Connect Four | Bluebirds and Sky Blues

Connect Four | Bluebirds and Sky Blues

Our first midweek league fixture takes place on Tuesday, as we play host to Coventry City.

A handful of players have worn the blue of City and the sky blue of Coventry. We take a look at four men who certainly made their mark on both clubs.

Ian Gibson
Ian Gibson

Hailing from Newton Stewart in southwest Scotland, Ian Gibson was a midfielder who played for countless clubs throughout his career. Having spent four season at Middlesborough, Gibson departed Teesside to head to the Midlands to join Coventry.

Despite disagreements with Sky Blues boss Jimmy Hill, Gibson quickly became one of the team’s most important players. Often assisting legendary players like Willie Carr and Ernie Hannigan, he helped Coventry qualify for European football in his final season.

Gibson left Coventry to join the Bluebirds in 1970 for a fee of £35,000. He only spent two seasons at Ninian Park, making 90 appearances and scoring eleven goals. Like at Coventry, the Scot was influential in City's midfield, teeing up the likes of John Toshack and Brian Clark to score the goals that kept the Bluebirds in the Second Division.

Gibson went on to play for the likes of Bournemouth and Whitby Town before calling time on his career in 1975.

Willie Boland, former City and Coventry City midfielder...
Willie Boland

Midfielder Willie Boland started his career at Coventry in the Premiership. In the seven years Boland spent at Highfield Road, he helped them become a stable club in the top flight and managed to record a top half finish in 1994.

Boland also managed to break into the Irish U19 and U21 sides whilst with the Sky Blues, but his spell at the club came to an end in 1999, and a new chapter began in South Wales.

Boland made a positive start to life with the Bluebirds by scoring on his debut, but his first campaign in South Wales would be marred by a serious leg break.

After recovering from injury, the Irishman formed a formidable midfield trio alongside Graham Kavanagh and Mark Bonner. Boland would win the Player of the Year Award in his first season back from injury and was a pivotal part of the squad that gained promotion to the second tier in 2003.

Bolland made over 200 appearances during his time in the capital, and departed in 2006. He joined Hartlepool United after being released, and retired in 2010.

Jay Bothroyd
Jay Bothroyd

Having taken his first steps in football with the Arsenal Academy, Jay Bothroyd made his senior debut for Coventry City in November 2000, in a Premier League defeat to Manchester United.

He scored his first goal for the Sky Blues in August 2001, and quickly became a key part of the side under Gary MacAllister, finishing 2002/03 as the club's top scorer with eleven goals.

Following spells with the likes of Charlton Athletic, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Stoke City, Jay arrived at Ninian Park in August 2008. After forming formidable partnerships with Ross McCormack in 2008/09 and Michael Chopra in 2009/10, Bothroyd came into his own at the start of the 2010/11 season.

A blistering run of form early in the campaign saw Jay score 15 goals in 16 appearances in all competitions, which earned him an England cap in a friendly match against France. The striker left City for Neil Warnock's QPR at the end of that campaign.

Ben Turner
Ben Turner

Like Boland before him, Ben Turner also started his career with the Sky Blues. The tough tackling centre-back made his debut at the age of 18, and became one of the first names on the team sheet during his time at the Ricoh Arena.

His standout performances drew the attention of many clubs, but it was the Bluebirds who won the race for his signature in 2011. Turner had to bide his time in making his First Team debut due to injury, but when he gained a starting place, he never looked back.

Alongside Mark Hudson, the duo were one of the top defensive pairings in the Championship. Not only did they help the Bluebirds battle to the Play-Offs, but also into the Final of the Carling Cup, where Turner scored a famous last-gasp equaliser against Liverpool in extra time.

Turner and his teammates reached the Premier League in 2013 with a dominant Championship season which saw City claim the title. The centre half played in 31 of our 38 games in the top tier, but with injury scuppering the defender's playing time the following season, he re-joined Coventry on loan to get some match minutes.

Turner left CCS at the end of his contract in 2016, and went on to play for Burton Albion and a handful of non-league clubs before calling time on his 17-year career last year.