|Full name||George William Curtis|
|Date of birth||5 May 1939|
|Place of birth||Aylesham, England|
|Date of death||17 July 2021 82)(aged|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Snowdown Colliery Welfare|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
George William Curtis (5 May 1939 – 17 July 2021) was an English association footballer who played in the Football League as a defender for Coventry City and Aston Villa. He made 543 appearances for Coventry between 1956 and 1969, the club's record for an outfield player, winning the 1963–64 Third Division and the 1966–67 Second Division titles and also playing in the First Division from 1967 until 1969. With Aston Villa, he was part of the side which won the 1971–72 Third Division.
After retiring from playing, Curtis returned to Coventry to work on the managerial staff, remaining there until his retirement in 1994. Between April 1986 and May 1987, he was the joint manager of the team alongside John Sillett, during which time the club won its only major honour, beating Tottenham Hotspur 3–2 in the 1987 FA Cup Final.
George William Curtiswas born on 5 May 1939 in the Kent village of Aylesham, in the Kent Coalfield close to Dover. He was the second of seven children born into a coal mining family whose origins were in Newport, South Wales. As a child he played association football for the Dover Boys and Kent Boys teams.
Curtis started his playing career with the Snowdown Colliery Welfare team, based close to his home, before signing for Coventry City in October 1955.He was one of four Snowdown Colliery players to join Coventry at that time, on the recommendation of former Coventry captain Harry Barratt who had become manager of the Kent club, the others being Alf Bentley, Eric Jones and Bill Patrick. Curtis made his debut for the Coventry reserve team in a Football Combination fixture against Southampton on 10 December 1955 at the age of 16. He made his first-team league debut on 21 April 1956, playing in a 4–2 defeat against Newport County at Somerton Park. Coventry were competing in the Football League Third Division South, which was at that time the third tier of the English football league system. Playing at left-back at the time, Coventry Evening Telegraph reporter Derek Henderson, writing under the byline "Nemo", wrote that Curtis had a "memorable" first game, and that "after a shaky opening [he] settled down to give a splendid showing after the interval". Curtis was then called up to the England national under-18 team in May 1956, making his debut in a match against Northern Ireland in Belfast. He went to make three more appearances for England, the last coming in 1957.
In one game against Brighton in October 1957, when he was playing for the injured Roy Kirk, Henderson wrote that Curtis "did his best", but was "too often beaten in the air".Towards the end of the 1957–58 season, Curtis began playing regularly in the Coventry first team, having switched position to centre-half. In their game away against Aldershot, Henderson described it as the day "that George Curtis, Coventry City's boy footballer, became George Curtis the man". With Coventry in the lower half of the Third Division South, and heading towards a place in the new Fourth Division, Aldershot's forwards had numerous attacks on the Coventry goal, but they scored only once, which Henderson attributed to Curtis's defending alongside saves from goalkeeper Charlie Ashcroft. Curtis then became Coventry's first-choice centre-half for the following nine seasons; between 1960 and mid-1967 he missed only two games for the club.
Despite an early-season blip, which saw Coventry occupy their lowest-ever league position of 91st of the 92 teams in England's top four divisions after three games, the club's stay in Fourth Division limited to just one season as they were promoted back to the Third Division in 1958–59.Curtis was then named as Coventry's captain in December 1959, when previous incumbent Kirk was dropped to the reserve team. At that time, Curtis was conscripted for National Service, working at RAF Gaydon during the week while still playing games for Coventry. He also played football for the Royal Air Force team at the base, commenting at the time that he scarcely "breaks sweat" in those games. In 1961, Coventry appointed Jimmy Hill as manager, a move which brought an era of success to the club known as the "Sky Blue Revolution". With Curtis as club captain and playing 50 games during the season, Coventry achieved promotion as champions of the Third Division in 1963–64. The following season they led the Second Division after five games, eventually finishing in mid-table, before mounting a serious promotion challenge in the 1965–66 Second Division.
Finally, in 1966–67, with Curtis still captaining the side, Coventry achieved promotion to the First Division as Second Division champions.Evaluating the season after promotion had been secured, Henderson mentioned in particular Curtis's performance in a 1–0 win at Blackburn Rovers in March. Noting that it was "not a day when one could admire the football", Henderson labelled Curtis's defending as "quite the most magnificent performance I have seen him give". Curtis himself was optimistic about the club's prospects in the top division, commenting in May 1967 that "a lot of people – most of them I will say, outside Coventry – are forecasting that we will be out of place in the First Division". He went on to say that the club's aim was not just to avoid relegation, but to achieve qualification for European competitions and to win the league title.
