On the 1st May 1976, against all the odds, Southampton FC beat the mighty Manchester United 1-0. Saints, a second division side at the time, were given no chance of winning and were expected to be trounced by the opposition. History shows that this wasn’t to be and Saints ran out worthy winners on the day. Following that famous victory the team rode in an open top bus around Southampton.
Hugh Fisher holding the FA Cup on top of the bus
The City of Southampton (Albion) Band at the time were regular performers at the Dell during match days. They were therefore asked to parade in front of the bus in the town. 40 years on and Mike Osman decided that he wanted to recreate this historic event and even managed to find the original bus that drove the players around that day. It was not in a great state of repair but with some love and care it was restored to its former glory. Many of the players who played on that day were able to join the anniversary celebrations and the band were asked to recreate their part in the day’s event as well.
Band playing in Guildhall Square
As it was back in 1976, the day turned out to be warm and sunny and a big crowd turned out at the Guildhall Square to welcome the old team back. Whilst awaiting the players arrival, the band entertained the crowd with a few tunes and had a rousing response to When The Saints Go Marching In. The bus then drove down close to St. Mary’s Stadium and the band then led the open top bus up to the stadium itself.
Band ready to parade in front of open top bus
3 members of the band playing today also played back in 1976 although only Irving Taylor still plays regularly for the band as principal trombonist.
For more pictures taken on the day please look at our gallery page.