Blog it and scarpa on 25th Jul 2022

On Friday 6th August, the new season of the English Football Premier League kicks off. And let’s get one thing straight. It’s football. We invented the game, the rules and the language, so I’m not even going to mention the ‘s’ word. It’s football. And, although ‘Football Moms’ doesn’t attract the same type of interesting and colourful internet search results as ‘Soccer Moms’, I refuse to call it s****r.

Now you may have heard of some of the big teams, like Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City, and maybe even some of the smaller teams, like Manchester United, or Arsenal, or Tottenham, and although there are 20 teams in the EPL, there are actually 92 professional football clubs spread across 4 leagues in English Football (there are a couple of Welsh clubs, Swansea and Cardiff, but Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own leagues).

Of all these teams, one of, if not, the greatest, is Coventry City Football Club. By a sheer coincidence, this is also the team that Sam, who puts the Queen in The Pantry, supports. And if you’re ever looking for a special bit of discount here or there or want to encourage her to break out the fancy biscuits (cookies) when she offers you a cuppa (cup of tea), then drop in a few facts about Coventry City (The Sky Blues).

Coventry City were formed in 1883, in the year of President Chester A Arthur and the same year that the Brooklyn Bridge opened. The club was originally called Singers FC, as, like many other teams formed at that time, they grew from working class roots in factories, and Singers were a bicycle manufacturing company. Other teams formed around the same time include Arsenal, who were formed in a munitions factory in North London, West Ham, who were borne from the River Thames’ largest shipbuilders, and Manchester United, who were formed in a factory that produced plastic glory hunters that no-one liked.

Five years after they were formed, Singers FC were forced to change their name. It was noted that during the games, the supporters couldn’t actually hold a tune and the singing was so off key that results were affected. A change of name was required, so a panel was set up to decide on the name. This panel included a remarkably heterosexual record company executive, a feisty woman who told it like it was, and a pretty singer who was romantically linked to the remarkably heterosexual record company executive to prove how remarkably heterosexual he was. After weeks of deliberations, and millions of pounds of revenue generated by people phoning the premium telephone hotline to vote for their favourite name, money that went into convincing the general public of the heterosexual mans heterosexuality, a name was decided upon. A clever person (definitely a rarity in Coventry at the time) pointed out that the team was based in Coventry and that Coventry was a city. The phonelines went crazy, Simon Cowell, sorry, I mean, the definitely heterosexual record company executive got rich, and Coventry City FC was born.

In the 139 years that Coventry City have existed, they have won only 1 major trophy, the FA Cup, in 1987. The FA Cup is like the Superbowl, except it’s interesting. It’s what every kid dreams of growing up. That year, and the memories of that fateful day, will always bring a tear to the eye of every devoted Coventry City fan. Just the mention of Cyrille Regis, Houchens diving header, and Gary Mabbutts knee will have Sammy reaching for the tissues, and the deluxe Scottish shortbread. It’s a game remembered by all football fans as one of the best ever FA Cup Finals, as the unfancied Sky Blues overcame the superstars of Tottenham Hotspur to lift the trophy. For every Coventry City fan, May 16th 1987 is the best day of their lives. That date is etched in the memory. I struggle to remember my kids' birthdays (but not their names…Houchens Header and Mabbutts Knee - counselling in later years will address that for them), but that day in the glorious Wembley sunshine is probably what it will feel like if Jesus makes a comeback. Especially if he is wearing the new kit.

In recent years, the club has been through some very tough times. In 2001, they were relegated from the Premier League after losing to their fiercest rivals Aston Villa. If anyone you know is an Aston Villa fan, they are untrustworthy and they don’t take showers. Cut them out of your life.

Anyone can support the big teams. That’s easy. The pretty boys, the big stadiums, the decent culinary offerings. But supporting Coventry is like eating McDonalds. It’s cheap and cheerful, it’s not good for your heart, and you spend some time sitting in a toilet with your head in your hands.

Coventry City are the greatest team in the world. Fact.

#PUSB (Play Up Sky Blues). 

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