Soapbox: goodbye to Coventry? With any luck …

Thirty-five years is a long time to hold a grudge. When it comes to Coventry City, and especially a past chairman, Pete Sixsmith manages it with ease, even if some Coventry fans have spectacularly misunderstood what it is he’s saying (ie that he’d be happy to see them relegated, not forced out of existence – sadly, many later comments became so abusive that all were temporarily blocked; I have lifted the ban but will keep an eagle eye on content) …

As Papiss Cissé swaps the backwater of Freiburg for the cauldron of the Sports Direct Arena, we Sunderland fans are sitting back waiting for a first move in the transfer market. A number of younger players (and Trevor Carson) have gone out on loan and it is interesting to see where and reflect on what connections those clubs have with Sunderland.

Louis Laing has gone to Wycombe, who gave Martin O’Neill his first stab at league management. Ryan Noble has gone to Derby, where the son of MON’s mentor is the current manager. Carlisle have looked after our players in the past and Jordan Cook has gone there, while John Egan’s move to Palace has a Forest connection through its manager, Dougie Freedma.

The market is very slow at the moment and it looks like the bigger clubs are hardly bothering. QPR seem to be in the market for Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all, and having watched the dismal performance they turned in against Franchise FC (aka MK Dons), it is easy to see why.

Unbelievably, Shaun Wright-Phillips was awarded “The Budweiser Man Of The Match”, presumably due to his inability to put the Dons out of their agony by missing as many chances as possible. A real candidate for the most over rated player of the century.

Here in the North East, we are watching Darlington go through their death throes. At time of writing, they have three hours to go before the administrator liquidates them and Darlington FC ceases to exist.

The blame for their demise is being heaped on the decision of Sunderland-born George Reynolds’s decision to build a 25,000 seat stadium for a club that, in a good year, averaged 5,000. The death has been long and drawn out and really started the day they left cosy Feethams for the stadium now known as The Northern Echo Darlington Arena.

To get the best out of Salut! Sunderland, click here for the home page and bookmark it. That way, you see all the most recent articles …

Another club playing in an Arena and facing difficulties on and off the pitch are Coventry City. They swapped anonymous Highfield Road for the footballing hotspot that is The Ricoh Arena and have been sliding further and further back in the football pecking order ever since.

They are now rooted at the bottom of the Championship, have a financial situation that would make even George Osborne sit up and take notice and are clearly on a one way ticket to Palookaville. For many Sunderland fans, there is a delicious irony in their situation.

Thirty five years ago, at the very end of the 1976-77 season, they stayed up by one point and we went down. Nothing unusual in that; if we harboured grudges against every team who have finished above us in our (too) many relegation seasons, we would be completely paranoid. But this one still sticks in the craw.

We had looked doomed in January and then finding, inspired by the triumvirate of Messrs Rowell, Arnott and Elliott, we went on a run that took us to the edge of safety. The final games of that season were played on a Thursday night. We went to Everton on 34 points; Coventry City on 34 played Bristol City on 34 at Highfield Road.

All we needed was for one of them to lose and, irrespective of our result, we would stay up. If we drew and they drew, we would stay up due to our superior goal difference. The odds were stacked in our favour. The only combination that would send us down was for us to lose and them to draw.

We duly lost 0-2 to Everton, turning in a nervous display, but the interesting news from Coventry was that they had kicked off 15 minutes later than the Goodison game because of “crowd congestion”. So, when our game finished, both Coventry and Bristol knew what was required of them.

Their game had been a real blood and thunder affair and, after 75 minutes, was tied at 2-2. Then, the Coventry chairman, one Jimmy Hill, gave clear instructions that the Sunderland score be put up on the electronic scoreboard and what had been a tense clash suddenly became something akin to a “fight” between the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz and Mr Humphries from Are You Being Served?.

We went down and Hill was cleared by a Football League Tribunal of influencing the result. But we have long (and bitter) memories here in the North East . Hill was given some choice abuse at Fulham a couple of years ago when his chin hove into view in the Riverside Stand and Sunderland fans of my generation have longed to see the demise of Coventry City (see Pete’s definition of demise here).

Despite their cup win in 1987 and the way they looked after Jordan Henderson for us, that bitterness and bile remains and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing them turn out at Victoria Park, Hartlepool next season and maybe at The International Stadium, Gateshead the year after that.

Interesting game for us on Saturday as Swansea make their first appearance at the SoL, fresh from that excellent win over Arsenal. It is also an opportunity to welcome back Colin Pascoe, who played an important part in re-establishing us as a serious club under Dennis Smith. A good test for MON.

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103 thoughts on “Soapbox: goodbye to Coventry? With any luck …”

  1. As my mate said to me yesterday “For the last 35 years, when i hear the football results on a Saturday afternoon, I hope that the words Coventry City precede the word “nil.”Any proper Sunderland supporter over a certain age will feel the same as Pete Sixsmith does. The internet can easily create the impression of a distorted view. I don’t know of any fans of were cogniscent of events at the time who feel any different.

    Coventry City were a disgrace back then, and pitiful now. Enjoy League 1.

