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05 November 2021


Coventry City F.C. and one of the club’s favourite sons, Cyrille Regis have played a crucial role in a new FA campaign celebrating the 150th anniversary of The Emirates FA Cup.

Earlier this week a large-scale light projection was displayed at Coventry Transport Museum, in support of a specially commissioned film produced by The FA and featuring two-time FA Cup winner, Ian Wright. The projection featured a line from the film script 'An Idea That Is Open To All' in reference to Cyrille Regis, a pioneer for players of black heritage, who's image lit up the home of the open-top trophy tour bus which transported him and his Coventry City teammates through the streets of the city after they won the competition in 1987.

The iconic bus was the last in a long line of buses manufactured by the famous Daimler Company before being acquired by the museum in 1986. A year later, Coventry City F.C. made club history by winning the FA Cup for the very first time. The team were part of one of the most memorable and talked about finals, beating favorites Tottenham 3-2 in a closely fought-out contest at Wembley. As a result, the bus was specially prepared and carried the victorious squad in front of thousands of grateful supporters.

Cyrille’s daughter Michelle visited the Coventry Transport Museum to mark the occasion and see the bus for the first time - sharing stories about that spectacular day with representatives of The FA and the museum.

The film has been released across The FA’s digital channels and brings to life the rich history and traditions of the competition, while highlighting the impact that it continues to provide at all levels of the football pyramid.

Supporting the film is a series of large-scale image projections up and down the country. Key figures and moments through the years have been displayed on landmarks that best depict the competition’s values alongside scripted lines from the film. These projection sites are:

  • Coventry Transport Museum – Cyrille Regis, a pioneer for players of black heritage, lights up the home of the open-top trophy tour bus which transported him and his Coventry City teammates through the streets of the city after they won the competition in 1987
  • The Oval, London – Charles W. Alcock features on the playing surface at the venue of the very first Final which was contested by Wanderers and Royal Engineers on 16 March 1872
  • Trulife Factory, Sheffield – Jamie Vardy participated in 13 of the competition’s 14 rounds when he lifted the trophy with Leicester City last season and is celebrated at his place of work when he appeared in it for the first time with Stocksbridge Park Steels in 2007
  • LNER Stadium, Lincoln – the home of Lincoln City, who became the first non-league team in 103 years to make the Quarter Finals when they faced Arsenal in 2017, securing their financial future and funding a new training ground complex
  • Marine Travel Arena, Merseyside – the 3,000 capacity ground ‘hosted’ 32,000 virtual ticket holders due to the Coronavirus pandemic when Marine AFC faced Tottenham Hotspur in the Third Round of last season’s competition. The fixture represented the biggest gap in league places [161] between teams facing each other in competition’s history and created a lasting legacy for both the club and local community

Mark Bullingham, The FA’s CEO, said: "The Emirates FA Cup may be 150 years old but it’s a competition that has never felt more relevant as it continues to lift the clubs, communities and supporters of more than 700 teams that take part each year. The competition has transformed the fortunes of many clubs and individuals over 15 decades and this campaign will highlight some of these life-changing stories."

Paul Breed, CEO of CV Life who operate Coventry Transport Museum, said: "We are delighted that the Coventry Transport Museum Is one of 5 venues across the UK chosen to be Included In this campaign. Welcoming Michelle to visit the museum, see the bus and share stories about that momentous journey in 1987 was a very special moment to mark the occasion."

Councillor George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, said: “I know I am biased but I’m sure most people would agree that Coventry’s 1987 FA Cup Final victory was one of the iconic finals of all time. The image of Cyrille image lifting the trophy is an iconic one but he was more than just a talented footballer of course. He blazed a trail for black footballers in England through his spellbinding goals and iron will, which transformed attitudes on and off the field."

The 150th anniversary of the competition will continue to be recognised and celebrated by The FA throughout the season, culminating in the Final at Wembley on Saturday 14 May 2022.

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