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Homes of Football: “Waiting For The Play To Unfold” Coventry City

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

In this regular blog photographer Stuart Roy Clarke will explain the thinking behind his best Homes of Football images (available to buy here)…

“Waiting For The Play To Unfold” Coventry City 1992 (©StuartRoyClarke)

Versus Manchester United before a capacity crowd, in the deep mild midwinter at their former home. No one knew then in 1992 that the club would “have” to move house seasons later. Or that they would be relegated after being a mainstay of the top division in English football for so long.

Jimmy Hill had shaken things up decades before, introducing all-seaterism to Highfield Road, plus daring new marketing effects, like big scoreboards.

I focused on this image because the children have been passed down from the stands (all-seaterism was kicked out by Coventry fans after Jimmy Hill) and they were spilling on to the pitch area, but in a non-threatening, old-fashioned way. I liked this image because it invokes trust, over-capacity without mishap, and the final days before a return to compulsory across-the-board all-seater stadia, brought on by the Taylor Report.

Everything looks a bit crappy – but not half as crappy as what is facing Coventry City fans in 2013 with no stadium to call home, paltry gates, 10 points deduction… fasten your seatbelts it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Stuart Roy Clarke.

Coventry City 0846med2

Copyright Stuart Roy Clarke

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