Curtis suffered a broken leg in Coventry's second game in the First Division, and did not return to the team until Easter of 1968. He came on as a substitute in a game at Highfield Road against Stoke City, before making his first start since the injury in an away game, also against Stoke City, the next day. He suffered a recurrence of the injury and did not play again until October 1968. as of 2021 [update] .He continued to play for Coventry for the next year, including scoring in a 2–1 win over Manchester United in April 1969, but at the age of 30, he eventually lost his regular place in the side to Roy Barry. His last appearance for Coventry was as a substitute against Burnley in November 1969. His 543 games in all competitions was a club record at the time, and although it was eventually surpassed by goalkeeper Steve Ogrizovic, it remains the highest for an outfield player
Curtis's next club was Second Division club Aston Villa, who signed him in December 1969 for £30,000 (approximately £500,000 as of 2021, adjusted for inflation).He scored in his debut match for the club, a 1–1 draw against Swindon Town, although Aston Villa went on to be relegated at the end of the 1969–70 season. In their second season in the third tier, the 1971–72 season, Aston Villa were promoted back to the Second Division as champions, with the club's official website later crediting Curtis as being a "key member" of that team, with 24 appearances in the season. He broke his nose in a match at Notts County in March 1972, after which he played only one more game, retiring from the game shortly afterwards under medical advice.
After retirement as a player, Curtis became Commercial Manager at Coventry City in 1972, going on to become an executive director at the club and then managing director, in September 1983. as of 2021 [update] the only major trophy Coventry have won. The cup run began with a home win over Bolton Wanderers, followed by away victories over Manchester United, Stoke City and Sheffield Wednesday, with the semi-final being a 3–2 win over Leeds United at the neutral venue Hillsborough. Prior to the Manchester United game, in January 1987, Curtis told reporters that "our name is on the cup". In a match regarded by many pundits as one of the greatest finals in the history of the competition, Coventry beat Tottenham Hotspur 3–2 in the 1987 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.In April 1986, with the club facing their third successive relegation battle, and having gone eight games without a win, manager Don Mackay left the club. The board asked Curtis and youth-team coach John Sillett to take charge for the final three games. Coventry won two of those three, and escaped relegation. The pair remained in charge for the 1986–87 season; officially Curtis was the manager, while Sillett was first-team coach, but the two were effectively joint managers. The team achieved a 10th-place finish that season, while also winning the 1986–87 FA Cup, which is
Sillett became Coventry's sole manager from the 1987–88 season onwards, although as he had been led the team on to the field for the FA Cup final, the club gave Curtis that honour when they returned to Wembley for the season's curtain-raiser, the 1987 FA Charity Shield against Everton.Curtis returned to the managing director role, working on matters not related to the day-to-day running of the team. He remained in that role until his retirement in May 1994.
Curtis was honoured with the naming of a lounge after him at Coventry's Highfield Road stadium. When that ground closed and they moved to the newly-built Ricoh Arena in 2005, the club made a "Wall of Fame" which was named after him. He then became one of the club's life presidents in 2012.
Curtis died on 17 July 2021, aged 82.
Aston Villa Football Club is an English professional football club based in Aston, Birmingham. The club competes in the Premier League, the top tier of the English football league system. Founded in 1874, they have played at their home ground, Villa Park, since 1897. Aston Villa were one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888 and of the Premier League in 1992. Villa are one of only five English clubs to have won the European Cup, in 1981–82. They have also won the Football League First Division seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the League Cup five times, and the European (UEFA) Super Cup once.
Coventry City Football Club is a professional association football club based in Coventry, West Midlands, England. The team compete in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. The club play at the 32,609 capacity Coventry Building Society Arena. The club is nicknamed the Sky Blues because of the colour of their home strip. From 1899 to 2005, Coventry City played at Highfield Road. The 32,609-capacity Coventry Building Society Arena was opened in August 2005 to replace Highfield Road. However, the club left the arena on two occasions having ground-shared with Northampton Town between 2013 and 2014 and Birmingham City between 2019 and 2021.
Dion Dublin is an English television presenter, football director and former professional footballer. Born in Leicester and of Nigerian descent, he was capped four times for England. Dublin started his career as a centre-back with Norwich City Reserves, but made his name at Cambridge United as a centre-forward. He then went on to other clubs which included Manchester United, Coventry City, Millwall, Aston Villa, Leicester City and Celtic before returning to Norwich to end his career.
Joseph Mercer, OBE was an English football player and manager. Mercer, who played as a defender for Everton and Arsenal in his footballing career, also went on to manage Aston Villa, Manchester City and England.
George Boateng is a Dutch former professional footballer who played as a defensive midfielder.
Kevin Richardson is an English former footballer who played as a midfielder. Richardson featured for English clubs Everton, Watford, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Coventry City, Southampton, Barnsley and Blackpool. He also had a spell in La Liga with Real Sociedad. He was also capped for the England national football team. During October 2009 he was appointed as the assistant manager of Darlington. Richardson is currently a coach at Newcastle United's academy.
John Charles Sillett is an English football player and manager. He played for Chelsea, Coventry City and Plymouth Argyle. He won the Championship with Chelsea in 1955, playing alongside his brother Peter Sillett. He was manager of Coventry City from 1986 until 1990, winning the FA Cup in 1987, and also had two spells as manager of Hereford United.
Timothy Alan Sherwood is an English professional football manager and former player who played as a midfielder.
