On this May Day well over a century ago (1st May 1920) Coventry City ended their first ever season in the Football League and they finished it with a win which was later regarded as highly controversial. It was also a season of three ‘Secretary-Managers’ as the combined position was often styled in those days. William Clayton passed the baton on to Assistant Sec. Harry Harborne in October 1919 until new gaffer Harry Pollitt took up the role on the 17th November.
The club’s introduction to Division Two from their experience of the Southern League before World War One proved traumatic. The Bantams lost their first nine league games and did not manage a win until their twentieth game on Christmas Day with a 3-2 win over Stoke City. They then lost the Boxing Day return with the Potters at Stoke 6-1!
Results improved a little in the New Year and by March, Pollitt had lifted them off the bottom of the table for the first time. However, the club was still in dire trouble with only eight wins to their name all season. With the last two games to go City were in penultimate spot, a point behind Lincoln City with a game in hand.
They ended up winning by the odd goal in three, both from Alec Mercer, after being a goal down and were safe in twentieth position and did not have to apply for re-election (which they might well have not been)!
The Bantams team that day was:-
Joe Mitchell; Louis Binks & George Chaplin (c), Benny Robinson, Reg Dalton & Alf Fenwick; Jimmy Dougall, Dick Parker, George Wynn, Tommy Lowes and Alec Mercer
Bury‘s men, managed by William S. Cameron (who also played) lined up as follows:-
Tommy Cornthwaite, Bob Perry, John Allan, Billy Peake, Jock Goldie, Bob Heap, Billy Ritchie, Jimmy Trotter, Billy Lomas, Jimmy Logan and Fergie Aitken Referee:- J.G.A.Sharpe (Lichfield)