  2. Phil. I think your last posts just sum up the measure of the man.

    Down, down, down to League 1 (and then League 2), you jolly well go. The best grudges are those that remain firm the longest.

    Good riddance as Pete said at the start of the show.

  3. My final point, on this subject, was that the FA investigated the complaint and Coventry were found GUILTY of the charge.

    Did they, then, have points deducted?

    Did they, then, receive a fine?

    The answer, to both questions, is NO!

    They were warned “not to do it again”

    Guess, though, who was allowed to sit, on the FA panel, investigating the charge & determining the penalty?

    You’ve got it in one!

    James William Thomas “Jimmy” Hill.

    You couldn’t make it up!

    • … knows why his comment – one profanity and one insult in just 10 words – cannot be published. Perhaps he will try again.

      • It would be wonderful to be able to believe that it was the same Jimmy Hill we have been discussing.

        I, actually, attended a charity event many years ago, with each of the seven courses, at dinner, having been cooked by a different (top ranked) chef, which was followed by an auction.

        The auctioneer was Hill and, as I had a table directly in front of him, managed to shame him into paying £140.00 for a rack of lamb.

        He did not want to enter the auction and was VERY displeased that I forced him into doing so!

  4. There’s been a lot of bile spouted here by some very bitter CC fans. They should remember that if was THEIR club and THEIR chairman that conspired against us all those years ago. Despite the plain facts of their joint malfeasance, and their unquestionable guilt in the matter, the villain of the peace, as they see it is Pete. What a load of cobblers!

    I’m not sure whether their indignation (which is completely unjustified in my opinion) is;

    a) aimed at Pete for holding a grudge at all
    b) the fact that it has been held for so long
    c) that they are embarrassed at being reminded of it after so many years

    For the record, Coventry City avoided relegation that year and for many years later. The skin of their teeth must have been worn down to gums by their end of season escape act which went on for years. Had they gone down back in the 76/7 season they would probably have never been back up. What a blessing that would have been. I wonder have any of these CC fans ever seen a decent game of football since 1976?

    Very few of them posting on here have done anything than point an angry finger at Pete, when they are the guilty ones.

    I started off with this thread thinking the relegation to the third tier would be something that we could enjoy. Well to hell in a handcart to their piffling little wart of a club. Hope the receivers are called in and they go to the wall. Dustbin of a club in a dustbin of a city.

    • “I wonder have any of these CC fans ever seen a decent game of football since 1976?”

      I think that most of them would have been happy with the result of the FA Cup Final, in 1987.

      However, I wonder, if they would have had the players to achieve that, if they had not cheated in 1977, or would they then have been in The Conference?.

  5. “The only combination that would send us down was for us to lose and them to draw.

    We duly lost 0-2 to Everton”

    Never mind every other point you dropped that season, you also lost when all you had to do was draw.

    You went down because you were forced to rely on another team’s result. You had to rely on another team’s result because you had not picked up enough points throughout the rest of the season. Simply put – you were not good enough. The only people responsile for Sunderland’s relegation that year are the players and the management.

    Get over it.

    • OK, I can accept the argument about points, over a season.!

      However, after an abysmal start, we garnered more points (IIRC) than Liverpool, the eventual champions, from the beginning of January and to be CHEATED, at the death, of course, sticks “in the craw”.

      Your use of “us”, “them”, “We” then then, finally “you” would suggest that “you” were, never, going to have an objective opinion, on the matter.

      I would assume, from your school reports, that you are familiar with the term “Must try harder “.

      How can I, attempt, to disagree?

  6. Litstad: yes you were, but only if you refused to read on to his explanation of what he actually wants to see: .Coventry’s demise as a FL club. Football is full of hyperbole – “concede a goal now and we’re dead” and the rest of it – but I do accept that if I am to criticise the minority of Coventry supporters who came here with little more than neanderthal abuse (you haven’t seen some of the comments I disallowed), I should also acknowledge that Pete left himself open to misinterpretation. For the record, once again, I do NOT long for the liquidation of Coventry or any football club and, in reality, wouldn’t cheer or even smile if they went down or out of the league. Thirty-five years simply seems, to me, too long a period to hold a grudge (ask Martin Carthy how he now feels about the similar grievance he harboured against Paul Simon and you would get my point). But I fully understand why, in a game of passion, that night’s events still rankle.

    • “in reality, wouldn’t cheer or even smile if they went down or out of the league.”

      Shame on you Colin!

      Shame, shame, shame!

      Great for public consumption, but can we now have the truth please?

      • Of course I was angry about it, Phil, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t crop up in conversation at least once a season. And yes I see some sort of duty to be conciliatory here. But mainly it is a case of thinking life’s too short. Looking back to when that relegation happened, I was already old by the standards of some of the would-be contributors to this thread (at least i hope they have the excuse of youth) who have failed to pollute the site, and the more considered Coventry comments, with their foul-mouthed, hard-of-thinking drivel.

