Sunday, 15 January 2017

Jim's column 14.1.2017

With the Sky Blues not playing last weekend I was able to ponder the recent run of form. They managed to end the dreadful run of losses in league games with draws against Peterborough and Bolton, in fact City should have won both games. The defeat at Bristol Rovers on Boxing Day was therefore the end of the run of seven straight defeats, equalling the worst run by a City team since 1924, and two short of the worst run since they joined the Football League in 1919.

City have still failed to win in nine league games – the longest run since 2012 when Andy Thorn's relegated side failed to win any of their last six games in the Championship and then went eight games into 2012-13 without registering a league victory (under Thorn, caretakers Lee Carsley and Richard Shaw and Mark Robins). Let's hope that's not an omen and Russell Slade can end the run quickly and pull the club away from the relegation zone.

The form shown in the last two league games and the FL Trophy victory over Brighton on Tuesday evening has cheered some City fans up and with more signings expected in the January window I expect the side to have a stronger look for the last three months of the campaign. Against Bolton Slade introduced three new players, all of whom made an instant impact, and the number of players to represent the club since they joined the League in 1919 edged towards the 1000 mark. No-nonsense defender Nathan Clarke (the 966th to wear the shirt), midfield loanee Callum Reilly (967) and all-action striker Stuart Beavon (968) all played their part in a much-improved display. Beavon became the 106th player to make his debut in the 4 ½ years since we were relegated from the Championship in 2012. By comparison, Jimmy Hill in his six years as the club's manager only gave 40 players their debuts. Back then new signings were rare and a number of the players he inherited in 1961 were still at the club when they reached the First Division six years later including George Curtis, Mick Kearns, Ronnie Farmer &  Brian Hill.

The rate of new players has accelerated in recent years, for example Steve Jacobs was the 500th player in May 1980 (the club's 55th season in the league) and now 37 years later we are approaching the 1000 mark. Last season we gave 24 players their first game, one less than the 2014-15 when a record 25 got their debuts. This season there have been 15 so far – maybe the inability for clubs to take loans outside of the transfer windows has had an effect – but I expect there to be several more.

Stuart Beavon comes from a footballing family and it makes me feel very old to say I remember watching his father and grandfather play. Cyril Beavon, his grandfather, was a no-nonsense full-back in the Oxford United team admitted to the Football League in 1962 after the demise of Accrington Stanley. He was a regular in their side in the 1960s that included Ron Atkinson and his brother Graham, who sadly passed away recently. Cyril's son Stuart senior was in the Reading side that knocked City out of the Simod (Full Members) Cup at the semi-final stage in 1988. In a game which had a delayed start because of traffic congestion, City and Reading drew 1-1 after extra time and Reading won the penalty shoot-out to book a Wembley final place. They met Luton in the final and won 4-1 becoming the only side outside the top flight to win the trophy and Stuart scored one of the goals from the penalty spot.

Two weeks ago I wrote about the days when football was played on Christmas Day, usually with the return of a double header on Boxing Day. City had numerous long trips to make on Christmas night to fulfil a return game the following afternoon but Rod Dean reminded of the two worst Christmas double headers from a travel point of view. On Christmas Day 1929 City entertained Plymouth Argyle, the previously unbeaten league leaders of Division Three South, and won 1-0 in front of over 26,000, more than double the crowd that had watched them play Luton at home four days earlier. Somehow the two teams got to Plymouth, 207 miles away, in order to play the return twenty-four hours later (probably by train in the days when BR ran a Christmas Day service). Argyle won 3-0 in front of over 27,000. Rod also mentioned the Christmas of 1958 when the fixture compiler (pre-computer days) matched City v Torquay, a round trip for both teams of 370 miles. The clubs met at Highfield Road on Boxing Day morning with City retaining top spot in Division Four with a 3-0 win in front of over 27,000. Twenty-four hours later the teams clashed again at Plainmoor with honours even in a 1-1 draw. There was very little time for footballers to have a Christmas with their families back then and I wonder what the modern managers and players would have to say about two games in two days with or without a long journey!

Monday, 9 January 2017

Jim's column 7.1.2017

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about some postcards of old Coventry City teams given to me by John Feeney and they generated some interest amongst readers. Fellow historian Mike Young confirmed that the 1904 picture was taken 'behind the grandstand' before the home game with Walsall on 17th September. Mike was also able to shed more light on G. Beale who was dressed in civvies in the team picture. He believes it is George Beale, a centre-forward from Walsall who played (and scored) in the second pre-season public trial match on 27th August when his team (the Stripes) lost 6-3 to the 'Blues'. Beale wasn't signed on by the club so Mike is mystified as to why he should still be knocking around for the photo more than a fortnight later.

