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Bristol City playing in a Wembley final? In the early 1980s, when the club suffered three successive relegations and reached the very brink
of going out of business, the idea would have seemed preposterous. Yet on May 24th 1986, thanks in part to a competition for Third and Fourth Division teams, which was still in its infancy, and just as importantly to a charismatic manager in Terry Cooper, who rebuilt the team on a shoestring
budget, 30,000 City fans gathered beneath the famous Twin Towers to watch the Robins take on Bolton Wanderers for the honour of lifting the
Freight Rover Trophy.
What a day – or for many a weekend – it proved. Cooper’s men graced the hallowed turf with a calibre of football way above Third Division standard as those in red-and-white looking on partied in the warm May sunshine. Little did they know that two members of the City team, centre-backs Keith Curle and David Moyes, would go on to play for England and manage Manchester United respectively.
Wembley Wonders is the story of one of the greatest days in City’s history and the build-up to it, told by a journalist, who was closer to the
manager and team than it is possible to be in these days of club media departments and websites. As City reporter for the Bristol Evening Post, Richard Latham travelled to Wembley with the players, stayed at the same hotel and actually watched the match against Bolton from the dugout.
Packed with behind the scenes stories, personal photographs and mementos, and including new interviews with every player in City’s 1986
Wembley squad, here is a book to treasure for those who were there on that unforgettable day – or wish they had been.