20th Sep, 2018

30 years ago today Coventry City won FA cup - and fans have chance to board winners' bus

Les Reid 16th May, 2017

IT was 30 years ago today that Coventry City won the FA Cup on their greatest day – and people can hop on the famed open-top bus that had 250,000 turn out on the city’s streets in celebration.

Coventry Transport Museum says it is offering a ‘unique’ opportunity for fans and the public to get on board the double-decker which transported the victorious Sky Blues players around the city the following day.

The bus now permanently resides at the venue in Millennium Place, city centre.

Billed as ‘Sky Blues Bus Day’, for one day only on Sunday (May 21), visitors will be able to board the unique vintage vehicle.

And original audio and TV footage will be piped through speakers and screens to transport ‘passengers’ back in time.

Cyrille Regis, one of the heroes of the Coventry team on May 16, 1987, said: “I had never seen anything like it – the final was a great game and to win it was a dream come true, but the actual bus tour was still one of the most incredible experiences of my life.

“There were mums, dads, the elderly, kids, cats, dogs…the whole of Coventry came out to see us.

“So this is a great opportunity for Coventry fans to enjoy a piece of history – it’s a brilliant idea by Coventry Transport Museum.

“The 1987 FA Cup Final was a professional highlight for me. And I hope this day brings back some great memories for supporters young and old.”

Francis Ranford, director of audience engagement at Coventry Transport Museum, said: “May 16, 1987 is a date forever etched in the mind of every single Coventry City fan – it was a proper ‘I was there moment.’

“And for those who couldn’t get tickets, seeing the team bring home to Coventry the famous old Cup was the next best thing.

“This is a one-off opportunity for fans to enjoy. We are absolutely thrilled to give supporters – new and old – a chance to learn more about that magical day 30 years ago.”

The original bus, a 1973 Daimler Fleetline bus, arrived at the museum a few weeks before the Wembley final.

The museum continues: “But workshop technicians – clearly sensing a victory under the old Wembley’s Twin Towers – worked on converting the bus to an open-top bus, painting the vehicle in Sky Blues colours.

“On the night of the final, around the time Brian Kilcline was collecting and lifting the famous trophy, the word ‘Winners’ was painted onto the bus.

“It was so fresh that it was still not fully dry the following day, when the triumphant team toured the city.”

Sky Blues Bus Day will be from 10am to 4.30pm. Each visitor is asked to make a minimum donation of £1 to board the bus.

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