SAINTS fans are being encouraged to gather in Guildhall Square this Sunday for a 40th anniversary parade in celebration of the 1976 FA Cup victory.

The actual open-top bus that carried the winning team on a victory tour around the city after the win over Manchester United has been restored to its original condition.

It will now feature in a throwback event to partly replicate the fanfare that greeted Lawrie McMenemy’s side on that incredible day.

It will all take place before Saints host Manchester City at 4.30pm.

Supporters can gather in Guildhall Square where the bus and the surviving members of the 1976 team – minus skipper Peter Rodrigues, who is unable to be there - will be in place from 2.45pm.

They will then, at around 3.20pm, start the parade towards St Mary’s and make their way along Marine Parade to the stadium.

“Get to Guildhall Square,” said organiser Mike Osman. “It’s a huge opportunity for everyone to come and see Lawrie and all the players. It would be fantastic to see everyone.”

Daily Echo: Phil in the mid-1970s and inset in 2011.

IT’S not only Lawrie McMenemy and his legendary Saints who will be back on the open top bus this Sunday.

Phil Burner was the Southern Daily Echo photographer lucky enough to be on the bus when it carried Saints’ 1976 heroes through the city 40 years ago.

And Burner, who retired after over 40 years service with the Echo in 2011, will be back on board this weekend.

“It should be good fun,” he laughed. “I remember the day in 1976 so well. I can still see streets and streets and streets all full of people – it was absolutely amazing.”

Burner wasn’t at Wembley to see Saints lift the cup, but got a call on the Saturday night to say he was on the bus the following day.

“I was in the office on the Saturday afternoon and had to go to the docks at about 5pm to do a job.

“I remember getting in my car and driving to the job – the streets were absolutely deserted. There were no cars, no people – everyone was inside watching the game.”

Burner added: “I had a big bushy beard in those days and I looked a bit like (Saints player) Nicky Holmes. People kept on asking me for autographs thinking I was Nicky! They wouldn’t take no for an answer.”