Fellow historian and collector of Sky Blue photographs and videos Dean Nelson posted an interesting picture on Twitter last week. It featured the green shirts that City wore just twice at the start of the 1969-70 season. The club had ditched the all-red change kit that they had worn since 1962 and had chosen a snazzy green and black striped kit. Unfortunately the new strip wasn't ready by the time of the first colour clash at West Brom on 20th August and a novel solution was found. Instead of digging out the old red kit the kit suppliers came up with some green shirts and black shorts and City took the field at the Hawthorns looking very dapper. A Jeff Blockley goal secured the points for Noel Cantwell's team and three days later, at Ipswich, with City in the green shirts again, a Willie Carr effort made it two away wins on the bounce.Neil Martin in the green & black kit at West Brom in 1969
The next colour clash didn't occur until 20th September at Manchester City and by then the new striped kit had arrived and City duly wore it, only to fall to a 3-1 defeat. The new kit got a second outing at Stamford Bridge in early November and its third appearance, at Hillsborough in January, saw City record their first victory in the kit. Its fourth and final appearance was at Goodison Park in March when City pulled off a brave and deserved 0-0 draw against the champions-elect.
Several City shirt collectors had no knowledge of the rare green shirts, which the Sky Blues were unbeaten in, and are desperate for any information on them. Does anyone know any more about these lucky shirts?
On Twitter, Heath Stansfield wanted to know when Cyrille Regis made his debut for City. Big Cyrille was signed from West Brom by Bobby Gould on 11th October 1984 for a fee of £300,000 and 48 hours later made his debut at home to Newcastle in a 1-1 draw. City were in the bottom three, despite a 1-0 win at Watford the previous week, and had been embarrassingly dumped out of the League Cup by Third Division Walsall in the midweek. Peter Beardsley gave the visitors the lead from the penalty spot after Kenny Hibbitt was adjudged to have handled the ball. Hibbitt went from villain to hero fifteen minutes from time when his swerving free-kick earned a point.
City's line up that day was: Ogrizovic: Stephens, Adams, Hibbitt, Butterworth, Peake, Bennett, Gynn, Regis, Gibson, Barnes. The attendance was 14,030 and the highlights of the game can be found on YouTube, courtesy of Dean Nelson.
Last week I listed the eighteen players who have had two spells at Coventry City and have to admit I omitted two. Thanks to Terje Johansen and Jamie Brown for pointing out that Les Sealey and Gary Gillespie both had second spells at the club. Les came through an apprenticeship at the club and signed as a full professional in 1976, going on to make 178 appearances before leaving to join Luton in 1983. He returned in 1992, on loan from Aston Villa, and made two further appearances under Don Howe.
Gillespie was signed from Falkirk by Gordon Milne in 1978 and played 200 games for the Sky Blues before joining Liverpool in 1983. He rejoined the club in 1994 and played a further four games before leaving the game.
A reminder that my latest book, Play Up Sky Blues, the story of the memorable 1966-67 season, is due to be published in October and is available for pre-order on Amazon.
If you have any questions regarding the club's history please contact me on email@example.com and I will endeavour to answer them. Alternatively you can contact me on Twitter @clarriebourton