All hail the pace of Callum Wilson. He’s faster than an ostrich in slippers, but just where does he compare in the history of nippy Coventry City players?
The game on Sunday got me thinking. It’s been a while since I’ve seen such devastating pace from a City player. It’s barmy how much ground he is able to make up on his opponents. Lost causes have become worthy; opportunities are now golden.
Presumably loads of you will remember John Williams and his victory at the Rumbelows Sprint Challenge – the man proved to the country that he was the fastest footballer out there, but rarely used that pace to much effect on the pitch…
Clearly a direct comparison here isn’t fair. Times were different back then, and let’s face it – it took him 50 metres to really start motoring. Great for a sprinter, but is that kind of progressive speed as relevant on a football pitch?
He won that race in 11.49 seconds – a fast time, but he didn’t have a ball at his feet, he didn’t have players pressuring him. The myriad influences that influence the physical performance of a footballer weren’t in play.
But sod it. It was a laugh, and constant comparison is all we have as football fans to keep us sane.
So where does Callum Wilson rank in the history of devastatingly quick Sky Blues players?
Here’s a list of the candidates as I remember it…
You’ll have to forgive my age. I have 20-odd years of memories, then it’s all a little bit hazy. Have I missed anyone important? Drop them in the comments below…
- Craig Bellamy – A gigantic tit, but a quick tit. Eventually.
- Laurent Delorge – Long-limbed Belgian with a spectacular stride. A real favourite of mine.
- Darren Huckerby – Notoriously fast along side Dion during our Premiership heyday.
- Julian Joachim – Who cares if he was only 3 foot 8 and spent most of his career with a moustache. He was unstoppably swift, most notably under the Eric Black regime.
- Leigh Jenkinson – Never saw him myself, but was in the sprint final with big John Williams, so must have been fairly quick.
- Michael Mifsud – Probably our most recent whippet, who for a short while gained himself a countrywide reputation. Then he wasted the remaining years of his career in Malta. The bloody idiot.
- Richie Partridge – Another who was able to back up his outrageous speed with an end product.. until word spread, that is. Then people started to push him over.
- Callum Wilson – Admittedly he’s doing this in League One, but the fastest player in League One surely has to be one of the quickest elsewhere..
- John Williams – Historically the fastest, but never really able to utilise it alongside any other skills as I recall.