THREE of the ambassadors who will helping to lead the bid are unveiled today.

They are legendary former Saints manager Lawrie McMenemy, Southampton-born singer songwriter Craig David and Shelina Permaloo, winner of BBC's MasterChef in 2012, cookery author and restaurateur.

Lawrie McMenemy managed Southampton Football Club from 1973-85 and oversaw one of the most successful periods in the club's history.

In 1976 he guided the team, then in the Second Division, to a famous FA Cup Final victory over Manchester United.

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Southampton then won promotion to the First Division and in 1984, finished runners up – their highest ever placing.

Lawrie signed some of the highest profile players of that era, including Kevin Keegan, Alan Ball and Peter Shilton.

In his role as a bid ambassador he said: "Southampton, everybody in the world has heard the name. Let’s show it off more.

"We have the biggest liners in the world come in here. People come in. They like it here. They stay here.

"I’m from the North. When I was offered the job, I took it. And that was 1973. And we fell in love with it very, very early on.

"When we won the FA Cup, people in football couldn't believe it. Because we were a second division team at the time. We were playing Manchester United, one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"I think it will be remembered forever if we get the City of Culture. This town has done everything right to deserve it.

"I liken it to the FA Cup, that went fantastically well. When we won the FA Cup, everybody came out.

"And I think this sort of thing will happen for the City of Culture as well. The whole area will want everybody to know what a good city this is.

"City of Culture. Let's do it."

Craig David rose to fame in 1999 and released his debut studio in 2000 and has released a further five,

He has worked with a variety of artists including Sting, Tinchy Stryder and Kano.

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Craig has 20 UK Top 40 singles and seven UK Top 40 albums. selling more than 15m records worldwide.

He has been nominated for 14 Brit Awards.

He said: "I am proud to be an ambassador for Southampton in the bid to become UK City of Culture 2025. I am passionate about our city.

"The inspiration for my first album Born To Do It came from experiences growing up in this special city.

"We have our fair share of challenges, especially now, but we who have been born and brought up here, and those who come from all parts of the world to make Southampton home, know how brilliant this city is at supporting each other and raising one another up during difficult times.

Our future is not yet written. So I say to everyone in Southampton ‘join in’, and I say to everyone else ‘join us – choose Southampton’.

Southampton born Shelina said: "I am so proud to be one of the Ambassadors for Southampton City of Culture bid.

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"Southampton is a beautiful city. I have such fond memories growing up. I remember the green spaces.

"I remember the playgrounds, I remember all my friends who come from such different backgrounds.

"With this bid, I think we're going to be able to get lots of hard to reach communities.

"And in doing that, harnessing everyone’s own abilities, their own creativity, thinking about how they in turn can make their city home as well.

"And if we won the bid, I think, collectively, that voice will be a shared voice of success, a shared voice of making Southampton our home.

"Funnily enough, when I won Master Chef, in all the press interviews, everyone was saying ‘Oh, so you’re from London’.

"I said “No, correction, I’m from Southampton’. And I made it a real point that I’m of Mauritian heritage but I’m from Southampton.

"I feel if we can all get behind it, we can certainly win the bid."