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History

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: Coventry City 6-2 Derby County - 30th April 2005

23 March 2020

Coventry City faced Derby County in the final game at Highfield Road on 30th April 2005.

The hosts were 4-0 ahead by half-time through a brace from Gary McSheffrey, Dele Adebola's individual effort and Stern John's header.

Derby hit back through Adam Bolder in the second-half, but John restored the four-goal advantage.

The visitors struck again through Paul Peschisolido but substitute Andy Whing's superb half-volley from the edge of the box gave Highfield Road the perfect send-off, with 22,728 in attendance on a historic afternoon.

We take a look back at what the team from that day have been up to since…

 

Luke Steele – Now 35

Steele was a Manchester United youngster when the Keeper made a loan move to Coventry City at the start of the 2004-05 campaign. In 36 games that season, Steele conceded 62 times as the Sky Blues defence proved to be a leaky one.

Steele did enough to warrant a further loan spell with City, this time at the Ricoh Arena in 2006 and then again in 2006-07, this time from West Brom – making a total of 43 appearances in his three loans with the Sky Blues.

He moved to Barnsley in 2008, playing over 200 times before leaving for Panathinaikos in 2014. He remained at the Greek side until 2017, signing for Bristol City before moving to Nottingham Forest in 2018. His most recent move was a loan one to Millwall in January, but he is yet to make an appearance.

Richard Duffy – 34

You could be forgiven if you referred to Duffy as a Sky Blues regular, but he never actually made a permanent move to the club – instead enjoying four loan spells!

Initially at Swansea, he moved to Portsmouth from where the Sky Blues signed him on a temporary basis four times. He became Micky Adams first signing in January 2005 for a three-month loan, playing 15 times including this final game at Highfield Road.

He spent the full 2005-06 season on loan at the Ricoh Arena, playing 34 games. In October 2006, it was loan number 3 to City – 13 appearances coming this time. For a change it was a loan to Swansea in January 2007, before a final spell with the Sky Blues in March 2008 for 2 games. His total appearances for Coventry City coming to 64.

He switched to Millwall from Pompey in February 2009, before signing with Exeter City in July 2009. He joined Port Vale in July 2012 and helped the club to secure promotion from League Two in 2012–13. He stayed at the club for four years before joining Notts County in June 2016. He joined Kidsgrove Athletic, of Northern Premier League Division One, in August 2019.

Robert Page – 45

A stalwart of Watford and then Sheffield United, Page moved to Highfield Road in February 2005 as Micky Adams sought to strengthen the Sky Blues defence and played nine games in that first season.

After a knee injury, 34 games and 1 goals followed in 2005-06 for the Welsh international. Page had hip surgery in summer 2006, he signed a new contract and was named captain in the Autumn of that year. In January 2007 he was involved in an altercation in training, as his appearances after that were limited as he fell out of favour under new boss Iain Dowie. In total he played 76 times, scoring 1 goal, for the Sky Blues, joining Huddersfield in 2008.

It was a brief spell, as he joined Chesterfield in May of that year. He would make 63 appearances there, before moving to Port Vale in 2011 to begin his coaching career, linking up again with Micky Adams. When Adams resigned in September 2014, Page took charge and was largely successful there, earning the attention of Northampton who appointed him as boss in May 2016. He was sacked in January 2017, after which he joined the Welsh national side and was appointed assistant coach to Ryan Giggs in August 2019.

 

Steve Staunton – 51

Highfield Road was the penultimate stop in an illustrious career for Staunton. Part of the last Liverpool side to win the title, he also won the FA Cup in a first spell at Anfield from 1987-1991. He was at Aston Villa from 1991-1998, adding two League Cups to his trophy haul. He returned to Anfield from 1998-2001, before going back to Villa Park from 2000-03. He also made 102 appearances for the Republic of Ireland.

Staunton joined the Sky Blues in August 2003 on a free transfer, making 38 appearances in his first season (3 goals) and adding much experience to a young City side. He would make another 37 appearances in the 2004-05 and showed great fitness, quality and professionalism in his two years at Highfield Road.

In 2005 he moved to Walsall, playing ten times while also being assistant manager and he made his final professional appearance on 31st December 2005. He was appointed Ireland Manager in January 2006, but left the post in October 2007. He briefly assisted Gary McAllister at Leeds in 2008, before being appointed Darlington boss in October 2009. He was sacked in March 2010 with the team facing relegation, and from 2011 to 2013 was a scout at Sunderland.

Marcus Hall - 43

Coventry born and bred, Hall came through the Sky Blues youth ranks and made his debut for his hometown club in the Premier League on New Year's Eve 1994. England Under 21 international Marcus stayed with the Club for eight seasons, making 157 appearances and scoring 4 goals.