'Eli' Juggins was the club's trainer in the postcard of the 1912-13 team picture and I had a lovely email from Laurie Bird of Rugby regarding his ancestor.

Congratulations on an interesting article on Coventry City's history. I was pleased to see my uncle got a mention as trainer in the 1912 photo. You refer to him as ‘Eli’ Juggins, whereas his full name was Eleader Juggins. Apparently his mother named all her kids from the Bible! He was in fact the brother of my mother’s mother, so I guess that makes him my great uncle?

He was born 15 June 1880 in Darlaston, near Walsall and initially played for Wolves. He was transferred to Coventry in 1907 and went to live in a club house at 78 Nicholls Street. The employment situation was such that all the family moved with him to Coventry, as he was the main earner. The house later passed to other landlords and was occupied by other members of the family until they actually bought it in the 1950s and eventually sold it around 1970.

Family folklore has it that when he was first transferred to Coventry he used to cycle from Darlaston for training, then hide his bike as footballers weren’t allowed to ride bikes as he use to say ‘it slows you up’!  Whether he did this just a few times or on a regular basis I’ve no idea, but if it was even once it shows the era they lived in.

The book ‘Coventry – A Complete Record 1883-1991’ by Rod Dean (with your help) shows Eleader Juggins as playing for Coventry from 1907-08 season to 1911-12 making 110 appearances and scoring 9 goals. He played at right back and I believe he was a regular penalty taker. Of course in those days, even before the ‘stopper centre half’, the full backs were the main defenders. The photos on pages 12 and 15 show him first a player then trainer. The book incorrectly calls him Eleander Juggins and goes on to explain that in 1914 he went to Southampton. This would have been very brief as before long he returned to Coventry to keep a pub in Hillfields. Shortly afterwards he fought in World War 1 after which he returned, minus a finger. His younger brother, Sam, was less fortunate, losing a leg.

Apparently the pub was in a bad way when he returned and he moved into the fish and chip business. He set up a shop appropriately called ‘The Bantam’ situated in Caludon Road, overlooking the railway bridge and within sight of Cov’s ground. I remember the shop in the 1940s, when people used to queue for fish and chips right round the corner into Brighton Street. That’s all disappeared now, with the new road displacing the goods railway line. His son (also Eleader) took over the shop until a fire in the mid-fifties forced closure.

I remember he used to grumble about his knees, saying this is what came from “tecking all them penalties for Coventry City”! He later lived in another house in Nicholls Street, almost opposite no.78 and he died around 1960 when he would have been about 80.

A right full-back, Juggins was a stalwart in the City defence between 1907-1912 and is pictured in the team photograph from 1908 as City prepared for their first season in the Southern League.

On the question of Eli's name I wasn't convinced that Eleader was a biblical name and wondered if his christian name was perhaps Eleazer (definitely a biblical name). I sought the help of Michael Joyce, one of the leading people on footballers' ancestry who was able to support Laurie's view that he was definitely christened Eleader. Michael also advised that he was born in 1882 and all the available censuses confirm this as does his death record in September 1966. There is also no record of him appearing as a player for Southampton in 1914 but Laurie thinks he may have taken a similar role to the one he left at Coventry i.e. as a trainer, especially as his predecessor Jimmy McIntyre had moved to the Dell from Coventry in 1912. As wore broke out in the summer of 1914 he possibly never took up the position.

I also wrote about a City friendly game in Derry in 1948 and said that Wally Soden was probably the first instance of Coventry City using a substitute. Mike Young pointed out that that honour went to Dennis Simpson who replaced 'Plum' Warner in a friendly game against Danish club Aarhus during City's tour to Denmark in 1946. It seems Wally was the second substitute used in a friendly game.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Jim's column 31.12.2016

There was another disaster at Bristol Rovers on Boxing Day as City again capitulated to a more physical team in what is becoming a predictable occurrence this season. The defeat means seven straight league defeats for the Sky Blues since their last victory over Chesterfield on 1st November. It equals the run at the end of the 1972-73 season for Gordon Milne's team in Division One. Two potentially tough games face the team in the next few days with a trip to Peterborough today and a home game with Bolton Wanderers on Monday. There have been only two worse losing runs by the club since they joined the Football League. In 1924-25 City, then a Second Division outfit, lost eight in a row between early November and 3rd January 1925 when they managed a 0-0 draw at Stockport. Two weeks later they recorded their first victory for almost three months, a shock 1-0 victory over league leaders Manchester United.

