Coventry City enjoyed a longer unbroken spell in the top flight than Spurs or both Manchester sides – but things went a bit wrong; relegation to League Two in 2017 putting them back in the fourth tier for the first time since 1959. Off-field problems impacting on-field fortunes didn’t help, to be fair; having to set up home at Northampton Town one of the outcomes. But good times were quick to return; instantly returning to League One at the first attempt.
Then, in 2020, the League One championship restored them to the second tier.
You’ll have to buckle up for this one, as we’ve a lot of ground to cover. That, or just close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears and shout TL;DR from your nearest available rooftop. First known as Singers FC, the club formed in 1883; not as the soccer playing arm of a musical society, but a cycle maker. The name Coventry City was adopted in 1898, and they moved into Highfield Road a year later. Now to pause and gather breath.
It may surprise you to discover that the Sky Blues didn’t join the Football League ’til 1919. Of course, this may not surprise you. Again, that’s really your look-out. For the next 40-or-so years, there’s not too much to write home about; fourth in the Second Division was as good as it got for them. At least, it was until the mid-1960s. Under the leadership of Jimmy Hill (yes, that Jimmy Hill), Coventry City made it up into the top flight in 1967.
Almost immediately, the club started its tradition of flirting with the drop; the first two campaigns saw them finish third bottom, surviving by a single point both times. Things got better, mind. And straight away as it goes. After finishes of 20th and, er, 20th, the Sky Blues finished an inexplicable sixth in 1970 and qualified for Europe. It remains their highest ever finish; closely followed by two seventh-placed finishes (1978 and 1989).
Don’t worry Coventry fans. We haven’t forgotten your 1987 FA Cup win; the club’s first and only major honour to date. By the same token, we also haven’t forgotten how the Sky Blues were dumped out of the 1988-9 FA Cup by Plucky Non-League Underdogs (TM) Sutton United. It’s a bit odd, considering they went on to end the season as the nation’s seventh best club. After the 1980s, however, came the 1990s…
How to get to Coventry City – Travel Information – Distance: 87 miles
Go north on the M1 and take the M6 into the Midlands. Don’t take the M6 Toll, though. You need to take the ‘old’ M6 until Spaghetti Junction; leaving here for the A38(M) towards the city centre. At the end of this motorway, take the A4540 for the NIA and other destinations.
At the roundabout, use the first exit for the A5127. Once you cover another 1.5 miles, take the first exit at a large roundabout (Bordesley Circus). This brings you onto the B4128.
For Brum, there are four car parks in and around St Andrews. But it doesn’t look like these are all available to the Sky Blues. And we don’t know if away fans can use them either.
The Kop Stand car park (B9 4RL) is behind a stand that ‘home’ fans use. As one road you need to access it is shut at 2.15pm on a Saturday matchday, getting to the car park later means you simply won’t get in.
Services to: BIRMINGHAM MOOR STREET (for BIRMINGHAM NEW STREET)
Bordesley is the nearest station at around half-a-mile from St Andrews. While services do operate to this station when the Blues are at home, we’re not sure if that applies to the Sky Blues too. Moor Street is 1.4 miles away if not, while New Street is just shy of two miles.
If you do come into Bordesley, head north on Bedford Road. Go right into Coventry Road at the end of the road and then over the roundabout ahead. Next, it’s straight up Cattell Road for the ground.
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