My Team & I: Coventry City

By Paul Price

Twitter: @Technical_area


Why Coventry City?

Growing up, I went through the usual childhood behaviour of being something of a glory supporter. Manchester United were my team, although I was never taken to see them play, and then I moved onto Blackburn Rovers. In 1995 I was taken to my first real domestic football match, as Premier League champions Blackburn came to Highfield Road to face Coventry in a league match. The Sky Blues shocked the visitors – and the rest of the country – by winning the game 5-0.

It was that day that I decided I should be a Coventry fan, and would start supporting my home town club. My Dad had supported them for many a year, following them around the country and all the way to FA Cup glory back in 1987. So I suppose it was always ultimately going to be where my loyalties were destined to lie. My decision was much to the disappointment of my Mum however, as the game took place in early December and she had already bought me some Blackburn merchandise for Christmas, only for me to come home and tell her that my allegiances had switched to Coventry City.

Favourite Player?

In today’s world of football, players move clubs all of the time, particularly at a club like Coventry so it’s difficult to even have a favourite player when the majority don’t stick around for much more than a few seasons. I’m a big fan of loyalty and work rate, and when you get neither it is rather disappointing.

My favourite of the current batch though is club captain Sammy Clingan. Signed from Norwich in 2009, he is a deep lying midfielder and somewhat of a dead ball specialist, or at least as good as they come at the bottom end of the Championship. By far our best player, but the best of a bad bunch it has to be said.

Favourite Game?

The game that brought us our only piece of notable silverware, the 1987 FA Cup final. Going into the half time break 2-1 down, Keith Houchen scored one of the best diving headers you will ever see to bring us back into the game for the second time. It took extra time to seal the win, with Tottenham’s Gary Mabbutt scoring an unfortunate own goal just six minutes into the first period. We held out to win the game 3-2 and for a number of years afterwards we had a club fanzine named “Gary Mabbutt’s Knee.”

Unfortunately though, I never got to see that game. It took place less than four months after I was born, so my only memories of the game are from what I have seen on television. As for a game I have actually seen, it would have to be the final game at our old home Highfield Road. Playing local rivals Derby County, it was the last game of the 2005 season and one we won 6-2 on a very emotional day for many of the fans. Dubbed the end of an era, it was Andrew Whing who scored the last ever goal at Highfield Road.

Favourite Kit?

Being The Sky Blues makes for a rather boring kit design. Apart from the odd stripe over the years, the majority of our shirts have been plain sky blue. Having said that the kit we are wearing this season is the first I have bought in many a year and is the best one I’ve seen for as long as I can remember.

What is our worst kit would be a more interesting question, with Coventry’s chocolate kit of the 1970’s being widely regarded as one of the worst football kits in history.

Worst Thing About Being A Coventry Fan?

How much space can I take up? Ultimately, the worst thing about being a Coventry City fan is the fact that we never have any money. In today’s world of football, success comes hand in hand with a healthy bank account, something that we have never had for as long as I have been following the club. For as long as I can remember we have always been involved in a relegation fight and financial ruin has never been further away than just around the corner.

Relegation in 2001 hit us hard, and now we are in the hands of owners unwilling (or unable) to pump money into the club and we reside in a stadium that we have to rent off the council, no matter how fantastic it is. All the various conventions held at The Ricoh Arena, all the concerts, even match day kiosk takings, the club see’s none of it.

As I right this, we are sitting second from bottom in The Championship, four points from safety and it seems administration could happen any day. Our club is in a bad way, with no money, a small and inexperienced squad and owners that promise to be transparent but are not. We need new owners, and we need to own the stadium.

Funniest Moment?
It has to be away day banter. The humour and creativity of an alcohol fuelled football fan is quite a thing. From singing songs questioning to telling Birmingham fans we were about to riot in a minute, away games are always a fun day out. One particular favourite though, is telling the home fans that “we are from Coventry, and we put cats in the bin,” in relation to the Coventry lady that put a cat in a wheely bin.

Favourite Moment?

Hopefully still to come. The day the club is taken over by a businessman who not only has money but also who cares for the club. I’m not after a billionaire owner, just someone who can come in, stabilise things and buy the stadium to secure the future of our football club.

Leave a Reply