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Club News

GALLERY: George Curtis and John Sillett statue announced

9 January 2024

Club News

GALLERY: George Curtis and John Sillett statue announced

9 January 2024

Plans for the statue of George Curtis and John Sillett were announced last Thursday, with a launch event held on the same day too.

Proposals are in place for the duo who famously guided Coventry City to FA Cup victory in 1987 to be immortalised with a statue to honour their achievements, with the campaign officially launched last Thursday in a press conference at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

The families of George and John were represented, as well as the Football Club and Arena, several donors and also members of the 1987 team, squad and staff - including Dave Bennett, Lloyd McGrath, Steve Ogrizovic, Trevor Peake, Dean Emerson and Mick Kearns.

Fundraising efforts are already underway for the statue, which will be located facing Jimmy Hill Way near the South Entrance of the Arena.

Over £135,000 was raised by a range of donors, including Coventry City Football Club, ahead of plans being formally announced, and now supporters and the wider public are encouraged to donate to get the fundraising effort over the line to ensure that two giants of Coventry City’s rich history get the recognition they truly deserve - with an £87,000 fundraising target.

To donate, visit www.ccfc.co.uk/statue-appeal

George Curtis passed away in July 2021 at the age of 82 and John Sillett passed away in November 2021 aged 85.

George was a legendary player at the Club, as a physically powerful centre half and natural leader whose captaincy and consistency were second to none. As Captain, Curtis was a key part of the Sky Blue Revolution that saw the Club rise through the leagues and his appearance total of 543 games from 1956 to 1969 remains the second highest in the Club’s history.

‘Iron Man’ George went on to play a hugely influential role behind the scenes at the Sky Blues from 1972 to 1994 in commercial roles and as Managing Director, and of course as part of the management team that took charge and guided City to top-flight safety at the end of the 1985/86 season and FA Cup victory at Wembley in 1987. George was made a Life President of the Club in 2012.

John Sillett joined City as a player in 1962, arriving from Chelsea as Jimmy Hill’s first signing. His performances at right-back were instrumental in City’s promotion to Division 2. He left in July 1966, having appeared 128 times for Coventry City.

He had spells on the coaching staff in the late 70s and the 80s, and in 1986 was part of the management duo that guided the Club to safety and then took on the role as chief coach as the Sky Blues achieved FA Cup glory in May 1987. Sillett then took sole charge of team affairs, achieving 10th, 7th and 12th place finishes before leaving the Club in November 1990. Later in the decade, he would scout for the Sky Blues and be a matchday host. In 2011, Sillett was made Life President.

The Statue will see the huge achievements of Curtis and Sillett celebrated and will be made by the critically acclaimed UK sculptor Douglas Jennings - past footballing figures to be immortalised by Douglas include Johnny Haynes, George Cohen and Jack Charlton, and he has also produced statues of other figures including Queen Elizabeth II.

To donate, visit www.ccfc.co.uk/statue-appeal

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