- Coventry City F.C.
Coventry City Full name Coventry City Football Club Nickname(s) The Sky Blues Founded 13 August 1883
(as Singers F.C.)
Ground Ricoh Arena, Coventry
Owner SISU Chairman Ken Dulieu Manager Andy Thorn League The Championship 2010–11 The Championship, 18thHome coloursAway colours Current season
Coventry City Football Club, otherwise known as the Sky Blues owing to the traditional colour of their strip, are a professional English Football league club based in Coventry. Coventry City were founding members of the Premier League in 1992.
They currently play in the Football League Championship, the second-highest tier of the English league system, having spent 34 consecutive seasons in the top flight First Division / Premier League between 1967 and 2001. Coventry currently hold the longest tenure in the Championship league of 11 consecutive seasons. Their only major trophy was won in 1987 when they beat Tottenham Hotspur 3–2 to win the FA Cup, listed by the FA as one of the 12 classic FA Cup Finals. They also reached two League Cup semi-finals in 1981 and 1990.
From 1899 to 2005, Coventry City played at the Highfield Road stadium. During the early-1980s it became the first all-seater stadium in English football, but by the end of the following decade the club's directors decided it was time to construct a larger stadium and chose a site in the Rowley's Green area of the city. The 32,609 capacity Ricoh Arena was opened in August 2005.
- 1 History in brief
- 2 Playing kit
- 3 Fans
- 4 Stadium
- 5 Current players
- 6 Backroom staff and club officials
- 7 Seasons, awards and honours
- 8 Notable players
- 9 Managers
- 10 Rivalries
- 11 References
- 12 External links
History in brief
- 1883 – The club is founded by employees of Singer, the cycle firm, with William Stanley one of the leading lights.
- 1898 – The club's name is changed from Singers F.C. to Coventry City.
- 1899 – The club move to Highfield Road following stints at Dowells Field and Stoke Road.
- 1901 – The club suffer their worst ever defeat with an 11–2 loss against Worcester-based Berwick Rangers in the qualifying round of the FA Cup.
- 1919 – The club are voted into the Football League, where they have remained ever since.
- 1928 – In the cold of February, and with Coventry struggling near the foot of Division Three South, the club's worst ever attendance is recorded. Only 2,059 turn up for the match against Crystal Palace.
- 1932 – Centre-forward Clarrie Bourton heads the Football League scoring lists with 49 goals. The following season he scored 40 goals.
- 1934 – City record their biggest ever victory a 9–0 league drubbing of Bristol City.
- 1936 – Coventry City win the Third Division South championship after a nail-biting final day 2–1 victory over Torquay United and return to Division Two after eleven years in the lower division.
- 1958 – Goalkeeper Alf Wood becomes the oldest player to start a game for the club, which this year was a founding member of Division Four (now Football League Two). He played against Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup aged 43 years and 207 days.
- 1961 – Former Fulham player and PFA chairman Jimmy Hill is appointed manager following an embarrassing FA Cup defeat at home to non-league King's Lynn.
- 1964 – Jimmy Hill guides Coventry to promotion from Division Three (now Football League One) as champions after a final day 1–0 victory over Colchester United.
- 1967 – Coventry City promoted as Second Division champions to the top flight for the first time in their history. This made manager and BBC Sport presenter Jimmy Hill a legend at the club. Coventry's record attendance was also set in this year – officially recorded as 51,455, (although many people who were at that game suggest the attendance was a lot higher, possibly much over 60,000) against Wolverhampton Wanderers, the team that finished a close second to Coventry at the top of the table.
- 1969-70 – Under Noel Cantwell, Coventry finish 6th in the First Division, their highest League placing.
- 1970 – Coventry qualified for the European Fairs Cup (now the UEFA Europa League) but lost 7–3 on aggregate in the second round to Bayern Munich, despite winning the second leg 2–1 at Highfield Road. In that year, Highfield Road became the first all-seater, floodlit stadium in the country.
