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Coventry is great: ten reasons why

Filed: Thursday, 26th April 2012
By: Staff Writer

All West Ham United supporters will become Coventry City fans this weekend - temporarily, at least - when the Sky Blues face Southampton at St Mary's.

The only way West Ham can achieve automatic promotion from the Championship without entering the lottery of the play-offs is if Andy Thorn's side can pull off a huge upset and prevent the Saints from beating them in front of their own crowd on Saturday lunchtime.

But if you're struggling to come to terms with backing the Sky Blues, hopefully our handy guide featuring ten reasons why Coventry is actually great will be of some assistance...

Lady Godiva

What's not to like about a long-haired beauty riding bareback through the streets of your city stark-bollock-naked on a horse (eve if there are no accurate historical records to support the story)? Not to mention that the former Countess of Murcia was responsible for a fine bit of Cockney rhyming slang (a five-pound note - or 'fiver' - being known as a 'Lady').

They played for both

A whole host of solid club servants have donned both the claret and blue and sky blue shirts. They include the likes of Bobby Gould, David Cross, Graham Paddon, Stuart Pearce, Les Sealey, Mike Marsh and Craig Bellamy. Just don't mention Messrs (Gary) Breen and (Robbie) Keane.

Two Tone and the ravers

For the first time in musical history, Coventry was at the forefront of a musical revolution in the late 1970s when local bands The Specials and Selecter stormed the charts with tunes such as 'Gangster', 'Too Much Too Young' and 'On My Radio'. A generation later, a nation's cheesy quavers flocked to the city's legendary 'Eclipse' club - Coventry's equivalent of Manchester's 'Hacienda' and London's 'Shoom' - to "get right on one matey".

Brown shirts

Still the source of much mirth more than 30 years on. You just don't do it, do you? But Coventry did in 1978 - and added full-length pin stripes from neck to thigh, to boot. And then made a bloke with curly red hair wear it.

BLINDED BY THE SHITE: It's all about the confidence, apparently.

"You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off..."

'The Italian Job' is one of the British film industry's most enduring and loved productions. But despite being set in Turin, the film's most famous scene - the car chase featuring a series of Mini Coopers driving around a sewer system -was actually filmed in Coventry.

Keith Houchen and schadenfreude

Scorer of the second goal in Coventry's famous win over Tottenham in the 1987 FA Cup Final. The underdogs were 2-1 behind when Houchen leapt salmon-like to head home Cyrille Regis' far-post cross. 'Gary Mabbutt's knee' was responsible for the extra-time winner that saw strong favourites Hotspur beaten, much to the amusement of Hammers fans - and thus a long-running Sky Blues fanzine was borne.


Coventry is a wonderful place if you possess an irrational fear of Seagulls (aka Laridaphobia) as you're unlikely to find a single one in the Midlands' second-largest City. Why? because no other city in England is further away from the coast.

Chinny chin chin

Jimmy Hill is considered a bit of a legend by fans of Coventry City, for whom he was Managing Director during the 1970s and '80s. But he's also a ledge to any child of the '80s who used to mimic the former Match of the Day pundit's beard-stroking to indicate an expression of disbelief (eg schoolboy 1: "I snogged the best looking girl in school last night" .... schoolboy 2: [rubs chin] "Yeah course you did, Jimmy Hill...")

BEARD: Jimmy Hill replies to his detractors


The Luftwaffe's concentration on bombing the sh*t out of Coventry in the Second World War between 1940 and 1942 took the heat off the East End of London temporarily, allowing the former Queen Mum to pop by and wave at the war-weary locals every now and then. So peeved were the locals that Coventry became the first city to 'twin' with a foreign neighbour - in this instance, Stalingrad (now called Volgograd) in order to show support for their Russian friends during the conflict.

The 1999 FA Youth Cup Final

Long before ex-Chairman Terry Brown flogged the family silver - and with it West Ham's last chance of becoming a major force in English football - Tony Carr's youth team destroyed their Coventry counterparts 9-0 on aggregate in the FA Youth Cup Final. Stars such as Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and Adam Newton gave a glimpse of what could have been whilst City, featuring the likes of Chris Kirkland and Calum Davenport, kindly rolled over.

Altogether now... "Shit on the Villa, shit on the Villa tonight..."

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

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