Football

Jimmy Hill was remembered at a memorial service at Coventry Cathedral.

England boss Roy Hodgson joins tributes to Jimmy Hill

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England manager Roy Hodgson led tributes to Jimmy Hill on Friday and labelled the former Coventry boss an innovator.

Hodgson attended a memorial service for Hill at Coventry Cathedral. He joined Gary Lineker, Greg Dyke and Sir Trevor Brooking, along with around 1,500 football fans.

Former Match of the Day presenter Hill passed away aged 87 in December after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's and was buried on New Year's Eve during a private family funeral in Sussex.

Hodgson said: "Football has lost a great innovator and an important man in the football world and I'm really pleased his life was celebrated in such a dignified way. I'm sure his family must be very, very proud."

Professional Footballers' Association boss Gordon Taylor, who spoke during the service, also paid tribute to Hill, a former manager and chairman of Coventry.

He added: "He's someone for Coventry to be very proud of and Jimmy would be proud of them. He's a one-off and very special."

Coventry boss Tony Mowbray attended with other representatives of the Sky Bet League One club while loudspeakers played the 90-minute service to those outside.

Mowbray added: "Jimmy is a much-loved figure and he changed a lot in this town. He brought the people and club closer together and that's why people turn out in the Sky Blue colours, which are so important.

"At the time he was a pioneer and an innovator and I don't think they'll be another one like him."

Hill's son Jamie, Dyke and former Wales and Coventry boss Bobby Gould spoke during the celebration, along with BBC commentator John Motson, while the Sky Blue Song, which Hill wrote for the club, closed the service.

Hill introduced Coventry's Sky Blue kit and led the club from the old Third Division to the top flight during the 1960s.

He also helped to introduce the three points for a win system, all-seater stadiums and successfully campaigned to scrap the maximum wage for players while chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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