ere's another lovely old photo from June Gibson, who has kindly allowed this super football team photo to be displayed. It originally belonged to her grandfather, William Kent, who worked for the Singers bicycle company and lived in Gulson Road around the time the picture was taken - probably shortly after 1909. Ironically, it was the Singers Football Club that had become Coventry City F.C. in 1898, and there might even be a connection somehow with this photo.
Although the picture was taken at Highfield Road, (the "Atkinson's Fine Ales" stand being a recent addition at that time) it's possible that it's not the actual Coventry City first team posing for the photo. People have suggested that it could be a 'works' team, or even the City reserve team, but if someone can recognise anybody present, please contact me, so we can begin to solve this local footballing mystery.
Coventry City's official historian, Jim Brown, has written to me to reassure us of the following facts
The picture taken at Highfield Road before WWI is not of Coventry City. I have numerous team photos of CCFC from that period and I cannot recognise any of the players or officials in the mystery photo. Additionally the kit worn by the team in the mystery photo is not a kit I know of. I suspect the photo is of a local team playing a local cup final at Highfield Road, e.g. Midland Daily Telegraph Cup.
We have a response to this elusive photograph. Steven Holmes has written to me with this explanation....
"The man on the bottom right of this photo is my Grandad, Albert Holmes, who joined Coventry City in the 1911-1912 season. His previous team was Mansfield Mechanics, he left them to join Coventry in 1911 as Mansfield Mechanics joined with Mansfield Weslyans to make Mansfield Town. This meant that they had to drop a Division and many players left. Before that he played for Nottingham Forest and was a part of their 1905 tour of South America."
Many thanks for that Steven - I wonder if anyone else out there will recognise one of their relatives?
Please check the "Small Workforce" on the next page to find a photo-connection with this one.