Days Gone By | Cardiff City vs. Coventry City
As the Bluebirds prepare to host Coventry City on Saturday afternoon, we delve into the history books to pick out a memorable meeting against the Sky Blues in years gone by.
A historic contest took place at Ninian Park on April 19, 1965, with Bluebirds victorious over Coventry on home soil, winning 3-1, thanks to goals from Ivor Allchurch (2) and Peter King.
That fixture is remembered for another reason, too. Just a day later, the Bluebirds would face off with the Sky Blues once again, this time in the return fixture at Highfield Road.
Back in the early ’60s, playing twice a day, or weekend wasn’t unusual with teams across the leagues opting to play at certain times due to no floodlights, and having to cram in postponed games before an end-of-season deadline.
A bumper crowd of just under 24,000, with around 10,000 travelling City fans saw Jimmy Scoular’s side complete the double over Coventry, with Bernie Lewis and Barrie Hole netting the match-winning goals for City.
King (pictured above), who scored the opening goal in the fixture in the Welsh capital, was one of the Bluebirds’ most integral players during their 1964/65 campaign. Having joined the club from Worcester City in the summer of 1960, the striker went on to play his entire professional career at Cardiff City, making over 400 appearances during a fourteen-year spell between 1960 and 1974, and still stands as the second all-time leading goalscorer for the Club.
He also became the club’s first-ever goal scorer in a European competition when he scored in a home-leg tie against Danish side Esbjerg Fb in the European Cup Winners’ Cup but was forced to retire at the age of 31, following an ongoing Achilles tendon injury.
Under the guidance of Scoular that season, the Bluebirds finished in 13th position in Division Two, then the second tier of English Football. The former Newcastle United star, who was appointed as manager in June 1964, arrived with the ambition of bringing joy to City fans in European Football. During his tenure, there were many notable matches at Ninian Park and abroad while the Scot was in charge.
While their league form remained indifferent in 1964-65, City fans rallied when it came to European matches.
Having secured passage into the European Cup Winners’ Cup by winning the Welsh Cup the previous season, the Bluebirds set about staking a claim in one of Europe’s biggest cup competitions.
In their first-ever appearance in European football, City made history by reaching the Quarter-Finals after some memorable team performances. After progressing through the early rounds of the competition with scalps over Esbjerg Fb and Sporting CP, a tie was set up against Real Zaragoza of Spain in the Quarter-Finals.
Gareth Williams and King secured a hard-fought draw away from home before a famous crowd of 38,458 at Ninian Park for the second leg went home disappointed when a late goal by Canario saw the Bluebirds bow out of the competition by an aggregate score of 2-3.
They would retain the Welsh Cup that season though, defeating Wrexham, 3-0, with Allchurch netting twice.
Pictured above - our 1964/65 winning Welsh Cup Final side.
Back row: Don Murray, Graham Coldrick, Bob Wilson, John Charles, Barrie Hole, Colin Baker, Ivor Allchurch. Front row: Peter King, Gareth Williams, George Johnston, Bernard Lewis.
Looking back at our history with the Sky Blues - Saturday will be the 56th meeting between the two sides, with City holding the edge in terms of wins, besting the Sky Blues with 23 victories, to their 20. This match has also experienced 12 draws in the past.
City are unbeaten in their last six meetings at home against Coventry, chalking up a total of five wins and one draw.