £10 million.

The cup was at Asda Wal-Mart in North Swindon, on a meet-the-people visit organised jointly by the Football Association and the official beer sponsor of what is one of the world's best-known footballing competitions.

"The score in the final will be 4-1," said John, of Willow Herb Road, Haydon Wick, referring to his team's clash with Southampton next Saturday as he admired the gleaming trophy.

He added: "The cup is the Holy Grail. Personally, I never thought I would get so close to it, but my team will."

Joyce Arthur, 54, Asda Wal-Mart's events co-ordinator, said there was a big response to the cup's appearance.

She added: "The phones have been ringing off the hook and people were waiting for it two hours before it arrived.

"They ask 'is it the real one?', and we can assure them it is,"

The solid silver cup was never out of sight of two FA security guards, who took it to a store in Havant after its Swindon appearance.

"People can touch it, but not lift it," said FA representative Scott Holt, 28. "We leave the lifting to the footballers!"