        And yet, perversely, get me on to the subject of Gary McAllister’s scandalous dive for Liverpool against us or Ben Thatcher’s acknowledged but then unseen GBH on Summerbee as WImbledon steamed upfield to score a winner, also a long time ago, and I’m hard to shut up. And those acts did no more than cost us four points in otherwise good Premier seasons.

  7. Where did the article slag of Coventry as a city? It’ Coventry fans who have turned this into an attack of an individual city and its people.
    The article is personal, sure, but surely you can understand that this is a site designed for Sunderland fans to have their own in-house banter. I don’t know the author but would imagine he was aware that his Victor Meldrew style rant would be laughed at rather than intending it to turn into some nazi-style rally where the people of Sunderland all group together and hail the demise of a football club. He appears to have self-deapreciating traits which mean he would relish the odd humorous, questioning of his article, and beard, by Coventry fans who have googled their clubs name and came across this article.
    My point is by slagging off the people of Sunderland as a whole because of the tiny, tiny minorities’ thoughts is displaying yourself as small minded as the people you are attacking. Coming on and mentioning the yawn inducing ‘in Newcastle’s shadow’ is water off a duck’s back as we’ve heard it all before. To say Coventry ‘shits all over Sunderland as a city’ is all very much ‘my dad’s bigger than your dad’.
    For what its worth, I met some lads from Coventry once and they were canny. I have been to Coventry and it had nice cathedrals, but more importantly, decent pubs 🙂

    • “My point is by slagging off the people of Sunderland as a whole because of the tiny, tiny minorities’ thoughts is displaying yourself as small minded as the people you are attacking.”

      If you are referring to those that will celebrate the demise of CCFC as a “tiny, tiny, minority” I would, respectfully, suggest that you know very few Sunderland supporters!

      Regarding the rest of your comments I could not agree more – The fact that Coventry is a dump had/has, absolutely, no relevance to the debate!

  8. Im a Sunderland fan through and through, but who wouldn’t have done the same as the mighty chin to save there club, i must admit i hate coventry i remember going there in the cup midweek to watch us get thumped (5-0 i think),but for them to want to go down i would only wish that on one club, see if you can guess who it is! Good look to coventry we know it feels crap!

    • “Im a Sunderland fan through and through.”

      Why is it that I doubt that?

      I’m guessing, if you are, that you are still in your teens (if that).

      If I’m right please check the history involved, if you are older then I do not believe that you support SAFC!

  9. Sorry, Monsieur Salut, but I think we were entitled to infer that Pete’s article was hoping for Coventry’s liquidation. He writes that Sunderland fans of his generation ‘have longed to see the demise of Coventry City’, and in my dictionary, demise means death, not relegation. I’m a Sunderland fan of Pete’s generation too, but although that bitter memory of 1977 is worth an occasional re-telling, as Pete has done here, perhaps his choice of words wasn’t the cleverest.

  10. PlayUpSkyBlues:

    Here, once more, is what Pete actually wrote (in the context of which the headline’s goodbye clearly means goodbye to the Football League; the author is entitled to expect his actual words to be read if he is then to be lambasted for them). I will highlight his hopes of seeing the club again – maybe you can write back highlighting the imaginary bit where he hopes for liquidation …

    Another club playing in an Arena and facing difficulties on and off the pitch are Coventry City. They swapped anonymous Highfield Road for the footballing hotspot that is The Ricoh Arena and have been sliding further and further back in the football pecking order ever since.

    They are now rooted at the bottom of the Championship, have a financial situation that would make even George Osborne sit up and take notice and are clearly on a one way ticket to Palookaville. For many Sunderland fans, there is a delicious irony in their situation.

    Thirty five years ago, at the very end of the 1976-77 season, they stayed up by one point and we went down. Nothing unusual in that; if we harboured grudges against every team who have finished above us in our (too) many relegation seasons, we would be completely paranoid. But this one still sticks in the craw.

    We had looked doomed in January and then, inspired by the triumvirate of Messrs Rowell, Arnott and Elliott, we went on a run that took us to the edge of safety. The final games of that season were played on a Thursday night. We went to Everton on 34 points; Coventry City on 34 played Bristol City on 34 at Highfield Road.

    All we needed was for one of them to lose and, irrespective of our result, we would stay up. If we drew and they drew, we would stay up due to our superior goal difference. The odds were stacked in our favour. The only combination that would send us down was for us to lose and them to draw.

    We duly lost 0-2 to Everton, turning in a nervous display, but the interesting news from Coventry was that they had kicked off 15 minutes later than the Goodison game because of “crowd congestion”. So, when our game finished, both Coventry and Bristol knew what was required of them.

    Their game had been a real blood and thunder affair and, after 75 minutes, was tied at 2-2. Then, the Coventry chairman, one Jimmy Hill, gave clear instructions that the Sunderland score be put up on the electronic scoreboard and what had been a tense clash suddenly became something akin to a “fight” between the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz and Mr Humphries from Are You Being Served?.

    We went down and Hill was cleared by a Football League Tribunal of influencing the result. But we have long (and bitter) memories here in the North East. Hill was given some choice abuse at Fulham a couple of years ago when his chin hove into view in the Riverside Stand and Sunderland fans of my generation have longed to see the demise of Coventry City.

