SKY BLUES WON CUP – AND LU­TON CASHED IN!

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO RESULTS - By John Lyons

NOT many peo­ple know that when Coven­try City shocked Tot­ten­ham to win the FA Cup in 1987, another club were in the money – Lu­ton Town. In his en­ter­tain­ing book, Have Boots

will Travel, Brian McIntyre ex­plains the story be­hind the Hat­ters’ six-fig­ure wind­fall.

McIntyre was a friend of Lu­ton chief ex­ec­u­tive John Smith, and in 1986 the lat­ter had in­serted a clause that if Tot­ten­ham, who had ap­pointed Hat­ters boss David Pleat as their new man­ager, won a ma­jor tro­phy in the next three years they would have to pay Lu­ton a fur­ther £100,000.

With Tot­ten­ham mak­ing it though to the FA Cup fi­nal, Lu­ton were close to cash­ing in – but McIntyre sug­gested they should make sure of their jack­pot by back­ing Coven­try to win the fi­nal.

He said: “I got a call from John that my idea was liked by his board, but as a club they could not be seen putting on such a sub­stan­tial wa­ger. They had a non-board mem­ber who would be will­ing to put up a sum of money, so would I be pre­pared to lay the wa­ger.

“I agreed so my bank man­ager must have been very pleased to see £40,700 set­tle in my cur­rent ac­count.”

He placed the bet – £37,000 plus 10% tax – at 7/4 with Corals in Bournemouth and re­quested no pub­lic­ity.

“Satur­day came and I sat down to read the morn­ing pa­pers which in­cluded a copy of the Sport­ing Life,” he re­called. “On read­ing the front page, I sud­denly no­ticed a head­line on the left hand side ‘Mys­tery man has £37,000 Cup bet’ whereby Corals just con­firmed they had laid the wa­ger but did not say at which of their shops.”

Thriller

In a thrilling Wem­b­ley show­piece, the Sky Blues fa­mously tri­umphed 3-2 against Pleat’s Tot­ten­ham, who were red­hot favourites. But Keith Houchen scored a mem­o­rable div­ing header and Gary Mab­butt net­ted an own goal win­ner as John Sil­lett and Ge­orge Curtis’ troops lifted the Cup. And Lu­ton cel­e­brated, too.

“Bar­bara (McIntyre’s wife) could not watch the match, but I did and of course the Gary Mab­butt own goal sealed the vic­tory for Coven­try,” said McIntyre.“I re­ceived a cheque for £101, 750 which, of course, I passed back to the un­known sup­porter of Lu­ton Town.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about the book, see www.have­bootswill­travel.co.uk. Prof­its go to help for­mer Non-League foot­baller Andy Cul­li­ford, who was di­ag­nosed with mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease in 2011.

FLY­ING HIGH: Keith Houchen scores with his fa­mous div­ing header and, inset, the book

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