- 1978 – The strike partnership of Ian Wallace and Mick Ferguson helped the Sky Blues finish in seventh position in the First Division, their second-highest ever final league placing, but fractionally missing out on a UEFA Cup place.
- 1981 – The club reaches the League Cup semi-final but are denied their first Wembley appearance by West Ham United. Highfield Road becomes the country's first all-seater stadium.
- 1987 – The Sky Blues won the FA Cup, beating Tottenham Hotspur in the final. It is their only major trophy to date. They were runners-up to Everton in August in the Charity Shield. Coventry also won the FA Youth Cup in this year.
- 1989 – Coventry were defeated by non-league Sutton United in the FA Cup Third Round. However, their impressive league form meant they equalled their best ever end of season placing, finishing in the top seven once more.
- 1990 – Coventry reached the League Cup semi-final for the second time, but were defeated by eventual winners Nottingham Forest.
- 1998 – The club reached the FA Cup quarter-final but were denied a semi-final appearance as Sheffield United (a league below them) won the replay at Bramall Lane on penalties. They also attained their highest Premier League finish of 11th position.
- 2001 – Coventry relegated from the Premier League after 34 years in the first tier. At the time, only Liverpool, Everton and Arsenal could boast longer tenures in the top flight.
- 2004 – Their football academy, based in southeast Coventry at The Alan Higgs Centre, owned by the Alan Higgs Centre Trust, was opened in September 2004.
- 2005 – Coventry relocated to the 32,609 seater Ricoh Arena after 106 years at Highfield Road. The club's last game at Highfield Road stadium results in a scintillating 6–2 win over Midlands rivals Derby County in front of a sell-out 23,000 crowd.
- 2007 – Coventry narrowly avoided administration when Ray Ranson and hedge fund managers SISU took over the club with twenty minutes to spare.
- 2008 – The club celebrated its 125th anniversary. They avoided relegation to League One despite being beaten 4–1 at Charlton on the final day of the season.
- 2009 – The first ever complete sell-out of the Ricoh Arena was announced for the FA Cup quarter-final match against Chelsea on 7 March 2009 which Chelsea won 2–0.
- 2010 – The Ricoh Arena was selected to host matches of the London 2012 Olympics.
- 2011 – Coventry unveil a statue of former manager and Sky Blues' legend Jimmy Hill next to the ground and attain the longest tenure (11 consecutive seasons) within the Football League Championship division.
- 2011 – Coventry fans start protesting for SISU to go. But SISU want to stop these protest with the use of "Response Officers" wearing orange jackets.
Coventry's home shirts are now always sky blue. However this hasn't always been the case. During the 1880s and 1890s, the club used black and red. Sky blue was first used by Coventry in 1898, the sky blue theme was then used until 1922, the colour made its return in 1962 thanks to the then manager, Jimmy Hill. In the 2008–09 season, Coventry used sky blue and white stripes, a design that was used three times that decade. This is a contrast to the late-1990s where sky blue and navy stripes were chosen three times. To mark the 125th year of the club, Coventry wore a special brown shirt in the last home game of the 2008–09 season against Watford.
Former Players' Association
In February 2007 a Former Players' Association was launched. Set up by club historian and statistician Jim Brown, former 1980s player Kirk Stephens and a committee of enthusiastic volunteers, its aim was to bring former players of the club together and cherish their memories. To qualify for free membership players have to have made at least one first team competitive appearance for the club or been a manager. Members are entitled to a ticket for any home league game.
Around 50 former stars of the club attended the launch including Coventry City legends George Hudson, Cyrille Regis, Charlie Timmins and Bill Glazier. The association's first newsletter was published in autumn 2007 and a website www.ccfpa.co.uk had been launched. The launch of 2007 was followed by subsequent Legends' Days in 2008 and 2009. The 2009 event, held at the home game against Doncaster Rovers was attended by 43 former players including the first visit to Coventry for many years of Roy Barry and Dave Clements. In December 2010 the association had 176 members.
