CCFC Programme History -11: Season 1920-21 – CCFC’s Second Successive Close Shave!!

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In the next instalment of the current series we present images of Coventry City programmes and memorabilia through the years and reach 1920-21 a bit over a century ago! CCFPA chairman Jim Brown and committee member Mike Young have been building up a collection of full programme images from CCFC issues pre 1945 (more than 700 home and away so far). All images are taken from the collection and copyright CCFPA (and must not be reproduced without permission)

Programmes from the club’s second season post World War One period remain scarce. The club had only just survived its first Division Two campaign in 1919-20 (with the help of a bit of bribery it later transpired). Despite a marginally improved record, this season resulted in a worse position and the club had to apply (thankfully successfully) for re-election.

Bert Millard

The programme displayed (right) is from the Bantams’ last home game of the season, a goalless draw against East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest.

The Bantams’ could have won but for a 61st missed penalty from centre-half Bert Millard. The custom then was to pair home and away fixtures so the City’s last game was in Nottingham, a welcome 2-0 win achieved through early goals from centre-forward Sammy Stevens after four minutes and a tenth minute strike from No.4 Reg Dalton.

May 2nd 1921 Coventry City 0-0 Nottingham Forest (attendance c.18,000)


CCFC Manager – Albert Evans

The Bantams, under manager Albert Evans, got brilliant crowds this year (average 17,685) despite the generally poor fare but an unbeaten eight game (five win) home run at the end of the season kept interest high. The club’s officials representated local political and business worthies including local MP Edward Manville (President), local business man and club benefactor David Cooke (Acting President) and Councillor Fred Lee (Chairman) heading up seven board members. The club appeared well resourced as the Manager, club Secretary and Trainer all had assistants. The Reserves played in the Birmingham & District League (and finished ninth out of eighteen clubs) and a similar full size programme was produced for at least some of their home fixtures.

This programme, costing two pence was a ‘proper’ programme produced by the club as its ‘official organ’ with a header showing a representation of the club’s Bantam mascot. Another innovation was a regular front page cartoon, this one referring to the parlous potential relegation position of City and their rivals Stockport County.

The large size pages were packed full of club info with only a few adverts. The inside left full page  ‘From The Board Room‘  section discussing the grounds for optimism within the club as well as reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of the day’s opponents. The third page had a quiz, an advert for the last reserve match at Highfield Road against Kidderminster Harriers, and the league table showing City and Stockport County propping up the division. There is also a half-time scoreboard ‘to be delivered by telephone’ (an incentive to buy the programme) and a ‘Notes and Notions‘ section reviewing the Bantams’ previous game a 2-2 draw at Barnsley.

The back page (illustrated left) shows the team sheet and both the first team and reserve team results. The Bantams actual line up was as per programme. In the return game Jim McKay moved over to replace Jimmy Dougall on the right wing and his left wing berth was taken by Bill Devlin for his only appearance of the season. Therefore, the season finished:-

Season 1920-21  P42, W12, D11, L19, F39-70A, Pts 35, Pos 21st/22

If anyone knows the whereabouts of any other CCFC home programme from this season we would be eager to hear from you!


Some of these featured programmes can be seen in more detail by clicking our ‘Progs’ tab (at top).  There are still lots of gaps which you may be able to help fill so if you have any prewar programme – home or away – of City games, the earlier the better, we would be grateful if you could let Mike Young know what you have got so he can check whether it fills a hole in our database (for his contact email see contacts page) . If it is, then he will make arrangements with you to get it scanned or photocopied as appropriate.

Though we have asked before we still hope that some of our FPA members, associate members (and general readers) will be able to protect a bit more of the club’s important heritage for posterity and in doing so help make the Club’s (and your) history come alive again!

Thanks to CCFPA’s Mike Young for researching the article and sourcing the images.


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