Highfield Road 1999-2002
Where I Grew up my home was close enough to hear the cheering crowds carried on the winds of a Saturday afternoon. As I played out in the streets my ears became fine tuned and I could distinguish between the differing cheers; a home or away goal a near miss or a foul, in those days the crowds were large and the stands never stood empty.
I vividly remember hoping that when I was grown up I would take my place on the terraces with all the other loud voices but in those days football crowds were a place solely for the working man they were not a place for a young boy be.
My father took me to my first game in 1976, it was a pre-season friendly a night game and I was 8 years of age, we sat behind the goal in the West-End I couldn’t believe how close we were to the pitch and to the players and how those four huge floodlights one in each corner lit the entire pitch. It was then for better or worse I became a Coventry city fan.
As I grew up it never was just about the football, it was about the walk to the ground through crowded streets, the smell of burned onions cooking in dodgy burger vans or finishing your pint quickly just before kick off, the same bums sitting in their same favourite seats all season long and the old man selling The Pink on the streets straight after the game.
Those were the days before corporate television and disgusting salaries took hold when football was as much about a sense of community that involved players and the fans and very importantly about loyalty.I have on occasion been back to the area of land (now new homes), where the ground once stood. I knew it would be a mistake-a huge one, they destroyed something great. Memories and connections to a place passed from one generation to the next are easily destroyed by greedy owners and incompetent local councillors