Another season comes to close tomorrow and after the euphoria of early March it has to be said the season has finished with a whimper, again. It is forty years ago this month that the Sky Blues last finished in a top six position, a record second to none in the Football League. In April 1970 Noel Cantwell’s side qualified for European football by finishing sixth – above, believe it or not, Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham. The European place was clinched with a win at Molineux (the tenth away win of the season) on the Friday night before the FA Cup final between Leeds and Chelsea. An early Brian Joicey goal was enough to clinch the points and send a large Sky Blue following in the 23,000 crowd delirious. It was the second away win in four days – on the Tuesday night a John O’Rourke hat-trick earned a 4-1 win at Forest’s City Ground. In September the Former Players Association are planning to reunite the squad from 1970 at a City home game.
I am afraid the death of former City player Ken Watkins last November passed me by. Ken, who passed away on 26 November 2009, aged 86, lived on Hipswell Highway.
Ken was a right-half who played for Humber FC during World War 2 and was one of many promising young local players called in by City when the first teamers were away in the war. Ken never played in a peacetime game for the club, his 14 appearances coming in the wartime period 1943-1945, eight of them in the transitional 1945-46 season when City played in a Southern regional league with many First Division clubs. In August 1945 Ken played at right half in a 2-0 win over Arsenal (the first ever competitive game against the Gunners) in front of the biggest League crowd of the season, 20,943. Ken also made one guest appearance for Port Vale in 1946 and later played for Rugby Oakfield before coaching Humber after the war. He was also a talented cricketer and I believe he played the odd game for Warwickshire and was a top player for a number of years in the Coventry leagues.
Kieron Beaman emailed me recently. He is the Grandson of Joe Beaman, a City player and manager from before the First World War. Kieron read about Ken Satchwell’s appearance at the Legend’s Day and remembers ‘Satch the Snatch’ scoring four goals in a game for City – against Wrexham on Christmas Day 1959. He asked how many City players have scored four in a game.
The following have all scored four or more in a league game:
Clarrie Bourton (3 occasions)
George Lowrie (3)
Arthur Bacon (2)
Billy Lake (2)
Bill Paterson (1)
Jimmy Rogers (1)
George Stewart (1)
Ken Satchwell (1)
Mick Ferguson (1)
Two players achieved the feat in a League Cup game:
Lowrie had a golden period in 1947 scoring four goals on three separate occasions between April and November. In the same period he also netted three hat-tricks.
Mick Ferguson was the last City player to score four in a league game, in a 4-1 victory over Ipswich in December 1979.
Next week is my final column of the season when I will present my customary Review of the Season.