To say Coventry were unfancied against Spurs going into the 1987 FA Cup final was an understatement. Most Tottenham fans thought their side just had to turn up and collect the trophy but Gary Mabbutt's own goal in extra-time sealed a remarkable 3-2 triumph.
As AFC Wimbledon prepare to host Coventry in Friday's FA Cup first round clash (live and exclusive on BT Sport 1 from 7pm) we take a look back at the class of '87.
Steve Ogrizovic (age 56) Cut him open and Oggy bleeds sky blue. The giant goalkeeper made more than 500 appearances for Coventry in 16 seasons at Highfield Road after previously spending five years as Liverpool reserve keeper, where he played just four games. He finally hung up his gloves at 42, after being handed his final contract on condition that he gave up smoking. After two spells as caretaker boss at Coventry, and one managing the reserves, Oggy is now the goalkeeping coach for the Sky Blues. Was once mentioned in an episode of Gavin and Stacey.
David Phillips (50) defender with a penchant for scoring spectacular long-range goals. Played more than 100 games for Coventry after spells at Plymouth and Manchester City. Born in Germany, he played 62 times for Wales and now commentates on Spanish football, while son Aaron is currently turning out for Coventry. Phillips Sr scored for Coventry in the third round of the 1989 FA Cup…unfortunately Sutton United scored two.
Greg Downs (54) Striker–turned-left-back who spent five seasons at Coventry after nine years with Norwich. After leaving Highfield Road he went on to play for another 16 clubs, most of them non-league – finally hanging up his boots at 45 after playing part-time while working as a police officer. Had the task of marking Chris Waddle in the FA Cup final, recalling: “He caught me with a Cruyff turn in the corner. I thought he was going to go the other way but he somehow just pulled the ball back and I suppose sometimes you have just got to take your hat off.”
Brian Kilcline (51) Long-haired, moustachioed beast of a defender who earned the nickname ‘Killer’ because of his wild appearance. Racked up more than 200 appearances for Coventry – one of seven clubs he played for, including Newcastle. Went off injured in the last minute of normal time at Wembley but heroically dragged himself up the famous steps to lift the cup as captain.
He recalled: I tried to wipe out Gary Mabbutt, but he wiped me out instead. Even though it was a sunny day, I watched extra-time through thick fog because I was sat beside our two doctors, who were chain smoking to calm their nerves.” Went back-packing around the world after his retirement, with his wife documenting their travels in a book called The Lion, The Witch and The Rucksack.
Trevor Peake (56) A dedicated servant to Coventry, playing more than 300 games, he took the captain’s armband from Kilcline in the final when his defensive partner limped off. Now assistant academy at director, Peake remembered walking to the Spurs after the final whistle had sounded at Wembley. "As I got closer I looked up at them and noticed in the corner of my eye amongst a sea of faces one of the players I had marked when I was playing Sunday league football before I turned professional. I remembered him because he was a really top striker and gave me a handful during one game. I went over to him and we had a chat for 15 minutes, it was so surreal.”
Lloyd McGrath (48) Midfielder whose extra-time cross was deflected into his own net by Tottenham’s Gary Mabbutt to clinch FA Cup success for Coventry. Made more than 200 appearances for the Sky Blues but had a debut to forget as they lost 8-2 to Southampton. Now owner of Lloyd McGrath Sports Development Ltd and Hawkes Mill Social Club. Recently Joined Coventry United – a club set up as a protest at City’s move to Northampton – as director of academy football. Branded the move to Sixfields a “disgrace”.
Dave Bennett (54) Tricky winger who spent six years at Coventry and was named man of the match in the FA Cup final win, scoring one and setting up Keith Houchen for his memorable diving header. Now working as a pundit on Free Radio 80s Coventry and Warwickshire, he was on the losing side in the 1981 FA Cup final with Manchester City. He also has a ‘proper job’ working for a book distribution company - “We didn't earn the kind of money that they do nowadays and you've got to pay the bills!”
Micky Gynn (52) Pocket dynamo who spent a decade at Coventry after signing from Peterborough. Forced out of the game in 1995 after being injured while at Stoke and now putting in deliveries of a different kind as a postman. Had his testimonial at Highfield Road the day before it was demolished.
Cyrille Regis (55) Arguably the most famous member of the 1987 Coventry team, playing nearly 300 games for the Sky Blues after joining three years earlier from West Brom. The striker scored 62 goals and had a header disallowed in the final. Now an ambassador for Christians in Sport and Water Aid, he said: “The final whistle at Wembley was the sweetest sound.” Was the subject of approximately 340 tabloid headlines entitled ‘Nice One Cyrille!’
Keith Houchen (53) Scorer of ‘that’ goal at Wembley – a brilliant diving header which won him Match of the Day’s Goal of the Season award. It never got any better than that and he was transferred to Hibs before ending his career as player-manager of Hartlepool. He described the goal as “the perfect header…when it is all perfect timing, it is like a dance – it all comes together.” Houchen now has a property company, saying: “If you want Uni accommodation, come to Teesside Universities – I’m your man!”
Nick Pickering (50) Midfielder who had two seasons at Coventry and played one game for England as a teenager but never featured again. Pickering, who also played for Sunderland, Derby, Darlington and Burnley, is now involved in youth coaching and working as a radio pundit in his native North-East. He recalled John Sillett’s “brilliant” team-talk at the end of the 90 minutes, where the manager said: “Get on your feet, look how tired they are. This is your chance.”
Graham Rodger (46) The youngest member of the Coventry team who spent four seasons at the club before going on to play for and manage Grimsby. Replaced Brian Kilcline in the 89th minute at Wembley. Now doing community work for the Mariners. He was born on April Fool’s Day and sacked as Grimsby boss on Bonfire Night.