Trevor Lewis (6.1.1921- 12.4.2015)
Two weeks after the death of his great friend, Ken Jones, another former Coventry City player, Trevor Lewis has passed away, aged 94.
Welshman Trevor was born in Bedwelty, near Blackwood in South Wales, the eldest of 12 children. As a teenager he moved to Birmingham for work & early in the war was joined by several members of his family in Shirley. Trevor joined the Fleet Air Arm in late 1941 & was at sea, mainly on the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious, seeing service in the Mediterranean & the Pacific during the hostilities. He was awarded a number of medals including the Burma Star.
Trevor lost the best years of his playing career to the war & returned to 'civvy street' in the summer of 1946. He played local football for Catherine-de-Barnes near Solihull & progressed to Redditch Town where, in early1948, Trevor, now 27-years old, was spotted by a Coventry City scout and signed a professional contract.
A speedy forward who stood only 5 foot 6 ½ inches, and, according to his surviving brother Wilfred, was nicknamed 'Legger 'Lewis', because of his speed. He was also an excellent crosser of the ball in the days when all teams played a tall centre-forward.
Billy Frith was the manager when Trevor arrived at Highfield Road in January 1948 & gave him his first team debut in a 1-1 away draw with Sheffield Wednesday. The Coventry Telegraph match report was impressed:
Billy Frith had several reasons for being satisfied with City's display, not the least of these being the success of young Trevor Lewis, making his debut within a few weeks of leaving Birmingham Combination club, Redditch. The extraordinary feature – and perhaps the most satisfactory – of Lewis's display was the fact that he was included in the side at outside right when he is considered to be an inside-forward. As a right-winger he was in the middle of things all the time. He never tired, always disputed a Wednesday's player possession of the ball and might have scored a goal. Then, when injuries caused the City attack to be reshuffled, and he went inside-right, his brilliance faded. Nevertheless it was a most creditable performance.
A week later he appeared on the right wing in another 1-1, at home to Tottenham. His third & final game that season was at Millwall, where the Bantams got a 6-2 thumping from the already relegated home side. Trevor's switch to the right-wing became permanent but it was almost two years before Trevor played for the first team again, when he deputised for the injured Warner in two Christmas games against Leicester. Relegation clouds were gathering around new manager Harry Storer's team & the Foxes did the festive double, 1-0 at Filbert Street & 2-1 at Highfield Road. Two more games in March took his total for the season to four. City rallied after Christmas & finished seventh. Trevor could never cement a first team place owing to the form of legendary winger 'Plum' Warner and played only eleven first games in five years at the club. Amazingly he never appeared on the winning side but was a regular for the reserves throughout the period.1951-52 squad with Trevor second from right in middle row
It was almost another two years before his next opportunity - in the 1951-52 relegation season. Then he played three early season games before his last appearance in September 1952 in a 1-1 draw with Northampton. In January 1953, now aged 31, having played just 11 games in five years, he signed for Gillingham, another Third Division side. At Priestfield he went straight into the first team, playing 17 games that season. The following campaign he played seven games, including a return to Highfield Road where the Gills held City to a 1-1 draw, and scored in first league goal in a 3-3 draw at Torquay. In 1954-55 he played just two games as his professional career came to an end. In his final game he netted the team's goal in a 1-1 draw with Exeter.
Trevor moved back to the Midlands & played non-league football with Kidderminster Harriers, Banbury Spencer, Rugby Town and finally Bedworth Town in 1956-57 season. He went to work for Jaguar at Browns Lane, where he was a 'floater' on the production line, using his skills wherever they were needed on the production line. He earned a long-service watch from Jaguar & retired in the 1980s. He continued living in Coventry and was a member of the Former Players Association, attending the first Legends Day in 2007. At the time of his death he was the second oldest former City player, behind Colin Collindridge.
Trevor's funeral takes place on Friday (1st May) at 11.15 at Canley Crematorium. The family would prefer no flowers but donations to the Macmillan Trust can be made via the funeral directors, Henry Ison & Co, 76-78 Binley Road, Coventry CV3 1FQ.