Christmas Cheer at Coventry City
When the football fixtures are released many fans will scan the list for opening day matches, local derby dates, boxing day and new year's fixtures. This year is unsual as Coventry City have no boxing day fixture following the demise of Bury FC. The Sky Blues were scheduled to play the Shakers today but the Lancashire club were expelled from the Football League following financial problems.
A century ago Coventry City FC reached an important milestone. The club's first season in the football league (1919/20) saw an inauspicious start. The league had been expanded following the end of WWI and City joined the second division. They were not to record a win until Christmas Day with a 3-2 victory over Stoke City at Highfield Road. The second half of the season proved to be an improvement on the first and they managed to avoid relegation finishing in 20th place (of 22) amongst allegations of match fixing!
Some of my best memories of the Sky Blues have centred around matches in late December - including a 5-4 win over Norwich in 1977 when a late penaly save by Jim Blyth secured the win and a 4-3 victory against Tottenham in 1986 (another last gasp win with a late goal from Cyrille Regis).
Many will remember heroics from Darren Huckerby in 1997 giving a late victory against Man Utd at Highfield Road (within days of a victory against Liverpool at Anfield).
Today will see a boxing day local derby match in Coventry - with Sphinx taking on table topping Coventry United in the Midland League Premier Division.
Hopefully we will not have to wait too many years for the Sky Blues to return home to the city and to add to the Christmas memories outlined above!