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Club News

NEWS: RIP John Sillett

30 November 2021

Coventry City Football Club are devastated to learn of the death of Sky Blues icon John Sillett.

The Sky Blues’ legendary FA Cup winning boss and Life President has sadly passed away at the age of 85.

‘Snoz’ will forever be loved and remembered by Sky Blues fans and all who met him, who will remember a larger-than-life character who loved football and Coventry City.

John moved to Highfield Road as a player in 1962, when he moved from Chelsea to become Jimmy Hill’s first signing as manager for £3000.

His performances at right-back were instrumental in City’s promotion to Division 2 and the exciting FA Cup run in 1962-63. He left City in July 1966 for Plymouth, having appeared 128 times for Coventry City.

John had started his coaching career at Bristol City and after successful spell as manager at Hereford United, Gordon Milne brought him back to Highfield Road in 1979 as chief scout and later youth coach but that initial spell on the coaching staff was short-lived as the team were having a difficult time.

However, ‘Snoz’ was later returned under the auspices of Don Mackay in 1985 and by May of the following year Sillett took on the role as chief coach, alongside Managing Director George Curtis, following the parting of the ways with Mackay.

As chief coach, Sillett would famously lead the Sky Blues to FA Cup victory in May 1987, following a 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, securing the Club’s first and only major trophy.

A 10th place finish would be achieved in 1986/87, with the role of Sillett formalised as he became sole Manager at the end of the season. 10th, 7th and 12th place finishes would follow in the top division, however Sillett was sacked in November 1990.

Later in the decade, following a further spell at Hereford, he would scout for the Sky Blues and be a popular presence on the microphone and around the lounges at Highfield Road, alongside working as a Central TV pundit.

In 2011, Sillett was made a Life President of Coventry City. In 2017, Sillett was on the pitch at Wembley to rouse Sky Blues fans ahead of the Checkatrade Trophy Final, and attended the League Two Play-Off Final – his presence on the big screen generating a huge cheer from City supporters.

John, alongside wife Jean, remained a regular in the Boardroom at games up until his death. He attended his final game earlier this season, watching the Sky Blues beat Nottingham Forest on the opening day of the season.

A hugely respected and loved figure in the game, John Sillett’s name is indelibly etched into Coventry City’s history, and the thoughts and condolences of everyone at Coventry City Football Club and of the whole Sky Blue community are with John’s family and friends at this very sad time.

A full obituary to John will be on our website shortly, alongside details of our tributes to John and his life.


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