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On his 45th Birthday, we look back on former Coventry City defender and cult hero Mo Konjic!

14 May 2015

City fans all know about Konjic's exploits in a City shirt but do you know the incredible back-story behind Mo's career...

Happy Birthday to former Coventry City defender Mo Konjic who is 45 today!

The former Bosnian international played 155 games for the Sky Blues from 1999-2004, scoring 4 goals - plus many foraging runs from defence which made him a cult hero at the Sky Blues.

He also played for Derby County in the final game at Highfield Road, and had a pretty terrible game, as City ran out 6-2 winners against the Rams.

To celebrate his birthday, here is a piece we wrote for PUSB match-day programme about Mo's back-story below...

The legend of ‘Big Mo’

There are two sides to the Konjic story, the football and the war. We all know about the football side so we’ll briefly go over it…

Muhamed Konjic was a defender who played for Coventry City during the years of 1999 to 2004 and made 138 appearances for the club, scoring four goals. Strong and combative, he was a fans favourite at the club before moving to Derby County in 2004. 

Now, the other side of the story.

Konjic started his career at his hometown club Sloboda Tuzla but he was only 21-years old when the club had to pull out of the Yugoslav First League due to the outbreak of the Bosnian War near the end of the 1991/92 season. 

Soon, he wasn’t defending crosses, but his country as he was drafted into the army to fight in a war where atrocities and sieges were commonplace. Konjic said in an interview with The Mirror: “In the first six months alone, there were 300,000 casualties and it’s difficult to speak about it. The Serbian and Croatian armies came to my home village and flattened it. I had no choice because we were being attacked and it was a case of fight or die.”

Konjic was offered the chance to continue his playing career by Croatian side NK Belisce a third of the way into the 1992/93 season. The transfer fee was rather modest for a player of Konjic’s talents, food parcels for the people of Tuzla.

He wasn’t through it yet though as driving through Bosnia during war-time was long and treacherous with Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian forces patrolling the roads of the former Yugoslav state. The vehicle he was in fell into a ditch on a bomb-ravaged road and Konjic suffered two broken arms. 

Despite the injury, he made his debut two weeks later with no-one aware that both his arms were broken; the never-say-die attitude which endeared him to City fans.

He never looked back as his football career flourished, sealing moves to FC Zurich and French Champions Monaco. Konjic’s proudest moment came in November 1995 when he captained a newly-independent Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country he fought to create, in their first FIFA international.

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