I'm still on a high from last weekend, one that will remembered for a long time in the city and by the supporters of Coventry City. The service at the cathedral for Jimmy Hill was an emotional affair with some great speakers, beautiful video clips and uplifting music witnessed by over 2000 supporters, dignitaries and a host well-known people from football and the media, including many past and present City players, managers, directors and staff. The event put the city of Coventry and the football club back into the national limelight and was a great credit to all parties. I was certainly proud to be involved in it and so much credit goes to Joe Elliott and Dave Long for their determination in making it happen.
The following day a JH-themed Legends Day was also a great success – probably the most successful in the nine years since CCFPA was formed. 40 former players including special guest Brian Kilcline enjoyed a memorable day with a record number enjoying great hospitality in the Eon lounge. The large numbers ensured a lot of money was raised for JH's favourite charities, Alzheimer's Research and Sparks, as well as CCFPA. A big thank you to those who donated raffle and auction prizes as well as the people who bought tickets and bid in the auctions. To top it all the team on the pitch came good after their rocky patch and notched the biggest home league win since Jimmy Hill was manager.
One has to go back to October 1963 and a midweek game against Shrewsbury Town to discover the last time the team won by a six-goal margin. That night Shrewsbury, with an 18-year old debutant goalkeeper, were thrashed 8-1 with goals from Ronnie Rees (3), George Hudson (2), Hugh Barr (2) and an own goal. Since then City have had big wins in Cup games v Macclesfield (7-0 in 1999) and Rushden & Diamonds (8-0 in 2002), and a 7-2 League Cup victory over Chester in 1985, but big league wins have been rare. Since 1963 there had been only three occasions that the team have scored more than five at home in the league:
1981-82 6-1 v Sunderland (Division 1)
2004-05 6-2 v Derby (Championship)
2005-06 6-1 v Derby (Championship)
You have to go back to March 1958 to find the last instance of a 6-0 home win (over Aldershot). On Saturday poor old Bury didn't know what to do to stem the tide and at one stage it looked as though City might threaten the all-time biggest win - 9-0 v Bristol City in 1934.
Adam Armstrong was on target twice in the second half to take his tally to 19 goals for the season and he has now scored two or more goals on seven occasions. This takes him past one of George Hudson's scoring records from1963-64 – George managed two or more on six occasions as he netted 24 league goals. Adam is the first City player to score seven braces (or more) since Ray Straw scored seven on his way to 27 league goals in 1958-59. In 1931-32 Clarrie Bourton managed it 13 times as he netted an all-time club record 49 goals in Division Three South.
Armstrong is closing in on Callum Wilson's 2013-14 total of 21 league goals and only Callum, Ian Wallace and Bobby Gould have scored more league goals in a season in the last 50 years. Since World War Two only twelve City players have scored more in a season than the young Geordie:
27 – Ray Straw (1958-59)
26 – George Lowrie (1946-47)
25 – Terry Bly (1962-63)
24 – Ken Chisholm (1951-52)
24 – George Hudson (1963-64)
24 – Bobby Gould (1966-67)
21 – Ian Wallace (1977-78)
21 – Callum Wilson (2013-14)
21 – Ken McPherson (1956-57)
20 – Ted Roberts (1948-49)
20 – Eddie Brown (1953-54)
20 – Ray Straw (1959-60)Ray Straw
It's frightening to think that Armstrong has potentially another 15 games to overhaul some or all of these goalscoring legends and a post-war club scoring record could be on the cards. Only one man, the legendary Clarrie Bourton, has scored more than 30 league goals in a season – he did it in 1931-32 (49 goals) and 1932-33 (41 goals).
Several people asked me on Saturday when we had last had five different scorers in a game. It's actually quite rare and last happened in December 1995 in a 5-0 thrashing of champions Blackburn Rovers. On a icy pitch with Peter Ndlovu at the top of his game the scorers were: Dave Busst, David Rennie, Dion Dublin, Ndlovu and John Salako. This was also the last time that City won 5-0 at home. The club record for number of different scorers is six, achieved twice in the mid-war years. In 1927 City won 7-0 at Aberdare Athletic (the club's record away win) with six players netting the goals, then in 1930 City beat London side Thames FC 7-0, again with six different scorers.