SISU Out Protesters
In August 2011, after Coventry City fans became tired of broken promises from SISU, Coventry fans started to protest for the removal of SISU. Protests took place at the Jimmy Hill Statue at the Ricoh Arena before games but limited numbers turned out.However after these games the number of protesters grew and so did the number of banners. After protesting near the rear entrance, the fans moved into the lobby and start chanting "SISU OUT" at which point a large number of "Security Response Guards" attacked the protesters and one fans camera ended up being broken. These protests were captured on film on YouTube and Featued on The Coventry Evening Telegraph  They also featured on football review, Midlands Today  and also on Mercia Radio.
To this day fans get banners into the ground and put them up to protest again SISU, who still use the Response Team to get the banners out.
Sky Blue anthem
The club song was written in 1962 by manager Jimmy Hill and director John Camkin. It was launched at the home game with Colchester on 22 December 1962 (a match abandoned at half-time because of fog) with the words printed in the programme. It quickly became popular with supporters during the epic FA Cup run in 1963 when the then Third Division team reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup before losing to eventual winners Manchester United. To the tune of the Eton Boating Song;
- Let's all sing together
- Play up, Sky Blues
- While we sing together
- They will never lose
- Proud Posh or Pompey
- Oysters or anyone
- They shan't defeat them
- They'll fight 'til the game is won!
- City! City! City!
- Lets all sing together
- Play up, Sky Blues
- While we sing together
- We will never lose
- Tottenham or Chelsea
- United or anyone
- They shan't defeat us
- We'll fight 'til the game is won!
- City! City! City!
106 years at Highfield Road
Coventry City began playing at the Highfield Road stadium in 1899, although the club did not buy the freehold to the site until 1937. The record crowd at the ground was on 29 April 1967 when 51,455 watched the Second Division title decider against Wolverhampton Wanderers. This was more than 6,000 more than the previous record set against Aston Villa in 1938. Although many people who where at that game suggest the attendance was a lot higher, possibly much over 60,000. Supporters climbed onto the roofs of the stands and up the floodlights. The ground has an interesting history. In 1940 the main stand which backed onto terraced houses in Mowbray Street was bombed by the Luftwaffe, heavy turnstiles from the ground and gas meters from houses in Mowbray Street were discovered in Gosford Park some 500 yards away. In 1968, the main stand burnt down and its replacement was built within four months. In 1981 Highfield Road was converted into England's first ever all-seater stadium with a capacity of around 24,500, which many criticised as killing the atmosphere of the ground. Some seats were removed a few years later. It had been gradually upgraded since then, with the final phase of work being completed in the mid-1990s, including two fully enclosed corners. The final game played at the great stadium was against Derby County on 30 April 2005, with Coventry hammering Derby County, winning the game 6–2. Many great players graced the turf of Highfield Road, on an emotional day, the final goal at Highfield Road was fittingly scored by a homegrown youngster Andrew Whing. Other goals came from Stern John, Dele Adebola and Coventry-born player Gary McSheffrey, who scored two of the goals. One of these was from a penalty given away by the ex-City captain Mo Konjić. The land on which the stadium once stood is now a housing estate.
Relocating to Ricoh Arena
For the 2005–06 season, Coventry City moved to the new 32,609 capacity Ricoh Arena after 106 years at Highfield Road. In 1998, the club had decided that it was time to relocate to a new stadium in the Rowleys Green area of the city, three-and-a-half miles north of the city centre and close to junction 3 of the M6 motorway. The original plan was for a state-of-the-art 45,000-seater, multipurpose stadium with removable pitch and retractable roof. It was due to be ready for the 2001–02 season and was touted to be one of the finest and most advanced stadiums in Europe. However, the club's subsequent relegation, financial problems, financier/contractor withdrawals and England's failure to secure the 2006 World Cup competition led to a radical redesign. The resulting stadium was built to a standard and somewhat uninspiring bowl design with steep stands, in line with several other new stadia builds during this period, though it is said to generate excellent acoustics (and has been used to host several major rock concerts). Despite initiating the project and being the principal attraction there, Coventry City's financial situation means that they no longer own the stadium and must pay rent to use it, this could appear to raise concerns over the managing of the clubs financies by previous club officials, as, as of the year 2001 the club were the fourth longest serving club in the top flight of English football.
