Check out the latest installment of this popular feature as we put L under the spotlight...
Across the season, we worked our way through the alphabet for this year's Coventry City matchday programme PUSB, finding a Sky Blue perspective of each letter in the alphabet.
It made for a popular feature so we thought we'd bring it to the web too! So without further ado, here is L, with the League Cup, Leeds United, Leicester City and a selection of legends in focus in this installment of our Coventry City A-Z...
L is for...
Although Coventry City have had more fame and success from competing in English Football’s other domestic trophy, the Sky Blues have had several cup runs and notable results in the League Cup over the years.
The club were semi-finalists 1980-81, the furthest into the competition we’ve ever been. A little under 25 years ago saw the start of that first cup run. The first and second round ties were two-legged in those days and City saw off the mighty Manchester United 2-0 on aggregate in round two, winning 1-0 at Old Trafford before doing the same at a packed Highfield Road just six days later.
The Sky Blues then claimed a 2-1 victory over Brighton and a 1-0 win over Cambridge after a replay to reach the quarter-finals. Another replay saw City hammer Watford 5-0 to reach the semi-finals for the first time in the club’s history. Two pulsating legs against West Ham United followed, a 3-2 win at Highfield Road gave hope of a Wembley appearance, but the Hammers turned it round and won 2-0 in the second leg to break City hearts.
In 1989-90, City reached the semis again. A 4-3 aggregate win in the second round against Grimsby got them into round three. Wins against QPR (3-1), Manchester City (1-0) and Sunderland (5-0 in a replay) followed to get them into the last four, where they met Nottingham Forest. The first leg saw a narrow 2-1 win for Forest, and after a tense 0-0 draw at Coventry, City narrowly missed out on Wembley again.
In modern times, cup runs have been scarce, but in 2007 some of the magic came flooding back. After routine wins against Notts County and Carlisle, City went to Old Trafford to face Manchester United. Backed by 11,000 travelling Sky Blue Army, the Sky Blues shocked the Red Devils 2-0, thanks to two goals by the majestic Maltese Michael Mifsud. City lost to West Ham 2-1 in the fourth round, narrowly missing out on the quarter-finals but nothing will take away from the memories of that incredible night at Old Trafford.
In the Sky Blues’ 131-year history, only 35 players have had the honour of being inducted into the Coventry City Hall of Fame. Some big names feature, including all-time appearance holder Steve Ogrizovic, record goal-scorer Clarrie Bourton and FA Cup winner Cyrille Regis.
The most recent addition to the lineup was Richard Shaw, who made 337 appearances for the Sky Blues across 11 years, between 1995 and 2006. Signed from Crystal Palace for one million pounds, he won the player of the year award in 1999 and the players’ player of the year award in 2003.
Interestingly enough, it was Shaw who caused Eric Cantona to be sent off whilst playing for Palace, which led to his infamous ‘kung-fu’ kick. An altercation with the Frenchman led to Cantona’s dismissal and subsequent assault on Palace fan Matthew Simmons as he was being led down the tunnel.
Another modern addition is striker Dion Dublin. A signing from Manchester United, Dublin went on to become part of arguably City’s best years in the Premier League. His 61 goals in 145 games proved vital as City enjoyed some famous nights, beating the likes of United and Aston Villa at Highfield Road.
Coventry have had many pulsating games with the famous Yorkshire club over the years but one particular game played a crucial role in the club’s history. During the 1987 FA Cup run, City were given the task of beating Leeds United to reach their first ever final. In front of 51,372 at Hillsborough, the Sky Blues did just that, winning 3-2 after extra time.
The game was a tense affair and City made the worst possible start when David Rennie put Leeds in front after 14 minutes. Mickey Gynn equalised on 68 minutes and the Sky Blues took the lead when Keith Houchen popped up to score with 13 minutes remaining. Unfortunately City couldn’t hold on and Keith Edwards’ goal took the game to extra time.
Just like the final itself, City won the game with a goal in the first half of extra time. Dave Bennett scored and the Sky Blues held on to send the City to Wembley for the first time in the clubs’ history.
The ‘M69 Derby’ has seen some tense games over the years, with bragging rights always at stake. The record currently stands at 37-25 to the Foxes, with 24 draws.
City’s last win over their bitter rivals came in 2008, when they won 2-0 at a packed Ricoh Arena. Elliot Ward opened the scoring and Leon Best completed the win with 11 minutes to go.
The Sky Blues’ last away win came in 2001 at Filbert Street. Craig Bellamy put City 1-0 up after two minutes, before Ade Akinbiyi equalised. Lee Carsley then put Coventry up for the second time and in the second half, a fantastic attacking performance saw John Hartson seal a famous win and sent the traveling Sky Blue army home happy.