If City lose today and on Monday they will equal the club's worst ever run set in 1919 when, newly elected to Division Two following World War One, they lost their first nine games in the Football League. It really doesn't bear thinking about!

City's first ever visit to Bristol's Memorial Ground and their first competitive game with Rovers since 1964 certainly showed new manager Russell Slade that there is a great deal of work to be done to keep the team in this division. If the defeat wasn't bad enough, to witness Billy Bodin score a hat-trick was truly embarrassing. The winger, who is the son of former Welsh international Paul Bodin, had scored only once in 21 appearances before Boxing Day. His penalty was the 23rd consecutive successful spot-kick by Bristol Rovers.

Bodin's hat-trick comes just three weeks after Cambridge's Luke Berry scored four in the FA Cup, and is the first league hat-trick conceded by the Sky Blues since Tranmere's Ryan Lowe scored three in the 5-1 defeat at Sixfields in November 2013. Since City left the Premier League in 2001 Bodin is one of only five players to score league hat-tricks against them, the others being Jamie Cureton (QPR), Vincent Pericard (Plymouth), Nahki Wells (Bradford) and Lowe.

Matt Partridge was surprised that the Sky Blues had two away games over the Christmas period but none at home and asked if this had happened before. In 2012-13 City played at Stevenage on Boxing Day and at MK Dons on 29th December, winning 3-1 at Stevenage and 3-2 at MK. City were in a golden spell at the time and the two wins made it 10 games unbeaten under Mark Robins. At Stevenage Richard Wood, Carl Baker and David McGoldrick scored the goals whilst Frank Moussa and Stephen Elliott (2) wrapped up the points at MK.

The previous occurrence was in 2001 when City won 1-0 at Grimsby on Boxing Day and lost 2-1 at Nottingham Forest on the 29th. City also played away twice the previous Christmas (Everton and Middlesbrough), in 1991 (Sheffield United & Wimbledon), in 1989 (QPR & Derby) and on various other occasions. Normally when this has occurred the fixture computer has given City a home game on January 1st.

Until the late 1950s clubs played the same opponents, home and away, on Christmas Day and Boxing Day (unless one of those days fell on a Sunday) and often they weren't local derbies meaning long journeys for teams and supporters over the festive period. So, for instance, in 1950, City played at Cardiff on Christmas Day and entertained the Welsh side on Boxing Day, and in 1953 played Ipswich home and away in successive days. Most clubs played their Christmas Day home games with an 11 a.m. kick-off so fans could get home for their Christmas dinner. During the 1950s the appeal of going to a game on Christmas morning faded and attendances fell. In 1959 City were one of the last clubs to play on Christmas Day, beating Wrexham 5-3 in front of 17,000.

The tradition of playing the same opponents home and away over Christmas continued until 1967. City's final opponents in a Christmas double-header were Liverpool, who they were playing for the first time in the League. City entertained the Reds on Boxing Day in front of over 42,000, the sixth highest gate in the club's history at the time. World Cup winner Roger Hunt gave 'Pool an early lead before Ian St John got his marching orders for felling City's Brian Lewis with a left hook. Gerry Baker equalised before half-time and although Bobby Gould had several chances the game ended 1-1. Four days later City travelled to Anfield and lost the return to a solitary Ian Callaghan goal.
                 Bobby Gould challenges Liverpool's Tommy Lawrence in the Boxing Day 1967 game.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Jim's column 24.12.2016

John Feeney is a collector of Coventry City memorabilia and recently gave me copies of two postcards of City teams from over 100 years ago asking for more details.

The first one is undated but has the names of the players. I'm pretty sure it was taken at Highfield Road before a game and the 11 players only ever played together once, on 17th September 1904 v Walsall. City won the Birmingham League game 2-0 with goals from Belton and Banks. The line up was: Harry Whitehouse: John Kearns, Billy Spittle, H Jones, H King, F Court, S Edwards, E Clive, Tom Belton, Bertie Banks (captain), G Archer. Also in the picture are secretary/manager Michael O'Shea (far right back row), trainer S Bullivant (far left, back row) and a G Beale who I cannot trace. The team are wearing royal blue shirts with white shorts.

