January 1, 1970
Flu-hit Coventry to-day made a plea to the FA to call off their third-round tie with Liverpool at Highfield Road on Saturday. The last straw that made Coventry ask for a postponement was when Neil Martin became their sixth flu victim this morning and was sent home to bed.
A decision from the FA was expected later to-day, but having already allowed Brentwood to call off their tie against Northampton because of flu they could hardly refuse Coventry’s request. Coventry’s situation is made all the worse because of the cartilage injury to Ian Gibson, which would in effect mean that they would be without seven first teamers if the match was played.
If the game is postponed it will be played on Wednesday. It can’t be played on Tuesday because the touring Springboks rugby team play at Coventry then and there would be insufficient police available for both matches.
Martin joined Bill Glazier, Mick Coop, Dave Clements, Ernie Machin and Ernie Hunt on the sick list. There are further complications because some reserves and younger players are also off with flu.
Both Glazier and Machin have had flu since before Christmas and although they have reported to the training ground each morning neither has been well enough to train. Mick Coop played in the Boxing Day match at Ipswich with a temperature of 101 but has been in bed since. Hunt and Clements who both went down this week are also in bed.
The City of Coventry has been hard hit by the epidemic with transport facilities and factories working on much reduced staff. This has reflected in ticket sales for the match. Only 36,000 tickets have been sold so far. 6,000 of them by Liverpool. This means only 30,000 Coventry fans have bought tickets and their average gate is 34,000.
It is the second season running that Coventry – Liverpool games have been thrown into chaos for one reason or another. Last season, their League match with Coventry was postponed several times because of Liverpool’s problems with their Cup-tie at Leicester.
Only a fortnight ago their League match at Highfield Road was called off because of snow.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: January 1, 1970; via http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) © 2018 Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited