Coventry and Coventry City

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 So this New Year we were Coventry bound
Family ready to Auld Lang Syne in the land
Where once Jimmy Hill’s beard and chin
Bristled with comforting oratory
Chit chat about everything
From the maximum wage in
The 1960s kitchen sink dramas
To boundary breaking all-seater
Stadiums at the now historic
Highfield Road babbling brook
Of gossip where once season ticket
Holders held mournful post mortems
On where it had all gone so horribly
Wrong, terraces haunted by
Ill informed speculation,
Faultlines, foibles and setbacks,
Exposed by brittle inadequacies,
A downward spiral to the dingy
Dripping chambers of defeat after defeat
The lower rungs of the League ladder
Coventry quite literally sent to Coventry
Criminally neglected and marginalised
Forgotten by form, hitting rock bottom
But not quite
Relegation renders them helpless
Dumbfounded and speechless
And yet it had all looked right and proper
When the bearded Jimmy promised the Sky
Blue revolution, sit down here and there
Everywhere. Send those fleets of cars
Into European close season battle,
Flashing and flickering electronic
Time for fresh coats of paint
Experimentation and epoch making
Innovation on your doorstep
Now there was Willie Carr, Ernie
Hunt and Tommy Hutchinson,
Carr. Now there was a striking
Coincidence. Who saw that cheeky
Free kick flick coming which resulted in
Inventive routines that left
The ball nestling in the net
A goal of stupendous improvisation
Open mouthed in unison
Supporters reduced to admiring silence
Now though Highfield Road simply
Tradition hijacked by progress
New stadiums, new chants
Boldly treading into the unknown
Now Coventry flirting with the Ricoh
Arena sharing with sting left behind of rugby Wasps
But now, as we know
Shrouded in a veil of nowhere as such
Remembering the old First Division
Like grand-dads and great grand-dads
Once fondly told us about rickety turnstiles
Damp all standing terraces
Where early 1950s trams and rattles
Made their lively voices heard
And years later Third Division South
Sent cold breaths of winter
Into the Midlands air
While Woodbines and tobacco
Were nursed preciously
Over festive roast chestnuts
And Gordon Milne sparked
Coventry into a frenzy of activity
Seemingly secure sitting tenants
Of the old First Division
And then the FA Cup was held
High by John Sillett and George Curtis
Into 1987 fantasy land
Coventry briefly in fairy tale
Romantic environments
But then falling flat on their faces
When the 1990s came calling
And still Coventry tread water
In the Championship
No longer fuelled by hope
The famous car plant’s
Acceleration towards Liverpool,
Manchester City, United, Arsenal
And Spurs, stalled to a shuddering halt
Now Bristol City and Ipswich Town
Scrabbling around for scrag ends
Of meat and sustenance
No longer disgraced but it used
To be the exalted company of the
Big boys, the bigger fish
How the neutrals beg for another
Willy Carr moment of hilarious whimsy
Coventry racing towards Premier League
Stature and saturation TV exposure
Still a work in progress though
And waiting in the wings
Sky Blues no longer singing those notes
But their day will arrive
You can be sure once again



After a family New Year’s celebration in Coventry here’s my tribute to Coventry City and Jimmy Hill.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/coventry-and-coventry-city/