The Coventry City ‘Who are You?’: Oh what a night(mare), 1977 style

Ian Davidson: ‘at Wembley for the playoff final last May with my wife, Chris, and daughter Nikki’ City beat Exeter to go up


Monsieur Salut writes: Salut! Sunderland, it is fair to say, has had fun and games with Coventry City fans over the years. We still, absurd as such a long-held grievance may seem, don’t like what happened that night in 1977 when our relegation was sealed by a deliberately non-competitive end to the delayed Coventry-Bristol City game. Congestion in the Midlands meant they knew our result before the game ended; our defeat at Everton while they were level on 2-2, meant both sides needed only to play out a draw to stay up. They, in a nutshell, say get over it and some say there was nothing to get over in the first place. We still feel an acute sense of foul play.

Ian Davidson*, who happens to be deputy chairman of the Coventry supporters’ club’s London branch and is also secretary of Sky Blues International for exiled fans, was there that night. He’s also a level-headed City fan and his point of view on that event is important. It should be read in the context of a tremendous set of answers to unrelated questions, which he stresses represent  his views alone. I hope and expect any responses from Salut! Sunderland  readers to be respectful …

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Sunderland’s 10 relegations: The Coventry conundrum (part 2)

Sixer by Jake

John McCormick writes: I was there, at Goodison, that night. For a long time afterwards I felt cheated but I was prepared to accept that Coventry fans would think “tough” – I would have done so in their circumstances. Nevertheless, I always harboured a resentment towards Jimmy Hill and when I heard Coventry fans had clubbed together and paid for a statue, which the man himself was invited to unveil, I couldn’t wish them well.

Pete Sixsmith may offer sympathy. My thoughts are a bit more Karmic: Get rid of the statue, Coventry fans, look what it has brought you.

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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.

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