Peter Ramage and Stephen Hunt joined an elite group of Coventry City players recently when they made their Sky Blues' debuts. Peter became the 942nd City player to appear in a competitive first team game since the club joined the Football League in 1919 but more interestingly the fourth player to have a namesake play for the club. He is the second Peter Ramage, following David Smith, Bill Morgan and Paul Williams into the history books. The first Peter Ramage was an inside forward who came from Scottish club Newtowngrange Star in 1927, played 28 games, scoring six goals before joining Derby County. He played over 250 games for the Rams and was still playing non-league football after the war.
A week later, incredibly, we have another namesake debuting for the Sky Blues with Stephen Hunt making his bow at Southend. Many fans will remember the 'first' Stephen Hunt, better known as Steve. A product of Aston Villa's Youth scheme, Steve made his name in the US playing alongside Pele and Franz Beckenbauer with New York Cosmos. City pulled off a massive coup to sign the Brummie for a bargain £40,000 and in 1980 his early season form was good enough to convince Milne that Tommy Hutchison was superfluous to plans and Steve became the focal point of the team. He developed from a fast, tricky winger with a penchant for long distance shooting into one of the country’s most accomplished midfield play-makers with a cultured left foot capable of unlocking the tightest of defences. Steve played 223 games for the Sky Blues and was very unlucky not to win England caps until after he left in 1984.
At Southend two weeks ago our former player Gary Deegan was sent off for two bookings and several readers asked me when a former City player had seen a red card whilst playing against the Sky Blues. By my reckoning there has only ever been one, the afore-mentioned Steve Hunt. Steve joined West Brom in 1984 and in Septemeber 1985 came to Highfield Road with the Baggies for a league meeting. Hunt was lucky to to receive a red card for a bad foul on Brian Borrows but soon after he lashed out at Dave Bennett and got a straight red. City won 3-0 to make it nine defeats in a row for Albion and manager Johnny Giles resigned after the game. Hunt is one of only two players to have been sent off twice at Highfield Road (he was sent off playing for City against Southampton in 1983), the other being Chris Whyte who 'saw red' for Arsenal and Leeds before his one-match loan for the Sky Blues in 1995. Deegan, who has had a reputation as a hard man ever since he came to England with the Sky Blues, was never sent off in a City shirt.Steve Hunt
Next Saturday is Legends Day and the Former Player's Association have been working hard to bring a star-studded cast for what will be an even more special event than normal with a special emphasis on the late Jimmy Hill. Many former players are in town on Friday for the celebration service in Coventry Cathedral and will stay over to be at Saturday's game with Bury. A number of ex-City players will be making their 'debut' at a Legends Day including 1987 skipper Brian Kilcline, 1970s striker Brian Joicey (the man whose goal clinched City's European place in 1970) and more recent stars Dele Adebola, Marcus Hall and Barry Quinn. 93-year old Ray Paul, who played for the club during World War II, will also be making his first appearance. Amongst the other 'stars from the past' are Ian Wallace, Bill Glazier, Bobby Gould, Garry Thompson and Greg Downs. It promises to be another memorable day and fans are encouraged to be at their seats for the half-time parade of the stars.