    Despite their cup win in 1987 and the way they looked after Jordan Henderson for us, that bitterness and bile remains and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing them turn out at Victoria Park, Hartlepool next season and maybe at The International Stadium, Gateshead the year after that.

  11. What a terribly sad and bitter place SUNDERLAND must be if that is all the have to worry about in this day and age.
    It is thirty five years on, and I would think that the whole world has much more to worry about, rather than dwell on what MIGHT have been an influenced result.
    I have been life long SKYBLUES supporter and although I live on the other side of the world I follow all their games via the net. To the bloke that says he only knows of one SKYBLUE supporter, it is his lucky day cause now he knows TWO. As for them not being worth a piece of S**T, well all I can say is get a big black one up ya!!!!

  12. How can you consider yourself a football fan?! You’re a disgrace. No decent fan would wish this sort of situation on any other club. Pathetic article. Just ridiculous. Get a grip.

  13. As a Coventry fan that lived for 4 years in Sunderland, it’s a bit rich for you to be slaggong off Coventry as a city. Ok, it’s not the best city centre in the world, but even after being bombed completely in WW2, it still shits all over Sunderland’s. I have a lot of Mackem friends, so this isn’t biased. I know it’s hard being in the shadow of Newcastle as a city. You’ve always had more fans though. Don’t hear Geordies talking about when they used to get 13,000 at St James’. So respect to your fans (I was one of the 13,000 that travelled to Burnley), but let it go and look at your own town before you slag off Coventry as a place!

  14. Liquidation, no. Administration, no. Relegation, yes.
    Sad, bitter, twisted yes.
    But I can’t help it. I have very negative feelings towards Coventry City FC. They cheated. Why should I forget it and move on? It doesn’t occupy my every thought, but I was articulating what many Sunderland fans of my generation feel.

  15. Intrigued me that. Most people from my Dad’s generation will probably smile if they thought Coventry were going to go down but certainly wouldn’t want them to go out of business. I’m sure the article was aimed at Sunderland fans to have a tongue in cheek laugh about them going down and not to wish extinction on them. I can understand Coventry fans being defensive though as we of people know how hard it is being stuck at the bottom of the league hopelessly. I personally wouldn’t wish it on anyone, maybe not even them up road (I said maybe, ok I would as they would with us as well)
    I would have thought most Coventry fans would have capacity to realise the whole of Sunderland don’t feel like this and would hold back on childish comments on a City that isn’t any different to most.

  16. Keiron Westwood? Not a bad keeper eh? Don’t worry, you don’t need to say thank you.
    Jordon Henderson. Didn’t turn out too badly for you. Don’t worry, you don’t need to say thank you.

    35 years is a long time to hold a grudge.
    Here’s a tip.
    Man up
    Move on
    And get a life.

  17. What a hate-filled pathetic article. As a Coventry fan I bare no grudges to SAFC and actually respect you as a people’s club. An event 35 years ago that although unsportmanly, should not be used as an excuse to cast aspersions on todays Coventry City Football Club.

    No club’s fan should wish Administration and ultimately the extinction of any club; after all behind the footballing allegiances we have is a common love of the beautiful game.

    Hang your head in shame Pete! But to the rest of you SAFC fans; may I wish you all the best under a fine manager such as MON. I can nly dream of CCFC one day having such an experienced and successful man in charge. PUSB

    • PlayUpSkyBlues: Read the article again. I challenge you to find any trace of Pete wishing liquidation upon Coventry!

      • ‘Goodbye to Coventry? With any luck…’ seems to pretty much infer he hopes for a demise akin to going into Liquidation.

        If not intended meaning, I apologies Pete. But still an absolute disgrace to harbour grudges 35 years old with such spite; we are all football fans who had no command on what happened that day. Plans by your fans of banners flown from airplanes above our ground to gloat at our potential relegation is just as disgraceful.

  18. Fantastic article Pete, my sentiments about Coventry are the same. I suspect the Coventry fans who whinge about us having long memories are the same kind of fans who proudly recall England’s World Cup win.
    On the same theme can I paraphrase Baddiel and Skinner “35 years of hate never stopped me dreaming”

    • Thing is mate, we could say the same about you as a feeder club to Newcastle.
      At least We have won something such as the F.A cup in our lifetime.

      75 years since you’ve won it I believe (39 but that’s long enough – ed). It won’t be long until you’re back down playing us.

      See you soon Eric

  19. I was there that night, my father was a complete ignoramus when it comes to footie and took me and my brother into the wrong part of the ground where we had to put up with the grumbles of the Bristol City fans for the first half (this was the days of the football hooligan and I feared for our lives) and there elation for the second half… and then the score came up… I must remind you that in those days radio’s were widely available throughout the world, even it seems in Sunderland and we were no strangers to the radio in the mighty industrial complex that was Coventry at the time so there were plenty at the ground and the whole stadium knew the score of your game and were celebrating BEFORE big Jim put the score up…. We (including my father) were busy getting hugged by the Bristol City fans for the rest of the game that had turned into a farce… I was very disappointed because I wanted us to win, not just survive… if it hadn’t have been 2-2 at the time your game ended who knows what might have happened? The next day I met up with a friend, a Sunderland fan who had moved to our area a couple of years before, he was in tears and was expecting a ribbing from me, that never happened, I have never celebrated another clubs relegation since and I can’t see how anyone can

  20. Judging by a tally of the comments on this thread CCFC win by a country mile, however if you add up the SAFC contributions there are less than 10 so it should signal that the sentiments expressed in the article are very much in the minority.

