A-Z of Coventry City transfers: F for Francis
February 1979 and Birmingham City finally agree to sell their star player, Trevor Francis for a staggering fee that makes him the first million-pound player in English football.
Supremely talented and already a seasoned top-flight professional after breaking into the Blues' side at the age of just 16, the now 24-year-old is approaching the peak of his game.
And the club to benefit? Nottingham Forest of course where Francis became an almost instant hero with the winning goal in the European Cup final against Malmo.
The club to miss out? Coventry City, who despite having had to sell star players such as Dennis Mortimer throughout the decade, themselves put in a seven-figure bid for Francis in an extraordinary show of ambition by then managing director Jimmy Hill.
Not surprisingly perhaps the lure of the reigning league champions and the chance to work with Brian Clough swayed Francis and the Sky Blues went back to mid-table obscurity.
It would be a long time before the million-pound barrier was broken at Highfield Road.
***Thanks to Jim Brown's excellent series of books on the Sky Blues for help with this and other articles in the transfer a-z***
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