John Sillett: Coventry’s 1987 FA Cup-winning manager dies at the age of 85

Former Coventry manager John Sillett has died at the age of 85, his family have announced in a statement.

Sillett managed Coventry between 1986 and 1990 and led the Sky Blues to FA Cup glory in 1987 when Tottenham were beaten 3-2 in a memorable Wembley final.

A statement from the Sillett family read: “Obviously the family are really saddened by Dad’s passing but we are all so proud of him and what he achieved.”

The statement added: “His ability to spot things tactically, change them during a game and enhance the abilities of players was top class, the respect he had from top people in the game and the kind words we have already received already underline the high regard in which he was held by the football world.

“Dad will be remembered for his FA Cup win but he also guided Coventry and Hereford to their highest League positions as well as taking Coventry to a League Cup semi-final, he had the ability to galvanise and gel teams, a skill quite rare.”

Southampton-born Sillett was a full-back who began his career at Chelsea in 1954.

He played over 100 games for them and won the First Division title at Stamford Bridge in the 1954/55 season.

Sillett later played for Coventry and Plymouth before moving into management at Hereford.

Sillett (right), pictured at Wembley after helping Coventry win the 1987 FA Cup

He returned to Hereford for a second spell between 1991 and 1992 after leading Coventry to the only major honour in their 138-year history.

Coventry FA Cup winner David Phillips paid tribute to Sillett on Twitter: “Truly a sad day as the great John Sillett has passed away. A man of greatness who along with George (Curtis) brought the city of Coventry their greatest sporting moment in 87.

“I will miss him as we all will. God Bless you. Thoughts are with Jean, Neil and the rest of the family.”

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