    I remember the night very well and Mr Hill’s contribution of a very unsporting act, so I blame him not CCFC. I lived in Coventry for a year which coincided with them winning the FA Cup and was struck with the similarity of the towns response to that of Sunderlands win in 1973. I thought they deserved their moment as we did in 73 even if it did spoil the Monty Python Joke in the Party Political Quiz sketch……(.’ Karl Marx your bonus question to win this lovely lounge suite …. are you ready, brave man… Coventry City have won the FA cup how many times…. KM splutters ‘the workers control the means of production’… (GONG) well Karl I’m not suprised you didnt get that one as it is in fact a trick question, Coventry City have never won the FA Cup’… Live at Drury Lane I think if anyone is still reading.

    Anyway I wouldn’t echo Mr Sixsmiths sentiments and I hope you survive.

  21. Darlo Supporter, I don’t speak for Sunderland, only for myself. And, speaking for myself, I’d much rather have Darlington in the league than Yeovil. But Darlington has to be able to sustain itself long-term and there’s no longer any evidence that it can.

  22. Apologies to Gavin and some of the other Sky Blues fans with my comment about Tescos.

    “I don’t think they’ll pull the Ricoh down to build a new tesco’s, there is already one just over the road.”

    Yes lads, I do apologise. On recollection I do believe that it’s a branch of Lidl they are proposing. Budget outlet in a real budget town. They should do very well there.

  23. In essence, Coventry and Bristol got more points then Sunderland, as always, the sad Mackem bastards needed someone to blame, and Coventry City Football Club were used as a scapegoat.

    If Sunderland would have beat Everton, they would have stayed up. They didn’t, they went down, you absolute mong.

  24. What a horrible bitter old plastic Geordie! I’ve always quite liked Sunderland as a team,but there you go, never realised you were such a hateful, miserable bunch!
    Anyway,I wish you A plague on your football house!
    Lets hope you slump back further into the football mediocrity that you occupied for decades! Or even worse cease to exist, because thats what you deserve for ever wishing that on another team!
    You don’t deserve a successful team if you have no football spirit!
    Shame on you!

  25. Well, there’s a can of the old worms opened up and no mistake!!
    Let me make a few things clear;
    I want to see Coventry relegated not fold.
    I want to see Darlington survive – and it looks like they have.
    I know it is sad to harp on about this, but that’s football fans for you. I am sure that there is something in Coventry City’s less than illustrious history that sticks in their craw as much as this does in mine.
    Had Coventry and Bristol fought out a draw in a game that was played for 90 minutes and not 75 I would have no grounds for complaint; but they didn’t.
    Voted for Yeovil did we? Maybe we did – that’s almost as bad as Newcastle not voting for Gateshead in 1960.
    My beard is far better than Jimmy Hill’s.
    Yes, I must get out more.

  26. I wouldn’t wish any ills at all on Coventry City FC , long may they survive , in fact we have an “ex” manager who is perfect for the job there

  27. Its nice to know that u guys from up north are still living 35 years ago in your heads…… and i just thought it was the towns and cities up there that were 35 years in the past……..
    Alas yes we are struggling….. but like other posts say……. people are working at the club and will struggle to pay bills etc if we fold….. nice to kno that the small town in Newcastle will take pleasure from that……
    At the end of the day footballs football, everyone has rivals, but i wudnt even want Leicester to shut up shop.
    Basically what ur saying is that cuz ur team wasnt gd enuff to draw/win/avoid losing that day 35 yrs ago….. thats our fault…. hmmm no….. uve never had a decent team….. even all them years ago…… the shadows cast from Newcastle and Middlesborough must be big up there for u 2 still think about this. When we all know that if it had been roles reversed u wud of done the exact same thing………
    At the end of the day hoping that a club goes under is the same as wishing ur kids die a painful death of cancer…… but with all that smog up there i suppose thats a distinct possibility………..

  28. I think we need to call a halt to this. The replies to this article are beginning to resemble the often childlike abuse and pettiness so often displayed on the late (and certainly not lamented) 606. Jimmy Hill and SotonSkyBlue go way over the top when their remarks become personal.

  29. I feel very sorry for some of you Sunderland fans, how sad to bitch about my club (Coventry City FC) when we are having a bad time of it currently. Sunderland have never really done anything for years, but to hold a grudge on something that happened years ago is very bitter?? and as for our city, I would rather be here than in the city of sad, bitter and twisted individuals.

    And as for Jordon Henderson, a very good player that was looked after and is no longer with Sunderland SO WHAT DOES THAT SAY. Jog on people??????????

