Coventry's Premier Non-League Football Club


Proud to be an F.A. Charter Standard Club

Club History

1946 – 2008

Click here for Club Honours

Coventry Sphinx FC was formed in 1946 under the name of Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft FC. At that time there were a number of works teams in the Coventry Area and AWA were always a leading force in the local works leagues and throughout the 50’s and 60’s they won many league and cup competitions. In 1960 they changed their name to Sphinx.

Sphinx were major players in the formation of the Coventry Alliance and continued to win a number of major trophies. Unfortunately in the early 90’s a recession led to the closure of a number of factories in the Coventry area and during this period many local teams were disbanded. The club therefore felt it needed a new challenge and in 1993 they joined the Midland Combination Football League whilst their reserve team continued in the Coventry Alliance league.

In their first season in the Midland Combination, Sphinx were promoted from Division 2 and also reached the semi-finals of the Birmingham Saturday Vase. After finishing runners up in division 1 at the end of the 1994/95 season Sphinx were promoted again to the premier league. After their appointment to the top flight, it was decided to link the name of the club to the city in which they play and hence the name Coventry Sphinx was born. The ground was also named Sphinx Drive and a stand erected and opened with a game against a Coventry City XI.

Following their promotion to the premier league Sphinx soon became one of the leading teams in the division. In their first season they finished as runners up which they repeated in both 2005 and 2006. They have reached the final of the Endsleigh Challenge Cup Final on three occasions, losing to Alveston at Villa Park in 1999, defeating Coventry Marconi in 2002 and Feckenham at The New Windmill, Leamington in 2005.

Other successes have seen the Coventry Evening Telegraph Cup won in successive seasons. This is also an historic achievement as the team are the last winners at Highfield Road and the first winners at the Ricoh Arena.

Whilst the first team were competing for honours in the Midland Combination the reserves were also a dominant force in the Coventry Alliance League and after winning the division one title in 2005, unable to be promoted to the Premier Division of the Coventry Alliance, they also joined the Midland Combination and finished the 2005/06 season as winners of the Challenge Urn and also runners up in division three and promotion to division two.

In 1997 the junior section of the club was formed starting with just 3 teams under 10’s 11’s 12’s. Success on the field soon followed and currently there are 15 teams and over 200 players representing the club at this level.

Coventry Sphinx Juniors became the first club in Coventry to achieve the FA Charter.

In 2003 the Coventry Sphinx Junior section introduced the junior players into youth football playing in the Midland Floodlit League and now have a very successful team and future several youth players now play for senior teams. This was a major step forward to the future development of the club.

Over the past 60 years the club has been served by a number of very loyal and hard working people who have contributed greatly to the running of the club both on and off the field and the current committee and management team are no exception. The dedication and hard work from every body has seen the club enjoy many ‘highs’ but inevitably over this period there has also been a number of ‘lows’. 

After a great start to the season tragedy struck in November 2001 when manager Willie Knibbs was killed in a car accident returning from a cup game at Meir KA. A former player Willie was in his second spell as manager and his death was a great loss to Coventry Sphinx football Club and football in general. This was probably the club’s ‘darkest hour’. He was so well liked by everybody and because he cared so passionately for the Sphinx it gave everybody the determination to continue with his legacy.

Winning the Midland Combination Challenge Cup, which was renamed the Willie Knibbs Cup, for the remainder of the season, as a mark of respect, was an outstanding achievement after such a painful season. Credit must go to all involved for continuing on when it would have been easier to pack in.

As we all know time does not standstill and to keep playing football for sixty years has been a major achievement by all of the players, officials and everyone associated with the club and despite the decline in local football in the area the structure in place at senior, youth and junior level promises a bright future for Coventry Sphinx Football Club – something which Willie Knibbs would be proud of.

Coventry Sphinx completed a remarkable treble achievement in May 2007 when they finally became Champions of the Midland Football Combination and achieved promotion to the Midland Football Alliance. Also winning the Coventry Charity Cup and BCFA Midland Floodlit Cup.

History was also achieved in season 2007/08 when reaching the Quarter Finals of the FA Vase for the very first time, losing to eventual Wembley winners Kirkham & Wesham (Now AFC Fylde) in a replay at Sphinx Drive. The club finished in 18th position in their debut Midland Alliance season and also reached the Semi Finals of the League Cup.

In the 2009/10 season Coventry Spinx went onto win there iggest hounor in football when defeating Westfields in the Midland Alliance Ploymac League Cup.

Original History, Author Unknown

Brief History adapted July 2007,July 2008, June 2011