The stadium naming rights were originally sold to Jaguar Cars which has strong links with Coventry. Jaguar pulled out of the project on 16 December 2004 and a new major sponsor was needed. A £10 million deal, which included naming rights, was signed and electronics manufacturer Ricoh became the new chief sponsor for the stadium. The project was funded largely by Coventry City Council & the (Alan Edward) Higgs Charity (of which former CCFC and ACL director the late Sir Derek Higgs was a trustee), and includes shopping facilities, a casino, exhibition halls and a concert venue.
At the beginning of the 2005–06 season, construction delays at the ground forced Coventry City to play their first three games of the season away and postpone their home games. On Saturday 20 August 2005, City hosted Queens Park rangers in the first-ever game at the Ricoh Arena. Coventry won the game 3–0, the first goal at the Ricoh Arena being scored by the Faroe Islands international Claus Bech Jørgensen with an 11th-minute diving header. Dele Adebola then added two more for the Sky Blues.
On 28 July 2011, a statue of Jimmy Hill was installed at the main entrance to the Ricoh Arena with Jimmy appearing in person to unveil it.
First team squad
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
No. Position Player 1 GK Joe Murphy 2 DF Richard Keogh 3 DF Chris Hussey 4 MF Sammy Clingan (captain) 6 DF James McPake 7 MF David Bell 8 MF Carl Baker 9 FW Lukas Jutkiewicz 10 FW Freddy Eastwood 11 MF Gary McSheffrey 12 MF Gary Deegan 13 GK Chris Dunn 14 FW Cody McDonald 15 DF Martin Cranie 19 MF Roy O'Donovan No. Position Player 22 FW Clive Platt 23 GK Danny Ireland 24 DF Richard Wood 26 DF Jordan Clarke 27 FW Shaun Jeffers 28 FW Callum Wilson 30 DF Nathan Cameron 31 DF Cyrus Christie 32 MF Conor Thomas 33 GK Lee Burge 34 MF Gael Bigirimana 35 MF Josh Ruffels 36 DF Aaron Phillips 37 DF Jordan Willis
- As of 4 July 2011.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
No. Position Player GK Shane Fagan DF Joe Henderson DF Alex Donald DF Joe Pegg DF Ricky Fletcher MF Will Roberts DF Jack Green MF Lewis Rankin No. Position Player MF Jemal Wiseman MF Louis Garner FW Billy Daniels MF Jake Parnell FW Jonson Clarke-Harris FW Courtney Richards FW Ben Maund
Backroom staff and club officials
Name Position Andy Thorn Manager Steve Harrison Assistant Manager Steve Ogrizovic Goalkeeping Coach Michael McBride Physiotherapist Steven Lilley Assistant Physiotherapist Donald Barron Performance Analyst Paul Travis Assistant Performance Analyst Gregor Rioch Academy Manager Richard Stevens Assistant Academy Manager Lee Carsley Under 18s Coach Mark Noon Academy Coach Andy Crabtree Academy Coach Pete Tierney Academy Coach Mark Fogarty Academy Recruitment Name Position Ken Dulieu Chairman John Clarke Vice Chairman Onye Igwe Director Leonard Brody Director Tim Fisher Director Mark Labovitch Director Joe Elliott Life President Mike McGinnity Life President Pam Hindson Club Secretary Jim Brown Club Historian and Statistician
Seasons, awards and honours
* Season in progress.
