Coventry 1987 shows value of FA Cup

For a certain level of club, cup competitions should mean something

Coventry City, FA Cup, 1987,

Coventry City and their Manager John Sillett (far left) celebrate with the FA Cup trophy, after beating Tottenham in the final. Picture by Peter Robinson EMPICS Sport

Another FA Cup weekend is about to come and go and given how little regard there is for the competition, only a giant killing will stir interest.

The growth of the Premier League and expansion of the Champions League to encompass more than just champions has helped kill off the Magic of the Cup.

But for some clubs, the trophy still means something. Take Coventry City for example, whose continuing fall from grace we featured on Newstalk's Team 33 this week with The Coventry Telegraph's Simon Gilbert.

This May will be the 30th anniversary of the club's famous triumph over favourites Tottenham in the Wembley final in a 3-2 thriller which you can relive below.

Coventry had never won a major trophy before 1987 and 30 years on, trophies are the least of their worries as they look set to drop into the fourth tier League Two at the end of this season. 

Back in 1987, Coventry were smack, bang in the middle of their long and uninterrupted 34 year spell in the English top division and the 1986-87 season saw them finish in the solid safety of 10th in Division One. 

Oh, how the club would wish to be back at that level today. But still, the FA Cup win came at a time when the competition still meant more than anything will always stand out.

While history shows Coventry stayed in the top flight for over 30 years in one long spell, only three times did the Sky Blues finish in the Top 8 and never higher than sixth.

To stay in a top division for so long of course is an achievement and shouldn't be sniffed at but as the long years pass, league positions are often forgotten unless a club manages to seal a place on the podium.

That's why an FA Cup win, or a League Cup triumph means something. For clubs stuck below the European places but safe from relegation worries, what is the harm in really going for it in the FA Cup, giving the fans a day out and at least having a trophy to remember if there are unforeseen dark clouds to come on the horizon?

There have been many a dark day for Coventry since their 2001 relegation from the Premier League but at least the fan can always reminisce about 1987.