  30. You fail to miss the point that if you’d have managed not to lose the game you’d have stayed up regardless – your fate was in your own hands and you blew it.

    p.s. free beer night at the local mosque draws a bigger crowd than the Ricoh right now, such is the state of our club!

    p.p.s. as to the d*ckhead saying Coventry is more of hole than Sunderland, base it on fact buddy, actually you are the 44th most deprived city in the country and Cov is 50th
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/mar/29/indices-multiple-deprivation-poverty-england

  31. Ow bore off you northern monkeys, maybe if you had won your own game you would have stayed up, the blame is very much yours!!!

  32. wow i thought football was a sport. i wouldn’t wish on any football club liquidation. It’s not a nice thing to watch your club fall from success to the edge of obliteration. Maybe you should have beaten Everton? get over it.

  33. Bill, You still have not answered why your beloved Sunderland wanted a North East Club (Darlo) knocked out of the league to let in Yeovil or do you just not want to remember that.

    • OK (there is no way of proving this) BUT, I believe, that the vast majority of SAFC supporters (once they learned the facts) would have hung their heads in shame.

      One result of that would have been CCFC becoming the accepted “second club” of every Sunderland supporter – That view was NEVER reciprocated!

  34. Salut is staying out of this one, except to refer readers to Listad’s comment at 3.28pm which gets close to my own thoughts and to suggest everyone checks SteveCCFC’s neat bit of conciliation a couple of messages back.

    Mr Sixsmith will have to answer for himself, especially for the beard,

  35. After reading al the comments and being born in the 90’s I find it sad that you still have a grudge against CCFC, not only has Jimmy Hill left but so has every single person invloved with the club at the time, we even have a new stadium, CCFC today is a completely new thing to the old CCFC, yes we may not be to championship standard and in football terms being relegated is what we deserve! BUT this does not validate you to bad wish our team to become no more, this is not just a football team its a business, i have many friends who work at the club be they player or match day employee grounds keeper etc etc, these are peoples jobs , they rely on the wage to feed there family to live and you wish for them to lose this because of 77? that is plain sick, and for the people who remember thar season you should be older enough to know better!

    Get SISU OUT!!

    P.s.- Birflatt Boy, Arena tescos was built next to the stadium as part of the complex, get facts straight lad!

  36. I was there that night in Coventry. I didn’t think so at the time (mind I was very young) but yes it was shameful. I think we were 2 0 up and let it slip to 2-2 before players started playing tippy-tappy. The Tottenham game was a different kettle of fish altogether. I think the delay had nothing to do with our manipulation and I believe that our unlikely victory would have counted for nothing if you’d got any kind of result at Wimbledon. I’ve known many Sunderland fans since moving to the North East and apart from the occasional bilious hatred of Newcastle have found you mostly a generous spirited bunch. I shared your pain at the Charlton play off game-still the most exciting domestic league game I’ve ever seen and wish you all the best under MON. It’s not nice for anybody to get a kicking when they’re down so I would let it go if I were you. It reflects badly on the football family. I suspect many clubs have acted out of self interest in ways they were not proud of. Beware the clip clop of high horses !

    • Spurs game delayed because “Covenrty had to deal with roadworks” – that was the official line. On the same road that Sunderland had to use to get 15 miles further, through London, to Selhurst Park

  37. Ha! Typical mackem morons! Maybe if your pathetic team back then could of won the actual game they were involved in you wouldn’t have this grudge? I wouldn’t wish liquidation on any club, even Leicester. But i suppose there’s nothing else to do up the grim north, not much has changed in your area in 34years and your people are clearly going backwards in the evolutionary way. Won a couple of games and you come out like your Barcelona 😉 pusb

  38. Who cares, you’re all grudge holding elderly citizens who are whining amd bitching about a side and a club which holds little or no resemblance to that in 1977. You’re living in the past, you’re adults who are acting like 2 year old children, who didn’t get a ‘lollipop’ when the other kids did. GROW UP AND LEAVE US ALONE YOU MISERABLE, BITTER, TWISTED OLD MEN. And I used to like people from the north-east before I read this trash.

  39. hello you sad little old man

    dont forget you also went down in 1997 and we stayed up by the one point.

    by the way your beard is s***

  40. It would appear that this site has been invaded by more CCFC supporters that attend their games at the “Ricoh”.

    They, then, seem capable of handing out more negative cards than Graham Poll did in 2002.

    I wonder, how many will buy season tickets next season and then how many will attend the eventual funeral?

    It will be interesting, as I believe SAFC supporters will take the death more seriously than those from CCFC.

  41. Whoa..steady on! Yes, we Sunderland fans were rightly bitter at the time, but the blame that 1977 night lay personally with Jimmy Hill, using his position to manipulate things as he did. After his intervention, players of both Coventry City & Bristol City were bound to react as they did do for that last 15 minutes at Highfield Road. But Hill has long since departed, and has nothing to do with the present-day Coventry City, so surely we can afford to be a bit more charitable towards a club that finds itself struggling.

