Coventry & Warwickshire

Jimmy Hill memorial held at Coventry Ricoh Arena

Jimmy Hill
Image caption Jimmy Hill is Match of the Day's longest-serving anchor

A service to remember English football legend Jimmy Hill has been held at his former club.

A wreath was laid next a statue of Hill outside Coventry City's Ricoh Arena by current manager Tony Mowbray and goalkeeping coach Steve Ogrizovic.

Hill, who died last Saturday aged 87, joined the club as manager in 1961, leaving six years later shortly after they were promoted to the First Division for the first time.

He also served as club chairman.

The Dean of Coventry, John Witcombe, led a short ceremony ahead of the club's Boxing Day clash against Port Vale at 15:00 GMT.

Image copyright BBC Coventry and Warwickshire
Image caption Fans gathered at Jimmy Hill's statue ahead of the service

Hill - diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2008 - made more than 600 appearances as presenter of Match of the Day after leaving his role as head of sport for ITV in 1967.

Described as one of English football's most influential figures, he was remembered by the Football League as "player, manager, chairman, broadcaster, visionary, and all time great in so many ways."

As chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association, he led the campaign for the scrapping of maximum wages for professional footballers.

He also commissioned the first English all-seater stadium, lifted a ban on media interviews, introduced the first electronic scoreboard in 1964 and the first colour match-day programme.


Image copyright Rex Features
Image caption Jimmy Hill became Coventry City manager in 1961, setting them on their way from the Third Division to the First Division

Jimmy Hill

  • Born in Balham, London, on 22 July 1928
  • Played as a forward for Brentford and Fulham
  • As chairman of Professional Footballers' Association led the campaign to abolish the maximum wage, which was scrapped in January 1961
  • Became Coventry City manager, leading the club to two promotions before leaving for broadcast work with ITV in 1967
  • Presented Match of the Day for 16 years from 1973
  • Returned to Coventry as managing director in 1975, later becoming chairman
  • Made Highfield Road the first all-seater football stadium in the UK
  • Credited with introducing three points for a win instead of two

Image copyright Rex Features
Image caption Jimmy Hill died on Saturday aged 87

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