Reda Johnson, a former Irish international and German giants Bayern Munich all feature in our second Sky Blues A-Z...
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, we continue our journey with B, where Reda Johnson, a former Irish international and German giants Bayern Munich all get a mention!
B is for…
Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus, Paris Saint Germain and Coventry City. What have they all got in common? They’ve all beat German giants FC Bayern Munich in a match in European competition.
City made their maiden voyage in European club football under the trusty stewardship of legendary manager Noel Cantwell, who qualified for the European Fairs Cup thanks to a 6th place finish in the 1969/70 English Division One season.
Cantwell’s City crushed Bulgarian outfit Trakia Plovdiv 6-1 on aggregate in the first round which set up a second round tie against the Germans.
Franz Beckenbauer, Sepp Maier and Gerd Muller welcomed Coventry to West Germany for the first leg on Tuesday, October 20th 1970, played at the Grunwalder Stadion.
The Germans efficiency shone through as they recorded a 6-1 win over City thanks to goals from Muller, Schneider, Roth and Schwarzenbeck, with Ernie Hunt’s initial equaliser a mere inconvenience to the home side.
Not much hope for City who welcomed Bayern to Coventry for the return leg on Tuesday, November 3rd. With the contest out of sight, City played for pride in front of 26,033 fans, determined to record what would still be a famous win for the Sky Blues.
Despite the comfortable score-line from the first leg, Munich left nothing to chance, naming another strong line-up as Beckenbauer, Maier and Hoeness graced the Highfield Road pitch.
Neil Martin and John O’Rourke made the headlines as they netted for the Sky Blues with Hoeness, former club president, in reply for Munich. It meant Bayern went through to the third round with a 7-3 aggregate win and they beat Sparta Rotterdam in the third round only to be beaten by Liverpool in the quarter-finals. It didn’t really matter though.
When Beckenbauer lifted the 1974 World Cup for West Germany, City fans will always know his team of stars came unstuck on one wintery night in the Midlands by Cantwell’s classy City side.
‘Benno’ is one of the true legends of the club, not just for an outstanding six-year spell with City and his unique radio punditry, but for his Man of the Match performance in City’s finest hour.
After starting his career with Manchester City and an impressive spell in Wales with Cardiff, Bennett moved to Coventry City in 1983. The pacey wide-man made an immediate impression on the City faithful and despite injury problems during his time with the Sky Blues, he went on to make over 170 league appearances, scoring 25 league goals.
However, his most famous goal at the club didn’t come in the league. A memory etched into every Sky Blues fan, Bennett provided a Man of the Match performance when Coventry recorded a 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the 1987 FA Cup final.
Bennett made it 1-1 when a Greg Downs cross was flicked on by Keith Houchen and the City winger had the awareness to take it round Spurs keeper Ray Clemence to tuck home in the 8th minute.
But the winger wasn’t finished yet as he provided a wonderful cross for Houchen to score the famous diving-header goal as City went on to record a famous victory in extra time.
The Sky Blues have played host to two Belgian internationals; defenders Regis Genaux and Phillippe Clement.
Genaux moved to Coventry City in 1996 after a six-year spell at Standard Liege in 1996 but only went on to make four appearances for the Sky Blues before moving to Italian side Udinese in 1997.
Clement joined the Sky Blues in 1998 from Racing Genk and went on to make 12 appearances for the club. He returned to Belgium to play for Club Brugge after a one-year spell.
Babb – Phil Babb
The ever-reliable Irish international moved to Coventry in 1992 for £500,000 from Bradford City.
Babb went on to make 77 league appearances for City over a two-year spell before Liverpool signed the defender in 1994 for £3.6 million.
The 43-year old was manager of Hayes and Yeading before leaving the post in February.
Birmingham Senior Cup
Coventry City have won the Birmingham Senior Cup three times since it began in 1876 which makes it one of the oldest county football competitions.
City have won the competition in 1910/11, 1922/23 and 2006/07.
Reda Johnson is the only ever City player to represent Benin at international level.