  42. There are more “Coventry City” fans posting on here than they ever managed to bring to Roker Park.

    Your horrible, little failing club tried to do the same thinghil to us back in the 90s when we went down after losing at Wimbledon.

    Had we contrived under the guidance of the Chinny Hill to get you relegated by delaying the kick off and conspiring with your opponents to get another club relegated, then you too would be rather enjoying the “schadenfreude” in which we are so delightfully indulging right now.

    As for Phil’s long held desire that Coventry City should go into liquidation, you may not have too long to wait for that either mate. The champagne for that event hasn’t reached the fridge just yet but the white wine is chillling. By this time next year they’ll be pulling down the Ricoh for a new branch of Tesco’s. Even that would be a cultural enhancement to your appalling city.

    • I don’t think they’ll pull the Ricoh down to build a new tesco’s, there is already one just over the road.

      The only thing that needs pulling down is this article. Wishing liquidation on a team, for an event that happened over 30 years ago is ridiculous. You should feel embarrassed, not least for this article, but for the fact you look like Colonel Sanders.

      Get a life Peter!

  43. I’m assuming Darlo Supporter’s comment was aimed at me. For the record, I would hate to see Darlington go under; losing any club — even Coventry!! — is a sad thing to contemplate. I just don’t see how the team can continue on; this isn’t a sudden downturn in fortune, it’s been going on for years and getting steadily worse. But if there is any glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, I’d be delighted to see it. I’ve never been in the new stadium but, like Jeremy, I have very happy memories of Feethams, for all its tendency to absorb the waters from the nearby Skerne and turn into an unplayable bog. It was, as I recall, a decent cricket ground, too, though that was never a great love of mine.

  44. Bang on! We send you one of the best goalkeepers we’ve had, have seen you in the Prem while we struggle to keep out of the Championship, we’ve almost been in admin once, and it’s still not enough for you?
    If that’s your attitude, then I hope you continue to struggle in the shadow of the Geordies for ever.
    I wouldn’t wish extinction on ANY club.

  45. Darlo supporter – I don’t know any Sunderland fan that would like to see the end of The Quakers.

    Andy – you are right in the sense that had we got a result at Everton it wouldn’t have mattered. The injustice comes from the fact that for the last 15 minutes two teams went through the motions having the advantage of knowing that a draw would keep them both up, when for the first 75 they both had to fight for a win. Had both games kicked off at the same time then no problem.

    At Spurs in 97, the results were irrelevant as you say but to try the same trick 20 years on is bound to attract comment and suspicion.

  46. Do most Sunderland fans who remember this also remember paying over the maximum wage and thus cheating themselves or is that condoned in your part of town? TOON TOON

    • Do you, also, remember when we saved your club from going bust and you played in strips (red and white stripes), that we donated, because you had none of your own?

  47. Surely the blame lies within Sunderlands inadequacy to get a required result at Everton, and secondly it’s nice to see a hatred based on a team that will be playing Hartlepool next year and probably don’t care who Sunderland are. If I recall in 97 they were at White Hart Lane, And won 2-1 surely the hatred should lay at Spurs door for not beating Coventry, and again why didn’t Sunderland get a result at Wimbledon?

    • God forbid he should look at why they were at the foot of the league in the first place. Why should facts get in the way of stupidity and irrationality. Interestingly he hasn’t bothered replying to your post.

  48. I remember that midweek night in 1977 very well indeed. But Coventry’s purchase this week of the five-times-relegated Hermann Hreidarsson has guaranteed them a drop down into League 1 for next season.

  49. That should maybe have been Lesley – never could remember the spelling and Soton Sky Blue – we haven’t been bottling it up – I have referred to it at least twice a season ever since!

    • Hey!

      First you decide to, publicly, “come out” and then you have changed your mind!

      They do say that self denial is often a symptom of true desire”

      He, he!

  50. What a sad person you are, anybody that wants to see a club fold is sick. I bet you are over the moon that Darlington will be wound up. Remember in the 70’s when Sunderland voted for Darlington to be relegated for coming bottom of the league so that Yovil could enter the league. Are you the typical Sunderland supporter!!

    • Darlo Supporter – who is this comment addressed to? I can’t imagine any Sunderland supporter wants to see Darlington go out of existence. BUT Coventry. Who gives a s***?

    • Coventry are a special case.

      I, for one, sympathise with Darlington and have followed, closely, the fortunes of AFC Wimbledon since the MK Dons debacle.

  51. I have mixed feelings about that night back in 1977. Firstly I was having a great time at “The Birds Nest” in Houghton watching Heatwave – “Boogie Nights” my all time favourite dance track – with a lass called Leslie.

    Then we got the news from Coventry and not only do I still hold a grudge against Jimmy Hill, I can’t decide whether its them or dirty Leeds I dislike the most – and my feelings about Leeds go back to 1964!

    If Pete has a chip on his shoulder then I’ve got a massive haddock on mine as well!

  52. My god, you’ve been keeping this bottled up since the 76/77 season!!!!

    Any football fan who takes pleasure in another teams (and not even rivals) downfall to this degree needs some hobbies and a life.

    Maybe you should take up something that enables you to relax a little.

