1928: Sid Kimpton (left) alongside Jimmy McIntyre (manager) and Arthur Waters (assistant trainer)
Finally at the 20th time of asking the Sky Blues notched their first away win of the season at Hull City’s KC Stadium last week. Not only does the victory mean the team won’t have the ignominy of going through a whole season without an away win, and emulating the 1999-2000 side, but it greatly improves the chances of the club remaining in the Championship. There is still much work to be done before safety is assured but two successive wins following four draws means the Sky Blues are the form side at the foot of the table.
The six game unbeaten run might only have been worth 10 points but is the longest unbeaten run by a City side for five years. In 2007 Ian Dowie’s arrival as manager sparked a six game unbeaten run with home wins over Southampton, Hull, Wolves and Barnsley and away draws at Norwich and Colchester. The last time the club had a longer unbeaten run was the autumn of 2003 (in the reign of Gary McAllister) when they drew seven and won one in an eight-game run.
I had to check out how the 20 game winless run compared against the club records and it was two short of the modern day record set between April 1999 and August 2000 which covered the whole of the 1999-2000 season. When you go back further however there was some way to go to break the all-time club record of 28 set in 1924-25. The worst ever runs are as follows:
28 Between 2 Jan 1924 and 4 April 1925 (most of the 24-25 relegation season and half the previous season)
25 Between 23 Oct 1954 and 17 Dec 1955.
22 Between 3 Oct 1931 and 5 Nov 1932 (at a time when Clarrie Bourton was breaking all the scoring records)
22 Between 3 April 1999 and 23 Aug 2000 (during the ‘Entertainers’ era of Keane and Hadji)
At the last Diamond Club lunch Gary Clifford asked if I could through some light on the former City trainer from the late 1920s Sid Kimpton who he believed coached the French national side.
Born in 1887, Sid was christened Gabriel Sibley Kimpton but was also known as ‘George’and came from the Watford area. A tall inside-forward, he played all his football for Southampton in the Southern League, making his debut in 1910 and making almost 150 appearances before the First World War as well as many wartime games. Saints’ manager at the time was Jimmy McIntyre who later became Coventry manager and a close friendship developed. After the war Sid was re-signed by Saints but at the age of 33 his playing career was coming to an end.
His coaching career started on the continent and he coached the now defunct DFC
Prague, Polonia Warsaw and KS Cracovia. There was also a spell in Russia where according to Mike Young he was once falsely arrested with his wife in Germany having arrived from Russia for 'smuggling' a box of chocolates after coaching a 'top Moscow club'.
He arrived at Highfield Road in 1928 and worked under manager Jimmy McIntyre but with little success. He left Coventry in the early 1930s, probably after Harry Storer replaced McIntyre in 1931 and in 1934 turned up in France. After taking coaching sessions for the French FA he was asked to help coach the French national team in that summer’s World Cup in Italy under senior coach Gaston Barreau. Although France were eliminated in the First Round they gave the tournament favourites, Austria, a major shock only losing after extra-time. Kimpton was feted by the French press but went back to his coaching lessons in Paris at the same time becoming the manager of leading club Racing Club Paris, leading them to the French league title in 1936 and to the Coupe de France in 1936 and 1939. In the summer of 1939 he joined Rouen but soon after the start of the war he was imprisoned as a POW and spent several years in a camp near Paris.
After the war he rejoined Rouen and helped them to win the last War championship before joining AS Cherbourg. He spent his later years back in England and died at Leavesden near Watford in 1968.
The picture was taken at Highfield Road around 1928 and shows Kimpton, McIntyre and according to Mike Young, assistant trainer Arthur Waters.