|Dreams do come true, as the saying goes, and at the
ripe old age of 35, Sky Blues fan Tim Flowers is living proof of
has signed for Coventry City, the club he has supported since a boy,
on a four-week loan from Leicester City. He was called in late on
Tuesday when it became apparent that the hip injury picked up by
Magnus Hedman on international duty last week had not improved
sufficiently for him to play against Walsall.
The club parted company with veteran ‘keeper Andy Goram at the
weekend because the key-hole surgery he’s had on a knee injury
will keep him out of action until the end of the season, which more
or less coincides with the length of his contract. With Gary
Montgomery and Morten Hyldgaard lacking experience, Coventry City
turned to Flowers some 20 years after he failed to impress in a
trial at Highfield Road.
His appearances for his favourite club will be few, and he may
not be in the squad much longer than his month’s loan period, but
after a career that has taken him to Wolverhampton, Southampton,
Swindon, Blackburn and Leicester, and has seen him win eleven caps
for England, he has at last achieved the one ambition that he
thought had passed him by – to play for Coventry City.
Just how much it all meant to him was clearly demonstrated by his
impromptu celebration with the fans at the West End after the 2-1
defeat of Walsall.
That moment of personal triumph for Flowers came on a night when
Coventry City football club gave the first tangible signs of the new
era that is fast developing under new Chairman Mike McGinnity.
Following the announcement that the club will show that its debt
has been halved in the twelve months that have passed since a record
Ł60 million deficit was revealed, there are now new caterers in key
parts of the ground, new sponsors in one of the major corporate
hospitality suites and old faces returning to share in McGinnity’s
Coventry kid Pete Waterman, who may put his personal allegiance
behind Walsall these days, still follows his home town club.
Although at Highfield Road to support the Saddlers, the
multi-millionaire pop impresario spoke afterwards with great
affection of the days when he stood on the Coventry terraces years
before anyone dreamt of an all-seater environment.
It was good to see legendary former manager John
Sillett taking a seat in the main stand with his son Neil. 'Snoz'
had a drink with his old mate Jim Smith after the game and was
clearly delighted to be there.
Mike McGinnity is careful to be scrupulously fair to his
predecessor Bryan Richardson, allowing no word of criticism to be
uttered, even acknowledging that Richardson had said that the
club’s debt would be substantially reduced when the next accounts
However, the new Chairman is also clearly determined to put his
own stamp on the club’s fortunes from here on. He has allies all
around him, not least Coventry City Council and Advantage West
Midlands who are, jointly with the football club, pulling out all
the stops to meet the deadlines and find the cash that will ensure
construction of the new Arena at Foleshill.
McGinnity says his ambition is to walk into the new stadium
knowing that the club is debt free.
That would be some achievement. But, as Tim Flowers will tell him
– dreams do come true.
[THE MATCH WAS PLAYED AT HIGHFIELD ROAD ON
TUESDAY 19 FEBRUARY - COVENTRY DEFEATED WALSALL 2-1]