Brief spells at Nottingham Forest (1 game) and Southampton (0 games) followed in 2002, before Hall joined Stoke in December of that year. He was a regular for the Potters before returning to Highfield Road in January 2005 on a free transfer. He made a further 151 appearances for the Sky Blues, and was awarded a testimonial in July 2009. He was deemed surplues to requirements at the end of that season, joining Northampton Town in 2010 where he remained for one year before hanging up his boots.

Since then, Marcus remained involved in football as an agent before working at Jaguar Land Rover in Coventry and then in a role in HR and Workforce Development in the social care sector. 

Claus Jorgensen – 43

The Denmark-born Faroe Isles international came to the Sky Blues in 2003. He first moved to England in 1999 from AC Horsens, when he signed for Second Division Bournemouth and picked up the Player of the Year prize in his first season. In 2001 he moved to First Division Bradford City, and in his second season he scored in eight successive away games.

He signed for Coventry City in 2003, but only made 10 appearances in his first campaign – returning to Bournemouth on loan in the latter half of the season. The 2004-05 season saw Claus play 20 games and score 3 times, while the 2005-06 Claus netted 3 times in 31 games – included the first ever goal at the Ricoh Arena in a win over QPR in August 2005.

At the end of that season he moved to Blackpool, and would play over 100 times for the Tangerines in three seasons, including in a League One Play-Off Final win. Brief spells with Port Vale and Fleetwood Town followed, before retirement in 2010 to concentrate on his floor care business.

In 2014, Claus started coaching with the Academy before linking up with Andy Morrell at Tamworth in 2016. He returned to Denmark to coach the AaB under-15 team in July 2019.

Michael Doyle – 38

The Midfielder made a total of 373 appearances for the Sky Blues, in two spells from 2003 to 2011 and from 2017 to 2019, putting him 7th in the all-time record appearance list alongside other club legends.

Signed from Celtic in 2003 as a youngster, Doyle was a regular in the Sky Blues side from that point until 2009/10 – playing over 40 games each season to that point and captaining the side, plus being named 2004-05 Player of the Year. With his place in the first-team taken in 2009, Doyle had a loan at Leeds in League One before returning to the Ricoh Arena in 2010/11 and eventually leaving for Sheffield United in January 2011.

He spent 5 seasons at Bramall Lane, joining Portsmouth in 2015 for two seasons, which included winning League Two. Mark Robins recruited Doyle back for the Sky Blues and he was the integral Captain in the League Two Play-Off win of 2017/18.

In January 2019 Doyle signed for Notts County, where he remains a regular in the middle of the park.

Stephen Hughes – 43

Hughes started his career at Arsenal, and he made 16 first team appearances there to earn a winners medal as the Gunners won the 1998 Premier League title. He played 76 games at Arsenal, before moving to Everton for the 2000-01 season for a £500k fee. He played 33 games before being released, signing for Watford in the First Division and an injury hit two years. He moved to Charlton in 2003, but failed to make an appearance.

He was signed by Peter Reid at Coventry City in 2004, and would make 144 appearances, scoring 8 goals, in a four-season spell. A cultured midfielder, he was named club captain too. In February 2005 after the sending off of keeper Ian Bennett, it was Hughes who went in goal and kept a clean sheet for the Sky Blues against Stoke City.

After being released by the Sky Blues in 2008, Hughes moved to Walsall before hanging up his boots. Since retiring from the game, he has returned back to Arsenal as a pundit and commentator for their Arsenal Player service.

Gary McSheffrey – 37

When he made his first-team debut against Aston Villa at the age of 16 years and 198 days on 27 February 1999, a game that Coventry won 4–1, he became the youngest player ever to play in the Premier League.

With sporadic appearances in the meantime, he first really established himself in the City line-up in 2002-03, playing 33 times and 8 goals and showing his blistering pace and finishing ability. He then regularly reached double figures for goals in each season for the Sky Blues, though he also had loans in 2003-04 and 2004-05 at Luton.

After 162 games and 53 goals for his hometown club, Birmingham City swooped to purchase McSheffrey in 2006. In a four season spell, he twice earned promotion to the Premier League. In 2009-10 he was on loan at Leeds, before returning to Coventry City at the start of the 2010-11 campaign. He stayed for three seasons, playing 119 times and scoring 19. Not part of Steven Pressley’s plan, his contract was cancelled in September 2013.

Chesterfield snapped him up, before a move to Scunthorpe United from 2013-16. After a loan at the end of 2015-16 to Doncaster, the move was made permanent in that Summer. In 2017, he signed for Eastleigh before a brief final spell in the Football League with Grimsby in 2018.

In 2018, McSheffrey joined the coaching staff at Doncaster Rovers' Academy working with the Under 18s, and at the start of the season moved up to the Under 23s.