Other club honours (before 1968)
Official Hall of Fame
Player Apps Goals Dave Bennett 187 33 Brian Borrows 474 13 Clarrie Bourton 241 181 Willie Carr 280 36 Mick Coop 485 22 George Curtis 534 13 Jimmy Dougall 237 14 Dion Dublin 168 72 Player Apps Goals Ron Farmer 311 52 Mick Ferguson 141 57 Ian Gibson 101 14 Bill Glazier 402 0 Frank Herbert 200 89 George Hudson 129 75 Ernie Hunt 166 51 Tommy Hutchison 353 30 Player Apps Goals Mick Kearns 382 15 Leslie Jones 144 74 Jock Lauderdale 182 63 George Lowrie 85 59 Ernie Machin 284 39 George Mason 350 8 Reg Matthews 116 0 Steve Ogrizovic 601 1 Player Apps Goals Trevor Peake 330 7 Ronnie Rees 262 52 Cyrille Regis 274 62 Richard Shaw 338 1 Danny Thomas 123 6 Ian Wallace 138 60 Alf Wood 246 0
- Highest fee paid: Craig Bellamy, £6,500,000 in 2000 from Norwich City
- Highest fee received: Robbie Keane, £13,000,000 in 2000 to Internazionale
- Last goal at Highfield Road: Andrew Whing
- First goal at Ricoh Arena: Claus Bech Jørgensen
- Most appearances (all competitions): Steve Ogrizovic, 601 (1984 to 2000)
- Most appearances (league): Steve Ogrizovic, 601 (1984 to 2000)
- All-time top scorer (all competitions): Clarrie Bourton, 182 goals (1931–1937)
- All-time top scorer (league): Clarrie Bourton, 173 goals (1931–1937)
- Top-flight era top scorer (all competitions): Dion Dublin, 72 goals (1994–1998)
- Top-flight era top scorer (league): Dion Dublin, 60 goals (1994–1998)
- Most goals by one player in a game: Cyrille Regis, 5 (vs Chester City, 1985), Arthur Bacon, 5 (vs Gillingham, 1933), Clarrie Bourton, 5 (vs Bournemouth, 1931)
- Most goals by one player in a season: Clarrie Bourton, 50 (1931–1932) 49 league, 1 F.A. Cup.
- Most goals by one player in a season in the top flight: Dion Dublin, 23 (1997–1998), Ian Wallace, 23 (1977–1978)
- Oldest player: Alf Wood, 43 years 207 days (vs Plymouth Argyle, 1958)
- Youngest player: Jonson Clarke-Harris, 16 years 20 days (substitute vs Morecambe, 2010)
- Youngest player to start: Brian Hill, 16 years 273 days (vs Gillingham, 1958)
See also Category:Coventry City F.C. managers
- William Stanley (1883–1885)
- Hary Hathaway (1885–1887)
- J.G Morgan (1887–1892)
- Teddy Kirk (1893)
- George Maley (1893)
- Joe Collins (1893–1895)
- Tom Cashmore (1895–1900)
- Ben Newhall (1900–1902)
- Michael O'Shea (1902–1905)
- Joe Beaman (1905–1908)
- Walter Harris (1908–1909)
- Harry Buckle (1909–1911)
- Robert Wallace & committee (1911–1914)
- Frank Scott-Walford & committee (1914–1915)
- H.Howard & committee (1915–1916)
- William Clayton (1917–1919)
- Harry Pollitt (1919–1920)
- Albert Evans (1920–1924)
- Harry Harbourne (caretaker) (1924–1925)
- James Kerr (1925–1928)
- VACANT (March 1928 – June 1928)
- Jimmy McIntyre (1928–1931)
- Bill Slade (caretaker) (1931)
- Harry Storer (1931–1945)
- Dick Bayliss (1945–1947)
- VACANT (April 1947 – June 1947)
- Billy Frith (1947–1948)
- Harry Storer (1948–1953)
- VACANT (November 1953 – January 1954)
- Jack Fairbrother (1954)
- Charlie Elliott (caretaker) (1954–1955)
- Jesse Carver (1955)
- George Raynor (1956)
- Harry Warren (1956–1957)
- Billy Frith (1957–1961)
- Jimmy Hill (1961–1967)
- Noel Cantwell (1967–1972)
- Bob Dennison (caretaker) (1972)
- Joe Mercer (1972–1974)