The second postcard is of the 1912-13 squad which was playing in the Southern League and includes 25 players plus the secretary/manager Robert Wallace, the chairman David Cooke, two other directors Messrs Turrall (with a cigarette in his mouth) and Collingbourne, two trainers Eli Juggins and Tom Arnold, and the groundsman. The kit is royal blue with white sleeves and a white yoke. The players include the famous goalkeeper Bob Evans who was City's first international – he won 10 caps for Wales. This was Bob's last of five seasons at Highfield Road and he left for Birmingham the following summer.

Steve Bell was in contact recently asking about a couple of friendly games City played in Northern Ireland in May 1948. Under manager Billy Frith, City had finished 10th in Division Two with the help of a seven-game run-in with only one defeat. A week after the season ended City travelled by coach and boat to Belfast where on 10th May they met Linfield, winning 3-2 thanks to a Peter Murphy hat-trick. Two days later they were in Londonderry beating Derry City 5-0 with goals from Norman Lockhart (2), Plum Warner, Wally Soden and Alex McIntosh.

City's team for both matches was: Alf Wood: Harry Barratt, Dennis Tooze, Ron Cox, George Mason, Stan Smith, Plum Warner, Alex McIntosh, Ted Roberts, Peter Murphy, Norman Lockhart. Soden, recently signed from Boldmere St Michaels and who had made only one first team start, was a substitute for Roberts) in the Derry game – probably the first instance of the club using a substitute. The picture was taken at the start of that season & includes six of the team that played in Northern Ireland.

Whilst writing this column the news has come through that Russell Slade has been appointed as the club's new manager. Slade has a reasonable record in this division but of course is not the first Slade to sit in the club's managerial chair. In February 1931 Bill Slade, a director of the club, took over as caretaker manager following the departure of Jimmy McIntyre. Slade, who never played professional football, was in charge for 16 games until Harry Storer was appointed at the end of the season. Bill became manager of Walsall a year later and led them to their famous FA Cup victory over the mighty Arsenal in 1933 with a team that included five ex-City players that Slade had signed for the Saddlers.

Merry Christmas to all my readers and lets hope for a better 2017.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Jim's column 17.12.2016

Thursday night's defeat to Sheffield United was City's sixth straight league defeat – ironically with probably their best display of the six. The last time City lost five consecutive league games was four years ago just after the club were relegated from the Championship. Andy Thorn's final game in charge was a 2-2 home draw with Bury and Richard Shaw and Lee Carsley were put in temporary charge of the team. After a thrilling 3-2 League Cup win over Birmingham City, the caretaker duo were in charge for four league games, all of which were lost. A 1-0 loss at Crewe was followed by a 2-1 home defeat to Stevenage and away defeats at Tranmere (0-2) and Shrewsbury (1-4). Mark Robins took over as permanent manager and lost his first game in charge (a 2-1 home defeat to Carlisle).

You have to go back 43 years for the last occurrence of a City side losing more than five consecutive league games. For several months of the 1972-73 season City fans were drooling over the football produced by Joe Mercer and Gordon Milne's team. The signings in October 1972 of Colin Stein and Tommy Hutchison sparked an unbeaten run of eight games and three FA Cup victories took them to the sixth round for the first time in 10 years. The Cup run ended at Molineux and City's subsequent form collapsed -they won only one of their last ten games and lost the last seven in a row. The seven included home defeats to Leeds, Derby and Liverpool and away reverses at Everton, Sheffield United, Chelsea and Wolves. The team finished 19th after being 10th before the Wolves Cup-tie. There was no rational explanation for the collapse by a very strong and experienced side that in addition to Stein & Hutchison contained Willie Carr, Dennis Mortimer, Chris Cattlin, Roy Barry, Mick Coop and Brian Alderson. Older fans remember that team with fondness and overlook that end of season collapse.

