AUG 01] THE STUART LINNELL
Les Sealey Remembered
The sad news of the sudden death
of former Sky Blues goalkeeper Les Sealey came as a huge shock
to those of us that knew him.
Les died yesterday from a heart
attack at the age of 43, taking from us a true, one-off
character who will be sadly missed.
Les fell out with Coventry City
quite publicly at the end of his time with the club and appeared
to almost celebrate an end of season defeat just before he was
transferred to Luton Town. That prompted some City fans to
barrack him whenever he played against us thereafter, but he
always maintained that his actions were misinterpreted.
Les was a jokey guy who always
had an angle. I will always remember turning up at the Ryton
training ground one morning to record some radio interviews,
only to see Les bending into the boot of his car, surrounded by
As I parked my car outside the
Sky Blue Connexion, which was then owned by the club as their
training headquarters, Les emerged from his vehicle with a
sheepskin coat in his hands and proceeded to hold it against one
of his teammates.
It turned out that Les had come
by some 'bargain deals' in leather and sheepskin coats which he
was generously preparing to pass on to his Sky Blue colleagues.
Unfortunately I was unable to
take advantage of the special price Les could offer me that day,
but if memory serves he did a fair bit of business before
training that morning.
Les was a fine goalkeeper and
turned in some excellent performances for Coventry City and
later went on to win FA Cup and European Cup Winners Cup medals
with Manchester United.
Interviewing him once after a
match, I asked him about the nature of the animated verbal
exchanges he engaged in with the defenders in front of him,
often with a furious scowl on his face.
“I just keep reminding them
that it’s their job to keep that round white thing away from
me,” he said with grin. “I hate the ball. The last thing I
want is having it anywhere near me!”
Les’s two sons are both
promising young ‘keepers at West Ham where their Dad was
goalkeeping coach until the departure of manager Harry Redknapp
My thoughts are with his wife
Elaine and his family as I remember a good football man who was
always fun to be with.
29 September 1957 (Bethnal Green)
20 August 2001
SEASON FOR COVENTRY CITY: 1976
FOR COVENTRY CITY: 180
to Luton Town, August 1983