- Gordon Milne (1974–1981)
- Dave Sexton (1981–1983)
- Bobby Gould (1983–1984)
- Don Mackay (1984–1986)
- George Curtis (1986–1987)
- John Sillett (1987–1990)
- Terry Butcher (1990–1992)
- Don Howe (caretaker) (1992)
- Bobby Gould (1992–1993)
- Phil Neal (1993–1995)
- Ron Atkinson (1995–1996)
- Gordon Strachan (1996–2001)
- Roland Nilsson (2001–2002)
- Trevor Peake (caretaker) (2002)
- Gary McAllister (2002–2003)
- Eric Black (2003–2004)
- Steve Ogrizovic (caretaker) (2004)
- Peter Reid (2004–2005)
- Adrian Heath (caretaker) (2005)
- Micky Adams (2005–2007)
- Adrian Heath (caretaker) (2007)
- Iain Dowie (2007–2008)
- Frankie Bunn & John Harbin (caretakers) (2008)
- Chris Coleman (2008–2010)
- Aidy Boothroyd (2010–2011)
- Steve Harrison & Andy Thorn (caretakers) (2011)
- Andy Thorn (2011–)
Coventry City's rival clubs are:
- Aston Villa : Historically Coventry's main rivals.
- Leicester City : 'M69 Derby' (named the 26th fiercest rivalry in English football in an in-depth report by the Football Pools in 2008)
- Birmingham City
- ^ City face Aldershot on 125th anniversary Coventry City FC, 12 August 2008
- ^ "Coventry City Factfile: Ricoh Arena". Sky Sports. http://www.skysports.com/football/venue/0,19753,11065_5,00.html. Retrieved 4 August 2008.
- ^ "Classic Cup Finals". The Football Association. http://www.thefa.com/TheFACup/FACompetitions/TheFACup/History/HistoryOfTheFACup/1987CoventryTottenham. Retrieved 8 August 2008.
- ^ "Frozen in time: 7 January 1989 – Sutton upset Coventry in the FA cup". The Guardian. UK. 8 January 2006. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2006/jan/08/features.sport22.
- ^ "The Alan Higgs Centre". RHWL architects. http://www.rhwl.co.uk/project_111.aspx. Retrieved 20 October 2007.
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uCPMxsQgTo&feature=related SISU protest
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrGGGmlnvJY Guards removing banner
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuAi871RqH0&feature=related Jimmy Hill Protest
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uCPMxsQgTo&feature=related Rear Protest
- ^ http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/2011/08/22/coventry-city-fans-stage-protests-outside-london-s-sisu-hq-and-ricoh-arena-92746-29279725/ SISU Out Protests
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxXIoSMdqtk SISU Out Video Midlands Today
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XTKm3gcqe0 Banner Being Removed
- ^ Ricoh Arena
- ^ "Team". Coventry City F.C.. http://www.ccfc.co.uk/page/TeamHome/0,,10269,00.html. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
- ^ "News: 2011/12 squad numbers announced!". Coventry City F.C.. 20 July 2011. http://www.ccfc.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10269~2397498,00.html. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
- ^ a b c d Hall of Fame Coventry City FC, 29 May 2007
- ^ Football Rivalries Report 2008 The New Football Pools
- Official club website
- Coventry City F.C. on BBC Sport:
- Sky Sports Coventry City
- Coventry City Former Players Association
- Unofficial website dedicated to the Academy Under 15s team for the 2011/12 season
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