    • It was never “bottled up” but always, totally, visible.

      If others chose to ignore it , they should not then attempt to suggest, that it did not exist.

      If CCFC, younger, supporters don’t understand why SAFC supporters feel this way then they should ask their fathers/grandfathers for the facts.

      Then they/you will understand!

  53. Football supporters have very long memories, when it comes to perceived/proven injustices.

    Hence the way that older supporters of most clubs have rejoiced in the demise of Leeds United and the way that ours will hold street parties should Coventry disappear into oblivion.

    Their, probable, relegation will still not, for me, be enough.

    I will not be happy until the club is liquidated!

    PS refers to Hill’s actions in 1977 but many people tend to forget their actions, when playing away to Tottenham, 20 years later that they pulled off an, almost, identical stroke, by persuading the referee to put the kick off back by 15 minutes.

    That was the day I saw us lose at Selhurst Park and, again, they knew exactly what they had to do to survive and again we did not.

    What still “sticks in my craw”, above all, is the way that Jimmy Hill used to use his position, on Match of The Day to procrastinate, at length, about anything that he saw as being even slightly underhand and then proceeded to orchestrate the events in ’77 and then revel in the way SAFC supporters then viewed him!

    IIRC we had won more points, since the turn of that year than Liverpool, who won the league.

    RTG now have a thread suggesting that we should hire a plane to fly over the Ricoh, once their relegation has been confirmed, hauling a message from our supporters and the donations pledged, are already (according to my maths) more than would be required.

    That, though, would not be enough for what I would see as preferable – a fully laden Heinkel bomber!

      • No!

        My reasons were the number of negative ratings that I received and NOBODY even hazzarding a guess.

        With the, collective, knowledge on this site I just took them as being a “suggestion” not to introduce a related subject/topic.

        Considering, though, that the question was BOTH FA cup & SAFC related (CLUE) the negative responses surprised me.

        I, actually, played in the same side (for one half) as the player in question and scored, within the first minute of the game, after Derek Kirby (ANOTHER CLUE) had pushed out his shot!

      • I hazarded a guess of Stan Crowther in 1958. Obviously wrong. I shall now give this some thought and get back to you soon – ish.

      • I’ve asked this question of many people.

        Nobody, yet, has known the answer, without clues!

        Actually, I lie (maybe).

        I used to know a supporter of club X who, I thought, knew the answer but (with a VERY slight nudge – NOT a major clue) came up with the correct name.

    • I will accept the “thumbs down” comments in the same way that Jimmy Hill, seemingly, accepted the hatred aimed at him.

      Laughing and with indifference!

    • I cant believe sour grapes after so long…..the facts were you maccams knew you had to win in both games to stay up…as usual like the losers you are you lost! simple facts…. the only reason you are surviving today is because you are being run with the money from IRA coffers you bunch of ‘bomb slinging’ supporting wanna be Geordies.

      • OK, I said this:

        Eric (“I think we need to call a halt to this”) is right. Simple as that. Thanks for (most of the) responses, whether critical or supportive of Pete Sixsmith’s views.

        When a few people cross the boundary from strong words to abusive ones, the job of moderation becomes too much for one person.

        The debate is now at an end unless someone comes up with something so warm, witty or wise that it cannot be resisted.

        But that has entailed total moderation, which has proved more bother than it’s worth. Comments are again enabled. If yours doesn’t appear, that is because it was too abusive to grace these pages.

  54. So you think the Sixer has “a chip” do you? Well. just for the record I have a large portion of them right here in front of me on my plate. They have even stayed hot enough to eat for 35 years. The demise of that embodiment of football mediocrity that is Coventry City will be something to be enjoyed by anyone from Wearside over a certain age.

    Sad to see that this could be the end of football in Darlington. During the old days at Feethams I was a regular visitor and always enjoyed watching them play. It’s tragic. What does a town do with a superb football stadium when there is no team to play football in it? Very sad.

  55. Never really understood the point of Coventry – either as a football team or a place. Only known one person who admitted to being a Coventry fan – apart from a certain R Keys ex SKY – and he was a waste of rations. Maybe they could become a feeder club for Walsall. I always thought of Darlo as the Mags second team while the Monkey Hangers were ours. Still a shame if they go out of existence though

  56. 35 years ago, really?? Has nothing else happened in Sunderland for that long? What are your feelings towards Kieran Westwood? or anyone who has had anything to do with Coventry? Get a hobby Sir.

  57. Yeah, cut it up, Pete. Turn it into a plate of chips and share it around!
    I’m a bit gutted that the Mags have signed Cisse. He’s gonna be such a good combination with Ba.
    The Northern Echo’s reporting a possible last-minute infusion of a few grand into Darlington’s coffers to give them a couple of weeks’ breathing space while some other mystery benefactor is lined up. But it seems to me like one of those sad situations where you have someone taking their poor, aged and worn-out dog to the vet and desperately pleading for it to be kept alive for another month. Sometimes it’s kinder just to pull the plug and move on. For as long as I can remember — and that’s a pretty long time! — the Quakers have been struggling.

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