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Coventry road renamed in honour of Sky Blues legend Jimmy Hill

Friday, February 17th, 2017 2:40pm

Back Left to Right: Cllr Khan, Dietmar Bruck, Ken Brown, Joe Elliot, Ron Farmer, Cllr Duggins, Kirk Stevens, Cllr Innes Front Left to Right: Dave Long, Mark Hornby, Terry Angus, David Busst

A major road in Coventry has been renamed Jimmy Hill Way in honour of the man who led the Sky Blues to glory and changed football forever.

The road signs have now been officially unveiled to rename a stretch of the A444 that goes through the city and was formerly known as Phoenix Way.

It goes past the former home of the Sky Blues at Highfield Road and their new home at the Ricoh Arena where his statue stands and was the most popular suggestion by members of the public.

The honour recognises the massive impact Jimmy Hill OBE had on Coventry City FC - as a manager and a chairman - and the whole sport of football.

He created the ‘Sky Blues’ and as manager led them to the top flight in the 1960s, before going on to become a national figure as host of Match of the Day and helping to bring in major changes such as abolishing the maximum wage and pioneering the three points for a win system and all-seater stadiums.

He died in December 2015, aged 87.

A small group of ex-players and members of the Jimmy Hill Legacy Fund Board, joined Leader of Coventry City Council, Cllr George Duggins, Deputy Leader, Cllr Abdul Khan and Cllr Jayne Innes, Cabinet Member for City Services, at the unveiling ceremony.

Dietmar Bruck, who starred when Jimmy Hill was manager, said: “Jimmy was like a Godfather to me, I was signed at 13 years of age, given an apprenticeship and carried on playing for 10 years under Jimmy. I owe him a lot. This is the least we can do for his memory.”

Cllr Duggins said: “This is a great way to celebrate the legacy of Jimmy Hill. He transformed Coventry City FC into a top flight team and brought in changes that revolutionised the game.

“We are proud to be renaming this stretch of road, which is one of the major routes into the city and goes past the two homes of the club that was so dear to him.

Cllr Khan agreed: “The signs will be seen by thousands of visitors and commuters every day and will keep his memory alive and show how much he meant to the people of our city.”

Cllr Innes added: “This is a prominent and fitting tribute to the man who did so much for our club and the sport of football and we are so pleased that the name of Jimmy Hill will greet people as they arrive in our city.”

The renaming of the road follows a public campaign which the Council supported.

The Jimmy Hill Legacy Fund is a fundraising initiative set up in his memory to provide opportunities to improve the quality of life of those who need it most.

David Busst, Director of Sky Blues in the Community said “We are proud of what Jimmy Hill has done for the City of Coventry and the Jimmy Hill legacy fund was set up by SBITC to benefit the community.”

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