There are only two occasions in which City have lost more than seven consecutive league games. In the 1924-25 relegation season from Division Two they lost eight in a row between early November and early January including heavy away defeats at Hull (1-4), Derby (1-5) and South Shields (1-4). The record run however was set in 1919-20 when City lost their first nine games after joining the Football League Division Two. The run, which commenced with a 5-0 opening day home defeat to Tottenham was:

Aug 30 Tottenham (h) 0-5
Sept 3 Leeds City (a) 0-3
Sept 6 Tottenham (a) 1-4
Sept 11 Leeds City (h) 0-4
Sept 13 Birmingham (a) 1-4
Sept 20 Birmingham (h) 1-3
Sept 27 Leicester (a) 0-1
Oct 4 Leicester (h) 1-2
Oct 11 Fulham (h) 0-1

Manager Will Clayton was sacked after the loss at Filbert Street and secretary Harry Harbourne took over in a caretaker capacity with the board of directors selecting the team until 22nd November when new boss Harry Pollitt arrived.

One of the most interesting stats from Thursday night was given to me by fellow historian Geoff Moore. Amongst other things he tracks players who have appeared at the Ricoh and tells me that Blades' substitute Leon Clarke set a record by appearing for his seventh different club at the stadium. He first played against the Sky Blues for Wolves at Highfield Road in 2004 and scored in a 2-2 draw. His first appearance at the Ricoh was in 2006 for Wolves then in 2010 he played there for Sheffield Wednesday and the following season he was in QPR colours as a substitute. In November 2012 he scored twice for Scunthorpe before joining City in January 2013. Since leaving City he appeared for Bury in the 6-0 hammering last season and on Thursday night took his total to seven as a brief substitute. Clarke, now aged 31, has played for seventeen different clubs, a number of them in more than one spell and according to Geoff has played for ten of the current League One clubs.

Billy Sharp, who scored both Blades' goals in Thursday's game has now netted eight goals in nine games against the Sky Blues with four of them on live television. He netted in City's 0-4 defeat at Southampton in their final game in the Championship in 2012 and a header at Bramall Lane a year ago before Thursday's brace.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Jim's column 10.12.2016

Coventry City's miserable season hit another low on Sunday as they capitulated to League Two Cambridge United in their FA Cup clash. For the third season running the Sky Blues have been knocked out of the competition by a club from a lower status; Cambridge following Worcester City and Northampton Town as David's to City's Goliath. Few City fans travelled with confidence but the size of the defeat, 4-0, was a shock, being the club's heaviest loss to a lower status club since they first entered the Cup in 1895. Before Sunday City had lost only once by more than two goals to a lesser club – in 1922 as a Division 2 side they were defeated 3-0 at New Brighton from the Lancashire Combination in the equivalent of the First Round.

Another record set on Sunday was the four goals by Cambridge's Luke Berry – the first man to score four against the club in an FA Cup game. Berry has never been a prolific scorer – in 2014-15 he made 31 appearances for Barnsley and scored once – but it was a day to remember for him on Sunday. Berry is only the fourth opposition player to score four in a game since the war, the others being:-

1946-47 Jackie Gibbons (Bradford P.A. A) City lost 1-5
1983-84 Ian Rush (Liverpool A) City lost 0-5
2000-01 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Chelsea A) City lost 1-6

Since JFH's four goals sixteen years ago, City have only had seven hat-tricks scored against them, and two of them came on successive Saturdays in 2013 when Nahki Wells (Bradford City) and Ryan Lowe (Tranmere) netted three each. The last FA Cup hat-trick by an opponent was by Colchester's Rowan Vine in 2004 in a 3-1 replay defeat at Layer Road.

I always rely on fellow City historian Geoff Moore when it comes to City's youngest and oldest teams and he has been in touch recently. City's youngest ever starting line up was at Manchester City in November 1980 when Gordon Milne put out a side with an average age of 21 years and 58 days.

That team was: Les Sealey (23), Steve Jacobs (19), Brian Roberts (25), Andy Blair (20), Paul Dyson (20), Gary Gillespie (20), Peter Bodak (19), Garry Thompson (21), Mark Hateley (19), Danny Thomas (19), Steve Hunt (24). Nine homegrown players plus Gillespie who was signed as a 17-year old.

Geoff informs me that the youngest starting team this season was Scunthorpe (h) with an average age of 22 years 59 days but for the FLT game at Wycombe last month the average was 21 years 120 days. That line up was:

Charles-Cook (22), Dion Kelly-Evans (20), Sterry (21), Finch (20), Turnbull (22), Harries (19), Lameiras (21), Rose (26), Maycock (18),Thomas (19), McBean (21).

At half-time Haynes (21), Jones (19) and Bigirimana (23) were introduced for Sterry, Rose and Lameiras, bringing the average age down to 20 years 274 days, the youngest Coventry City side on the pitch for a competitive game.

