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HISTORY: Former players memories of Highfield Road

30 April 2020


HISTORY: Former players memories of Highfield Road

30 April 2020

In 2005 when the Sky Blues played their final game at Highfield Road, Coventry City produced a bumper special edition of the matchday programme to commemorate the occasion.

It was packed with history and memories of the great old stadium, including former players who shared thier best memories - some of which we have re-produced below:

ROBBIE KEANE - 1999-2000

"I would have to say that beating Aston Villa in the Midlands derby was on of the biggest memories for me as a player. Because of the rivalry, the atmosphere and the importance to the Club and fans it was the best feeling to score the winner past David James. I'll never forget the celebration of the Cov fans that day. It was very special."

CYRILLE REGIS - 1984-1991

"Five of the seven years I spent at Highfield Road were very happy ones. The first two were quite tough, signing from West Brom, but it all clicked into place when John Sillett and George Curtis took over, when we played some great football and of course won the FA Cup. My biggest memory of Highfield Road though was when we beat Everton on the final day of the season to stay up. We had to win all three of our games to avoid the drop and bearing in mind we hadn't even won two games back-to-back all season, it was an amazing acheivement. We won the first two - away to Stoke and at home to Luton and then we had to beat Everton who had won the league and had a great team. The ground was absolutely packed and it was a sunny day and we won 4-1. I scored two goals and the feeling afterwards was amazing. Never having suffered relegation it was a huge relief and it just showed how much character we had in that team."


MICK FERGUSON - 1974-1981, 1984

"It would have been where we won 4-1 against Ipswich in 1979 and I scored all four goals. I rememeber Bobby Robson had said something in hte press the week before about the Club's valuation of me and had commented if I scored against his defence he would sign me. To score four against anybody is amazing but after that it was extra special. Ipswich had a great side then and it was a great feeling to go off with the whole crowd applauding me, especially as it had taken me a bit of time to win the fans over."

KEITH HOUCHEN - 1986-1989

"I'll always remember the game against Spurs at Highfield Road in the same season that we on the FA Cup. It was a cracking match and we ended up winning 4-3. I'd had a bit of a rough time with injuries since I signed for the Club that Summer and the Spurs match was the first one I had any real influence on. I scored the opening goal - my first for the Club - and I nearly got the last one as well but big Cyrille got there just a fraction of a second before me. I've played for a lot of Clubs and the actual football clubs themselves aren't normally the nicest places to spend time at. Highfield Road was different becuase it was a hub of activity for us. We always ate in the restaurants and it was a great place to be."

MICKY QUINN - 1992-1994

"I think it would have to be the Liverpool game over Christmas in 1992 - they didn't have a bad team at all but we battered them. On our day, I think we were as good as anyone in the league, as we proved.

"To beat any Liverpool side 5-1 was some achievement. I must admit that after I scored my second goal - I think it was the side's fifth - I went back to the half way line and took the mickey a little bit. I put one hand over my eye like an eye patch and hopped all the way back! In football it's a way of teasing the opposition and Bobby Gould pulled me off becuase of it!

"He told me we had to go up to Anfield later in the season to play them and he I shouldn't take the mickey and he was right, becuase they beat us 4-0 at Anfield and started doing the same to us!

"But the home game was very special to me. As I'm from Liverpool, I had lots of family down here that day and they were my boyhood team, to rub their noses in it was fantastic."

YOUSSEF SAFRI - 2001-2004

"I enjoyed every game I ever played in at Highfield Road. Coventry had quite  big profile back in Morocco becuase Hadji and Chippo played there and it was a great honour for me to come and play there. My first game at Highfield Road was against Manchester City in 2001 and David Thompson scored a great goal in the last minute to win us the match. I will always remember that day and I only have good memories of Highfield Road."


"The main one was when we were really down and out in the 1976/77 season. I scored at Everton in the last minute about four games from the end to get us a valuable point and it turned out that we would have to draw with Bristol at Highfield Road if Sunderland were beaten at Everton. There was a bit of controversy about it becuase we delayed kick-off by 15 minutes.

"I wasn't renowned for scoring goals and I scored them both that night and the pleasure of staying up that year was unbelieveable. The crowd were six deep around the ground - they were actually sitting on the sidelines and afterwards they wouldn't go until we came back out on the pitch. There was champage flowing and I thought 'Wait a minute, we haven't won anything, we've just stayed up.' But that was how important it was."

SAM ALLARDYCE - 1983-1984

"My greatest memory of Highfield Road was when Terry Gibson netted a hat-trick in a 4-0 defeat of Liverpool in 1983. It was highly memorable and a tremendous achievement for the Sky Blues, becauase at the time Liverpool were a successful European team, and eventually went on to win the old First Division title."

BILL GLAZIER - 1964-1975

"I played my first game here, I played my first England Under 23 game for Alf Ramsey at Highfield Road, I played in the English League versus the Scottish League match here, and then there was the big one - the Wolverhampton Wanderers game when there were 52,000 here. The place was brilliant that day. Ten minutes before the end, the game had to stop becuase people were flooding onto the pitch. We played against a lot of top clubs, but they were just normal games compared to the Wolves match which was special becuase we won the league and Wolves came second."

BOBBY GOULD - 1963-1968 (Manager 1983-84 & 1992-93)

"My fondest memory is definitely scoring on my home debut against Manchester City in the 1964/65 season. I had played the season before that but it was always away from home and when that goal went in all my dreams came true as a local lad. To go from going along with my Dad and Granddad to watching my first game on my own on the Spion Kop to actually scoring at Highfield Road was amazing. All I had ever wanted was to play for Coventry and even though the fans didn't take too kindly to me at first I went on to score 24 goals the season we got promoted to Division One which was my best ever. As manager my favourite moment was when we managed to stay up by beating Norwich in 1984. As a local lad I couldn't have stood to have taken us down so that felt like a great achievement as well. Coventry City means so much to the entire Gould family."


"My favourite memory has got to be the goal against Manchester United - I will never ever forget that goal and it still ranks among my best to this day.  Man Utd were an unbelievable side when we played them that season - they were untouchable but we put a spanner in their works. We had a great team that season with the likes of Gary McAllister, Noel Whelan and George Boateng, and the partnership I had with Dion was unbelievable. In the game against United he scored a late penalty to make it 2-2 and all I remember of my goal was just collecting it and running with it. Players just seemed to move out of my way and I kept going and when I slotted it in it was the best feeling. I always had a great relationship with the Coventry fans so to give them something like that to cheer about will always be one of my favourite footballing memories." 

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