A council employee’s idea to name a new Leicester street ‘Wembley Road’ as a good luck omen ahead of the 1969 FA Cup Final finally paid off – more than 50 years later.
David Edwards was an engineer in the former City Engineer’s department when he suggested that the new road on a Leicester industrial estate was named after the famous old stadium to wish Leicester City luck, ahead of their 1969 Wembley showdown with Manchester City.
The ‘Wembley Road’ street signs went up in early 1969, just weeks before the big day on April 26.
But the hopes and dreams of thousands of Leicester fans were dashed that day, as the Foxes lost the game 1.0.
David, and Leicester fans everywhere, had to wait 52 years before their team made it to an FA Cup final again – but finally, in 2021, the Foxes brought the FA Cup home after a thrilling 1.0 victory over Chelsea.
Now, the original Wembley Road signs are being replaced with brand new signs that celebrate the Foxes’ achievement – and today David, who’s now nearly 90, joined Leicester City club ambassador Alan Birchenall to unveil them, just days before this year’s Wembley FA Cup Final.
“Back in 1969, I was responsible for designing the road network and the sewerage layout, preparing the drawings and the layout, and at the time the city were going to Wembley for the third time to try to win the FA cup”, he told the Leicester Times.
“Golf Course Lane is nearby and I thought, let’s have a sporting theme for this. Instantly I thought, ‘well city have gone to Wembley so let’s call it Wembley Road’. And that’s what I’ve done”.
“I’m very pleased because back in 1969 I chose the name hoping that they’d win, and then all these years afterwards they have” he added. “And I’m pleased”.
Mr Edwards wrote to the City Mayor last year to ask him if the street signs could be adapted to commemorate the victory, which was sealed when Youri Tielemans scored in the second half of the match.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby, a Leicester City season ticket holder himself, was happy to oblige.
“Winning the FA Cup for the first time in their history was a massive achievement for Leicester City and a huge day for City fans everywhere,” he said.
“When David contacted us, our highways team got to work straight away. The new signs will make sure that everyone driving down Wembley Road will be reminded of that magic day in 2021 when Leicester won the cup.”
“I was lucky enough to be there on the day and when Tielemans released that 30 yarder in the top corner and I nearly jumped out of my seat!” said Alan Birchenall, recalling the event.
“After the defeats we’ve had over the years, it was fourth time lucky, and the place went ballistic”.
“It’s a great day – a great day for David who’s pushed it along to get the acknowledgement of Wembley Road and FA Cup winners of 2021”, he said of today’s grand unveiling.
“It’s great for our city and it’s great for our football club as well, that the city acknowledges the sort of backing we’ve had from all Leicester City fans and also from the city council as well”, he added.
Wembley Road runs alongside the Braunstone Frith industrial estate and can be accessed via Scudamore Road.