Ernest Robert Curtis was a Welsh professional footballer who played as an outside forward. Born in Cardiff, he joined hometown side Cardiff City in 1925, initially as an amateur before turning professional a year later. He made his senior debut in 1926 and helped the side win both the FA Cup and Welsh Cup in his first season. In the club's 1927 FA Cup victory, he became the youngest player to appear in a final in the competition's history as Cardiff defeated Arsenal, remaining the only team from outside England to win the trophy.
The 1987 FA Cup Final was an association football match between Coventry City and Tottenham Hotspur on 16 May 1987 at Wembley Stadium in London, England to determine the winner of the 1986–87 FA Cup. The showpiece match of the Football Association Challenge Cup, English football's primary cup competition, the 1987 final was the 106th since the competition's inauguration. It was the third final for Tottenham Hotspur in seven years, having won the trophy in 1981 and 1982, while Coventry were making their first appearance in a domestic cup final. Both clubs were in the Football League First Division that season, giving them entry into the competition in the third round. They each won five games en route to the final, with Coventry beating Leeds United 3–2 and Tottenham beating Watford 4–1 in their respective semi-finals. Both clubs recorded songs to commemorate reaching the final. After a December league match between the two sides had finished 4–3 to Coventry, both Tottenham manager David Pleat and Coventry joint-manager John Sillett anticipated an exciting final.
David Cross is an English former footballer who played as a striker. He scored 223 goals in 599 appearances in the Football League and the North American Soccer League. Cross was born in Heywood, Lancashire.
Birmingham City Football Club, an English association football club based in Birmingham, was founded as Small Heath Alliance in 1875, and from 1877 played home games at Muntz Street. It adopted professionalism in 1885, and three years later, as Small Heath F.C., became a limited company with a board of directors, the first football club so to do. The team played in the Football Alliance from the 1889–90 season, and in 1892, along with the other Alliance teams, were invited to join the newly formed Second Division of the Football League. Although they finished as champions, they failed to win promotion via the test match system; the following season promotion to the First Division was secured after a second-place finish and test match victory over Darwen. The club adopted the name Birmingham Football Club in 1905, and the following year moved into a new home, St Andrew's Ground. Matters on the field failed to live up to their surroundings. Birmingham were relegated in 1908, obliged to apply for re-election two years later, and remained in the Second Division until after the First World War.
Coventry City Football Club is an English association football club based in Coventry in the Midlands. The club was founded in 1883 as Singers F.C. by Willie Stanley, an employee of cycle firm Singer Motors. In 1898, the name was changed to Coventry City. The club first joined the Football League after World War I and in 1938, the club missed out on promotion to the First Division by one point.
The 1988–89 FA Cup third-round match between Sutton United and Coventry City was an association football game played at Gander Green Lane in Sutton, on 7 January 1989. Coventry City entered the FA Cup in the third round, as they participated in the Football League First Division, the top tier of English league football. Sutton United of the Conference, the fifth tier of English football, had started their cup run in the preliminary round, winning three ties to reach this stage of the competition. Coventry, the away team, went into the match as strong favourites, a reflection of the gulf in divisions that separated the two teams.
The 1987 FA Charity Shield was the 65th Charity Shield, a football match contested by the holders of the Football League First Division and FA Cup. This edition was contested between Everton and Coventry City at Wembley Stadium on 1 August 1987. Everton had won the 1986–87 Football League while Coventry City had defeated Tottenham Hotspur in the 1987 FA Cup Final to qualify for the season opener for the first time. It was played two weeks before the new league season began. This was Everton's fourth successive appearance in the Charity Shield. The match was shown live on ITV.
During the 1980–81 English football season, Ipswich Town F.C. competed in the Football League First Division. In one of the most successful seasons in the club's history, they finished as runners-up in the league championship, were semi-finalists in the FA Cup and won the UEFA Cup. In all, Ipswich played a total of 66 competitive games during the season, winning 37, drawing 13 and losing 16.
Albert James Evans was an English professional football left back who made over 170 appearances in the Football League for Aston Villa. After his retirement as a player he managed Coventry City and coached Aston Villa and Sarpsborg FK.
The 1990–91 season was Coventry City's 24th consecutive campaign in the Football League First Division, following their promotion from the Second Division in 1967. The club started the season with John Sillett in charge, three years after he and George Curtis had managed the club to victory in the 1986–87 FA Cup. Sillett left the club in November after a run of poor results, and was replaced by Terry Butcher who arrived as a player-manager from Rangers.
On 19 May 1977, the English association football clubs Coventry City and Bristol City contested a match in the Football League First Division at Highfield Road, Coventry. It was the final game of the 1976–77 Football League season for both clubs, and both faced potential relegation to the Second Division. A third club, Sunderland, were also in danger of relegation and were playing their final game at the same time, against Everton at Goodison Park.
The 2021–22 Birmingham City W.F.C. season is the club's 54th season in existence and their 11th in the FA Women's Super League, the highest level of the football pyramid, having been founding members of the league in 2011. Along with competing in the WSL, the club will also contest two domestic cup competitions: the FA Cup and the League Cup.