 

Dele Adebola – 44

Started off at Liverpool, but turned down the Reds offer of a YTS deal to move to Crewe – seeing that he would have more opportunities at Gresty Road. He was right and made his debut aged 17 in 1992. He scored 39 times in 123 league games, sparking the interest of Birmingham City who paid £1m for him in 1998. He left in 2002 for a one-year spell at Crystal Palace, after which Gary McAllister signed him at Highfield Road.

He struggled to settle at first, having loan spells out at Burnley and Bradford. He improved in 2004-05, firstly under Peter Reid and then Micky Adams and became an important player for the Sky Blues. He hit 12 goals in the 2005-06 season, and scored a memorable goal for City against Blackburn in the FA Cup in 2008.

In January 2008 he moved to Bristol City, and won the Player of the Year award in 2008-09. He signed for Nottingham Forest in 2009, then Hull City in 2011. After a loan at Notts County in 2012, Dele signed for Rochdale for the 2012-13 campaign. In February 2013 he was on loan at Rochdale, before joining Rushall Olympic in the Summer and then hanging up his boots.

He’s now involved in coaching and community work.

Stern John – 43

Trinidad and Tobago international Stern has a huge list of clubs. He moved from the USA to England with Nottingham Forest in 1999 and then signed for Birmingham City in 2002. A move to Highfield Road followed in September 2004.

In 88 games, he scored 29 goals for the Sky Blues. A great finisher, he was out of favour at the start of 2005-06 and loaned to Derby but returned to Coventry to be second highest scorer.

In January 2007 he was sold to Sunderland, then in August of the same year John moved to Southampton as part of the deal that saw Kenwynne Jones head to the Stadium of Light. Subsequently he also appeared for Bristol City (loan), Ipswich Town (loan) and Crystal Palace in 2010, then he came out of retirement for a spell at Solihull Moors in 2012.

John retired and moved back to his native Trinidad and Tobago after his spell at Solihull Moors. He came out of retirement a second time in order to join WASA FC of the National Super League of Trinidad and Tobago in January 2014.

John came out of retirement once again in 2016 when he was appointed as player-coach of Central F.C. in the TT Pro League, and is now Manager at the club.

Subs Used:

Andrew Whing – 35

Whing progressed through the CCFC Academy, making his debut in the first-team in February 2003 and establishing his place in the first-team squad in 2003-04. The signing of Louis Carey provided competition, but Whing wrote himself into history with the final goal at Highfield Road.

He played 36 games in the 2005-06 campaign, but by 2007 he was out of favour and sold to Brighton, having played 119 games and scored 2 goals for the Sky Blues.

At Brighton he played over 100 games, with loans spells at Chesterfield and Leyton Orient. Whing made a permanent move to Orient in January 2011, before signing for Oxford United in that Summer.

He spent four years at Oxford, appearing over 100 times and becoming a cult hero there. After hanging up his boots in 2015, he moved to coaching the Under 18s side and then joined Kidderminster Harriors in 2017 as their Under 23s coach. In 2018 he joined the Sky Blue Academy, leaving in 2019.

Andy Morrell – 45

Morrell signed for Wrexham in 1998, forming a productive partnership with Lee Trundle. He signed for the Sky Blues in 2003, initially as a striker but in time was often used in a wide position. No doubt this affected his goal haul, the hard-working Morrell being restricted to netting 19 times in 111 games.

In 2006, Morrell moved to Blackpool and scored 20 in his first season. In 2008, he joined Bury before returning to Wrexham in 2010 initially in a playing capacity.

On 23rd September 2011, Morrell as appointed Manager and stayed in that role until February 2014 – winning the FA Trophy in that time. After a brief time as assistant manager at Shrewsbury, in September 2014 he was appointed Manager at Tamworth and remained there until February 2018.

 

Trevor Benjamin - 41

Benjamin signed a short-term deal at Highfield Road in 2005, the striker having previously played for Cambridge United and Leicester City amongst several loan spells – the Foxes signing him for £1.5 million. He also played for England Under 21s and the Jamaican national side.

He played 12 games, scoring the opening goal in an away win at Watford. He then signed for Peterborough, with loans at Watford, Swindon, Boston and Walsall, before joining Hereford in 2007 who he helped to promotion from League Two. Benjamin appeared for a number of non-league sides after this before retiring in 2012.

After retirement, Benjamin runs a football glove brand called LocustUK and his own football academy.

Subs Not Used:

Kevin Pressman – 52

Sheffield Wednesday legend, who didn’t make an appearance for the Sky Blues after signing in 2005. Now Scunthorpe United goalkeeping coach

Shaun Goater – 50

Manchester City legend before moving to Highfield Road in March 2005 on a short-term deal, playing six times. Most recently Macclesfield Under 18s coach.


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