Coventry City F.C.

Listen to Neil talking about Coventry City Football Club and why he's a loyal supporter.


Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.


I want to talk about supporting Coventry City, the team I've supported since I was a young boy at school. Coventry City are a team from the West Midlands near Birmingham, where I grew up. And just to give a bit of background on the club, it was founded back in 1883, and we were founder members of the Premier League. But in 2001, after 34 consecutive years in the top division, we were finally relegated. And since that year, we've been in the Championship or the second tier of the English Football Leagues.

Our only real honour was winning the FA Cup back in 1987. People often ask me why I support Coventry City. Well, in my school, everyone either supported Aston Villa, the local team, or Liverpool, the team that won everything at the time. I didn't really want to support the same as everybody else – I wanted to choose a different team. So after a school trip to Coventry one day, I thought, well, I'll support Coventry City, then. It was the FA Cup win that cemented my support for them. I remember listening to the radio commentary, listening to them beat, I think, Sheffield Wednesday in the semi-final and that was it. I was a City fan then.

Erm … people ask why I don't support one of the big teams. Well, in England, people either support a team that always wins, and we call them 'glory hunters', or a team near from where they were born. And there is a lot of joy in not supporting one of the big teams, especially when we get to play the big teams. I'll always remember beating Manchester United one cold Boxing Day, when we scored two goals in the last minute to beat them 3–2. And even last season we went to Old Trafford and beat Manchester United 2–0. Also, playing in the Championship is surprisingly a better league, I think, than playing in the Premier League. Every team can beat each other, it's much more exciting, every team has got a chance of getting promoted, or there is always the threat of relegation. Every season, there's new teams to visit and it's much more interesting than the Premier League, which is pretty much the same every year.

Supporting a team's like being part of a family: you can't just choose to leave the family if there's some disappointments. And being part of that family means that you share the same dreams and the same desires, and the same disappointments. This season I think we've got a good chance of promotion – we've got a good manager, Chris Coleman, who used to be in charge of Fulham. And we've got an outside chance, I think, of making the playoffs. Last season we were very nearly relegated, but this season I think we'll have a much better season.


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Submitted by nikoslado on Sat, 05/11/2022 - 17:23


Dear Team,
does ''there's a lot of teams to visit'' sound correct, instead of ''there're a lot of teams to visit''? Why there's a syntax like that?
Many thanks to all of you,

Hello Nikos,

I think 'are' is the standard choice here as we generally agree with the noun following 'a lot of' - there is with uncountable and there are with countable nouns. However, some people tend to use 'is' and I think there may be a dialectal variance at play here.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by meknini on Tue, 12/07/2022 - 04:53


I did go to two football matches when I was a lot younger and found out that the noisy crowds cheering and the limited view from my seats were a downside to watching a live match at a stadium. Nowadays, when I feel like watching a game, I would rather sit in front of my 60-inch flat screen with some snacks and drinks to accompany me. I am not a fan of any football club but once in a while I would enjoy a match especially the final and I would pay close attention to the upcoming stars just to study their unique skills trying to figure out what is so special about them.

Submitted by huseyinkoc on Tue, 23/11/2021 - 20:07


I support GALATASARAY from Turkey. Galatasaray is the biggest football club in Turkey. Because they have the most number of championship cup in Turkey Super League. Also they have European League Cup formerly named as UEFA Cup. That is a big succesful for a team. Nowadays, maybe it doesn't play a good game in the Super League but it continues to play better in European League.

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Submitted by danisep on Wed, 23/12/2020 - 03:19

I'm not a big football fan but here in Latin-America that is the most important sport so when the national team play or when start the world cup, family and friends get together to watch and enjoy the matches, lately our team Colombia are not doing a great performance, that's why they are thinking in change the actual trainer. It would be great go to Catar the new world cup, that would be possible, but win the world cup with the actual team in my view, that is not going to happen.

Submitted by mcambindo22 on Tue, 08/09/2020 - 19:34

Since I was toddler the parents' tradition has been supporting El America de Cali. Long time ago this team was amazing but with the time has gone weaken and whole admiration that people had about them has decreased.
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Mon, 25/05/2020 - 03:13

I support Nigeria football team.

Submitted by nikoslado on Sat, 16/05/2020 - 18:58

Dear Team '' I remember listening them beat...Sheffield Wednesday...'', ''beat'' instead of ''beating'', is it a correct way of English speaking? Many thanks, Nikoslado
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Submitted by Peter M. on Sun, 17/05/2020 - 07:07

In reply to by nikoslado


Hello Nikoslado,

Beat tells us that you heard the complete event.

Beating tells us that you heard only part of it.


For example:

I heard a man singing a song - I heard part of the song.

I heard a man sing a song - I heard the whole song.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by parisaach on Mon, 24/06/2019 - 06:28

Ok I hate talking about football. When I was at school I liked to follow football matches. I was a fan of Italy football team and I watched world cup matches. Actually I stayed awake many nights to watch football matches . I was stupid because I was a child . I also was a fan of one of our national teams. In my country we have many football teams but there are two of them which have the most fans all over the country, they are Esteghlal and Persopolis. One of them plays in blue shirts and the other plays in red, so in my country fans of these teams are also fans of these colors. They are always conflict with each other. Anyway my favorite team is Esteghlal the one which plays in blue. and I'm still a fan of the team but not as big as before. Today I just watching matches of our national team. and I partly watch Esteghlal matches. I still hate Perspolis, because it has the worst fans ever. most of it's fan are really football hooligans, and government support the team, so we named it governmental team. After all now as a grown up I think it is really embarrassing some adults attack or saying bad words just for a football match. They really act like a child.