During their football careers Dennis Wise and Kevin Thornton made front and back page headlines. Wise dominated the news in 1995 with his infamous taxi incident while Thornton became renowned for his antics away from the Ricoh Arena which overshadowed his performances in sky blue. Wise responded by becoming Chelsea’s sixth highest appearance maker of all time and captained the Kings Road side to FA, League and Cup Winners Cup glory. Thornton at just 25 is currently without a club following his departure from Nuneaton Town last November.
Wise became City’s oldest outfield player at the age of 39 when he made his
debut against Derby in January 2006. He scored in his first three league games
and took the adoration of the City support. In his four month cameo he scored
six times in 13 games as, along with Don Hutchison, they took City to an eighth
place finish, their most successful season since relegation. One of his finest
moments came at Hull’s KC Stadium when his overhead kick levelled matters
before Stern John sealed the 2-1 win. Micky Adams released him in the summer
along with Richard Shaw and City would miss both players more than they
Kevin Thornton had the footballing world at his feet. Every time his name was
read out over the PA system the City faithful roared their approval. Here was a
man who made things happen and was not afraid to put his foot in. There was an
edge to his game which he channelled on the pitch but his misdemeanours off the
pitch ensured his selection was sporadic. Over four seasons he started just 19
games and appeared from the bench over 30 times. Of the two goals he scored for
the Sky Blues his debut strike came at Hull in August 2006 finding the net with
just five minutes remaining. Under Iain Dowie and Chris Coleman's stewardship Thornton spent
further time in and out of the side before the club’s patience finally ran out.
In the summer of 2009 he was released along with Michael Mifsud,
both players having failed to realise their true potential at Coventry City.
The atmosphere once again at the Ricoh was terrific on Saturday. Throughout the
campaign Andy Thorn and his players have received excellent backing home and
away from the City faithful who have spent their hard earned monies travelling
the length and breadth of the country. It will be a defining moment when City
leapfrog Bristol City but for the West Country side it will be a crushing blow
having evaded the relegation zone for many months. They face West Ham,
Birmingham and Forest in the coming weeks with a final day trip to Burnley.
Games never go to plan at this stage of the season and I wouldn't put it past
us to sneak a late winner at Hull just as Kevin Thornton did five seasons ago.
Maybe if someone had spoken a word to the wise, he would still be orchestrating matters in sky blue today.