Special Feature
My perfect day - semi-final hero Micky Gynn

By Steve Carpenter 23/04 Updated: 26/04 11:13

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Buy photos » Micky Gynn in action during a special FA Cup re-run match against Spurs last summer. Photo by Jon Mullis.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Coventry City’s famous FA Cup triumph over Tottenham Hotspur, the Observer has teamed up with Coventry City’s Former Players’ Association (CCFPA) to re-capture the memories of players, managers and fans from the club’s greatest day on May 16, 1987.

This week our sports reporter Steve Carpenter spoke with pint-sized midfielder Micky Gynn who cemented his name in Sky Blues’ folk law with the winning goal in the 3-2 semi-final victory over Leeds United at Hillsborough to earn City a place at Wembley.

Gynn can’t remember much from that “perfect” day at Wembley as he describes it, but he can recall an early clash with Gary Mabbutt that could have wrecked his whole afternoon.

"I remember tangling with Mabbutt early on and ripping half of one of my boots," recalled Gynn.

"Mabbutt was a great defender who was never afraid to stick a boot in and it just so happens he tore mine that day.

"So I ended up playing most of the match wearing one studded boot and one moulded, which was strange to say the least, but I was playing in a cup final so it didn’t effect me too much.

"It was without doubt the biggest moment of my career no matter what had happened on the day.

"We were playing against one of the best teams in the country. They had all the star players but deep down I think they knew they were in for a tough match.

"I wasn’t too surprised looking back that we made the final because we had players who could win matches on their day and that was important.

"We obviously had some tough games en-route to the final but I felt we thoroughly deserved to win them but we certainly did it the hard way.

"We knew we had to play well as a team that’s how I always look at it and we had a great togetherness which we still have now.

"Going to lift the cup was emotional but I don’t remember much because there was so much to take in.

"It turned out to be a perfect afternoon for everyone involved at the club and we we certainly celebrated that night.”

The midfielder said he could not recall feeling nervous before what was the biggest game of his career and treated the cup final as any other match.

"I never got nervous before games because I enjoyed playing so much and that was the same for the cup final in 1987, I didn’t feel any different before the final than I did before any league game.

"You look forward to playing football and I do miss my playing days a lot, I’d do it all over again if I could.

Gynn started his career at home town club Peterborough where he broke through the ranks as an apprentice, cleaning boots and sweeping the terraces, before cementing himself as a first team regular.

It was there where he attracted the attention of the Sky Blues and he joined a fairly inexperienced team at the start of the 1983/84 season. But Gynn always knew the team was underrated and he still looks back at the camaraderie in the side with fond memories.

"We had a fairly new side at the beginning of the 1983/84 season, with the likes of Dave Bennett, Trevor Peake, Keith Houchen and myself.

"Looking back we were in a relegation battle for several years but the fact we didn’t go down shows we could compete at the top level.

"I never felt we struggled and when both Bennett and myself look back on our time at the club we can be very proud of what we achieved.

"We had some underrated players in our side who went on to do the club proud in 1987.

"When John Sillett and George Curtis took over they got the results at the back end of the 1985/86 season to keep us in the old Division One and our efforts were rewarded with a trip to Spain which was paid for by the club.

"I remember thinking the club had appreciated our efforts that year and it was a really nice gesture to send us away, it meant a lot and gave us players more respect towards those in charge. Perhaps that helped us going into the 1986/87 season.

"We had a good setup that season. We had a team full of underrated players who were well organised and determined to win every game.

"All the players enjoyed training together and we all liked the social side of football too because it can get too serious – I loved every minute of it.

"Whenever we would win or suffer a defeat and we were all a bit down the best way to get over it was to get together on the evening of the match and have a fews beers.

"It meant we could all relax and talk about what went wrong and that sort of thing worked for us, it might not work at all clubs, but it certainly did for us in 1987."

Gynn remains angered at how he was treated when he was told he was surplus to requirements in 1993

"I was called into the office by Bobby Gould and told I wasn’t going to be offered a new contract. It took no less than two minutes, and that was it.

"You can’t treat players who have given it their all for the shirt all those years like that.

"I’d help win the FA Cup and I wasn’t given a testimonial match until 2005.

"I fell out with the club for a number of years because of that but things have got better and I enjoy working at the games for the Press Association, although there are some individuals I will never be able to forgive."

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Buy photos» Micky Gynn. PIcture by Jon Mullis.

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