Coventry City, my club, won the FA Cup in one of the greatest finals of the last quarter of a century. Where do the years go? I remember not so long ago we described it as one of the greatest cup finals of recent times!!
I don’t remember too many decent finals since, there was Liverpool V Everton 89, Man Utd V Crystal Palace – the Jim Leighton final in (I think it was) 1990, and the 3-3 draw between Liverpool and West Ham in the Millennium Stadium a few years back.
I can still cleary remember the Coventry V Spurs game of 87, it was a great match from start to finish with both sides going for it.
The Coventry team was basically made up of misfits, the Spurs team had class throughout it.
Experienced internationals like Richard Gough, Ray Clemence, Glenn Hoddle, Steve Hodge, Ossie Ardiles and Chris Waddle, along with Gary Mabbutt and Clive Allen where up against an inferior Coventry side which included Steve Ogrizovic, Brian Kilcline, Trevor Peake, Dave Phillips, Micky Gynn, Nick Pickering, big Cyrille Regis, Keith Houchen and not forgetting Lloyd McGrath.
Lloyd McGrath apparently couldn’t pass a ball to save his life (maybe a harsh opinion of him – but he wasn’t the most talented footballer ever), so in the 1st period of extra time most Coventry City fans were wondering what the hell he was doing running down the right hand channel towards the Spurs penalty area with the ball.
McGrath was one of those blokes who would run all day and was probably one of the few players left on the pitch with the energy to make that run, he crossed the ball onto Gary Mabbutt’s knee and the rest is history.
Gary Mabbutt’s knee then went down into Sky Blue folklore – it was even the name given to a Coventry City fanzine. How many club fanzines are named after a player from another team? Not many I would suggest.
Some of that 1987 team are still in and around the Coventry area. Micky Gynn is a postman, I sometimes see Dave Phillips power walking around Leamington (I see he does some commentary for Sky on the Spanish games), Steve Ogrizovic is still at the club and Brian Borrows still lives in the City.
Llyod McGrath still lives in the area and the last I read about him, he is suffering with knee trouble brought on by playing through injuries – and unfortunately the club weren’t doing anything to help him. Pretty much sums up where and why the club are where they are these days.