Special Feature
FA Cup final chance came later for Steve Sedgley

By Steve Carpenter 19/04 Updated: 24/05 10:41

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Buy photos » Steve Sedgley was disappointed not to have been involved in the 1987 FA Cup final despite being named as a substitute. (S)

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 has a chat with Steve Sedgley, who missed out on a starting spot in the final and was forced to watch all the action from the sideline.

"I was a young player at the time and I was desperate to play a part but it wasn't to be for me that year," Sedgley told the Observer.

"I was itching to get on and get involved in the action. I was desperate to play in the final.

"It's every players dream to play in an FA Cup final, especially back then, and walking out of the tunnel was an unbelievable experience.

"We were all very relaxed before the game, even in our hotels and although we got off to the worst possible start we were able to turn it around.

"I had played around 40 games in that FA Cup winning season so I was obviously disappointed not to have been selected to start in the final, but that's how it it sometimes.

"We had a good team that year and that was especially good for me because I had a lot of good players around me.

"Cyrille Regis was a big star at the time and an England international, and then we had the like's of Trevor Peake, Brian Kilcline and Dave Bennett too."

But Sedgley didn't have to wait too long though before he was back at Wembley - this time with Spurs.

"I thought my chance of playing in a final had gone and that hurt but I was lucky enough to experience that feeling again four years later with Tottenham Hotspur," said Sedgley, who went on to play for Ipswich and then Wolves where he finished his career in 2000.

"There was only Gary Mabbutt and Paul Allen left who had played against Coventry in 1987.

"We'd beaten Arsenal in the semi-final which was a massive result for Spurs and it was a huge relief for me going back with Spurs in 1991."

After starting his career at Tottenham, it was Coventry who came in for the young defender, who could easily adapt to a midfield role too.

And Sedgley revealed how much of a big impact John Sillett had on his career.

"I started my career at Tottenham and loved my time there as an apprentice but Coventry came in and offered me a contract.

"I joined in 1985 which was also my first year as a pro and I remember Sillett had a lot of faith in me despite being only a young player at the time.

"He believed in me and gave me a chance in the first team squad.

"I had the usual ups and downs at Coventry but overall I look back on my time at the club and I feel very proud to have been a part of it."

*Supporters can get a chance to hear from several of the club's FA Cup winners before this Saturday's home clash with Doncaster Rovers.

A host of former players will be in the G-Casino between 12-1pm where a special video of all the goals scored in the cup run will be played and the players will also be introduced on stage.

Tickets are priced at just £5 per person and are available on the day.

*A host of former Sky Blues players were back in action on Sunday (April 15) as Coventry Legends side defeated Pottertons over 35's 8 -0 in a charity game at Leamington FC.

The Coventry team included several members of the victorious 1987 squad including Steve Ogrizovic, Dave Bennett, Micky Gynn and Dave Phillips.

Over £1000 was raised for Acorns Children's Hospice and Billy Bell of the CCFPA has thanked everyone involved in helping the charity.

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Buy photos» Former Sky Blues FA Cup winning manager John Sillett was a big influence on Sedgley’s career. Photo by Jon Mullis

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