Robert Yates enjoyed my piece last week on the two memorable games 50 years ago. He wrote:

'I remember that season well, going to all the home games and selected away games, I was 18 that year, and not having my own car yet, took the trip to the Wolves game on the Red House coach, probably costing about 7/6d. I was on the South Bank at Molineux, rather conspicuous in my blue mac and sky blue 6 foot college scarf, but it was an incredible game, and with your details from the game, it could have happened yesterday, but I remember Gibson's goal at our end and as you say, a lot of Wolves pressure after that.

After Wolves had equalized, and were pressing hard, there was an amazing miss by Ernie Hunt, but some local guys behind me said, "Eh, you don't support this lot , do you mate?" after that City scored two more goals and I looked around and my local commentators had disappeared!

The Ipswich game was also incredible on the Friday night as they were top of the league at the time, and I remember the headlines in the Coventry Telegraph the next day; "Sky Blues G-men (Gould and Gibson) Grill the Leaders". John Key scored in both games and was a very under-rated player on the right wing.

Amazing, that then you had to catch up with the stories mainly in the 'Pink' and other papers, there was no local radio phone ins!'

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Jim's column 3.12.2016

This week marks the 50th anniversary of a significant time in Coventry City's history. In the first week in December 1966 the Sky Blues, who had had an up and down autumn, showed their promotion credentials by beating the Second Division's leading clubs twice in six days. On this day City travelled to Molineux and on a snow-bound pitch pulled off an unlikely 3-1 victory to knock the Wolves off the top. Then on the following Friday evening Ipswich Town, the new leaders, came to Highfield Road and were spanked 5-0. Those two results catapulted Jimmy Hill's team into the promotion race following a mediocre run of four defeats in eight games and an embarrassing League Cup exit to Third Division Brighton.

The key to the results was undoubtedly the recall to the side of summer record signing Ian Gibson. The diminutive Scot had fallen out with Jimmy Hill two months earlier and requested a move. The request had never been granted but he had been close to joining Newcastle before injuries forced Hill to recall the inside-forward on the last Saturday in November and he had turned in a master class in a 3-2 win over Cardiff.

Seven days later the Sky Blues gave one of the best performances of the Hill era against Wolves who were unbeaten at home since the opening day. Gibson scored after seven minutes, nipping in when Fred Davies failed to hold a fierce Ron Rees shot. From that point until half-time Wolves penned City back and with Ernie Hunt pulling their strings in midfield an equaliser looked on the cards. Somehow City survived until the break but five minutes into the second half Wolves drew level when Dave Burnside headed in.

Many thought this would be the end of the Sky Blues but heroic defensive work and numerous brilliant saves by Glazier with a touch of luck enabled City to come through 25 minutes of extreme pressure and then snatch another goal. Kearns' long cross-field clearance found John Key who advanced before unleashing a strong shot that Davies might have stopped. Eight minutes from time City counter attacked again and Rees, dangerous every time he got the ball, made it 3-1 with a low cross-shot. Minutes later the Welsh winger almost made it four when he hit the cross-bar but that would have been a bit too much.

Six days later on a wet Friday evening Ipswich were put to the sword with a exciting attacking display described by Nemo as: ‘probably their best performance in the Second Division and on a par for skill and excitement with the great victory over Sunderland in 1963.’

Gibson was the architect and despite a first-half hat-trick from Bobby Gould, his first in senior football, the best goal of the night was the fifth, from the cheeky Gibson who chipped the ball over seven defenders to find the top of the net and guarantee himself enduring cult status with City fans.
                                                      Bobby Gould completes his hat-trick
After the weekend’s games City, suddenly, were not in the chasing pack but in the leading pack in a very bunched top half of Division Two:

Pl Pts
1. Wolves 20 26
2. Ipswich 21 26
3. SKY BLUES 20 25
4. Carlisle 21 25
          1. Hull City 21 23
          2. Huddersfield 20 23
          3. Crystal P 20 23
          4. Blackburn 20 23
          5. Millwall 20 23

The Sky Blues didn't hit the top spot until the first Saturday in 1967 following a 1-1 draw at St Andrews and stayed there until the end of March when Wolves sneaked ahead of them. By then the two Midland giants were odds-on favourites to win the two promotion places and it became a two-horse race for the title won, of course by City.