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John Charles Sillett

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John Charles Sillett

Birth
Southampton Unitary Authority, Hampshire, England
Death
17 Dec 2021 (aged 85)
Burial
Temple Balsall, Metropolitan Borough of Solihull, West Midlands, England Add to Map
Memorial ID
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John Charles Sillett was an English football player and manager. He played for Chelsea, Coventry City and Plymouth Argyle. He won the Championship with Chelsea in 1955, playing alongside his brother Peter Sillett. He was manager of Coventry City from 1986 until 1990, winning the FA Cup in 1987, and also had two spells as manager of Hereford United.

John was born in Southampton, Hampshire, on 20 July 1936. His father, Charlie Sillett, was a footballer, playing for Southampton between 1931 and 1938. His older brother, Peter Sillett, was also a footballer.

John and Peter Sillett both followed their father in signing for Southampton, although John never played for the first team. The brothers moved on to Chelsea as teenagers, where Peter won the First Division title in 1954–55. John made his Chelsea debut in 1957 and played over 100 games for Chelsea, scoring once.
He left Chelsea after the arrival of Tommy Docherty as manager, joining Coventry City in June 1962, who were at the time being managed by Jimmy Hill. He helped Coventry to win the Third Division title in 1963–64, but his playing days were limited after suffering a back problem. In July 1966, he joined Plymouth Argyle, where he ended his playing career.

After retirement from playing, John moved into coaching. He was appointed Bristol City youth coach in 1968 under manager Alan Dicks, a former Chelsea and Coventry colleague, and took the team to the FA Youth Cup semi-finals. From 1970 to 1974, he was first team coach and played a significant part in the development of the team which went on to achieve promotion to the top flight in 1976. In June 1974, he was appointed manager of Hereford United.

During his first season, Hereford finished in a mid-table position, an improvement on the previous season's 18th place. In 1975–76, the team won the Third Division title, with the prolific Dixie McNeil scoring 35 goals. A year later they were relegated, having won only eight matches and finishing bottom of the Second Division. John initially stayed on as manager, but resigned in February 1978.

Jimmy Hill invited John to join the Coventry coaching staff in 1979. He left the club in 1984 after a falling-out with manager Bobby Gould, but returned in 1985 under Gould's successor, Don Mackay. When Mackay departed in 1986 with just three games of the season left, he was appointed chief coach alongside George Curtis. They managed two wins and avoided relegation on the final day of the season.

John was appointed Coventry's first-team coach for the 1986–87 season, with Curtis receiving the title of managing director; That season, the club went on to reach the 1987 FA Cup Final against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, winning the game 3–2.

In 1991, John returned to Hereford as manager, but left at the end of his first full season. This was his last major involvement with football, although he did some scouting work for the England national team under Sven-Göran Eriksson. He also worked with Central TV as a pundit for their football coverage.
John Charles Sillett was an English football player and manager. He played for Chelsea, Coventry City and Plymouth Argyle. He won the Championship with Chelsea in 1955, playing alongside his brother Peter Sillett. He was manager of Coventry City from 1986 until 1990, winning the FA Cup in 1987, and also had two spells as manager of Hereford United.

John was born in Southampton, Hampshire, on 20 July 1936. His father, Charlie Sillett, was a footballer, playing for Southampton between 1931 and 1938. His older brother, Peter Sillett, was also a footballer.

John and Peter Sillett both followed their father in signing for Southampton, although John never played for the first team. The brothers moved on to Chelsea as teenagers, where Peter won the First Division title in 1954–55. John made his Chelsea debut in 1957 and played over 100 games for Chelsea, scoring once.
He left Chelsea after the arrival of Tommy Docherty as manager, joining Coventry City in June 1962, who were at the time being managed by Jimmy Hill. He helped Coventry to win the Third Division title in 1963–64, but his playing days were limited after suffering a back problem. In July 1966, he joined Plymouth Argyle, where he ended his playing career.

After retirement from playing, John moved into coaching. He was appointed Bristol City youth coach in 1968 under manager Alan Dicks, a former Chelsea and Coventry colleague, and took the team to the FA Youth Cup semi-finals. From 1970 to 1974, he was first team coach and played a significant part in the development of the team which went on to achieve promotion to the top flight in 1976. In June 1974, he was appointed manager of Hereford United.

During his first season, Hereford finished in a mid-table position, an improvement on the previous season's 18th place. In 1975–76, the team won the Third Division title, with the prolific Dixie McNeil scoring 35 goals. A year later they were relegated, having won only eight matches and finishing bottom of the Second Division. John initially stayed on as manager, but resigned in February 1978.

Jimmy Hill invited John to join the Coventry coaching staff in 1979. He left the club in 1984 after a falling-out with manager Bobby Gould, but returned in 1985 under Gould's successor, Don Mackay. When Mackay departed in 1986 with just three games of the season left, he was appointed chief coach alongside George Curtis. They managed two wins and avoided relegation on the final day of the season.

John was appointed Coventry's first-team coach for the 1986–87 season, with Curtis receiving the title of managing director; That season, the club went on to reach the 1987 FA Cup Final against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, winning the game 3–2.

In 1991, John returned to Hereford as manager, but left at the end of his first full season. This was his last major involvement with football, although he did some scouting work for the England national team under Sven-Göran Eriksson. He also worked with Central TV as a pundit for their football coverage.

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