Willie To Entertain the CCFC Diamond Club Next Month

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Willie in the Sky Blue

Willie in the Sky Blue

Coventry City Diamond Club, the association for veteran supporters of the Sky Blues, is having another of its popular lunches at the Ricoh, Coventry on Thursday 22nd September 2016 (kick off 12.45pm doors open 11.30am). The Club, whose Presidents are CCFPA Life President Joe Elliott and his wife Grace, always get a turnout in the hundreds for their dinners which have at least one guest speaker from the history of the Football Club.

The next lunch will have as guest of honour one of the Club’s true Legends, Willie Carr. The flame haired Scotsman needs little or no introduction to all Sky Blue fans and is a regular returnee to Coventry and frequently attends CCFPA reunions especially our Legends Days and Golf Days. He is pictured (below right) at GD2016 with his team from CCFPA member Claus Bech Jorgensen‘s ‘Unique Floorcare’ Company.

18th: Claus' UF2 with Willie Carr

18th: Claus’ UF2 with Willie Carr

No doubt Willie will enthrall the Diamond Club audience with reminiscences about his long career from apprentice to International, especially his time at  Highfield Road between 1965-75 where he clocked up 298 first team appearances scoring 37 goals as well as gaining 4 Scottish Under 23 Caps and 6 Full Caps.  Willie was a charismatic attacking midfielder and forward with both City and Wolves (as well as Millwall)  and is most remembered for the Sky Blues’  ‘donkey kick’ goal he created for fellow CCFPA member Ernie Hunt to volley against Everton in 1970 with a backheel flick from a free kick immortalised on TVs Match of the Day.

The Diamond Club are in for an enthralling and entertaining lunchtime. For further information contact Jenny Poole on 02476 617825 or jenny_poole@btinternet.com

It’s Deegs! The Pit Bull Signs For the Association

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Gary gets his CCFPA tie from Frank

Gary gets his CCFPA tie from Frank

We can finally announce that the Association’s newest member is former Sky Blue ‘bite your legs’ defender Gary Deegan. Hopefully most of our readers had already worked out from the trail of clues we left on this site that our latest recruit is the man dubbed by many ‘the Pit Bull’. CCFPA’s Frank Pritchard caught up with him at the Sky Blues’ recent home game against his current club Shrewsbury Town. The Shrews forced a goalless draw that evening and Mr Deegan’s no nonsense defensive qualities helped his latest team keep a clean sheet.

Frank was hoping for a double CCFPA signing after the game but the Shrews other former Sky Blue Jim O’Brien who also played in the game managed to elude him (for the time being!).

Gary Deegan, Coventry City

Gary in the Sky Blue 2010

Dublin born Gary built up his footballing experience from 2004 in his homeland with the likes of Shelbourne, Kilkenny City, Longford Town, Galway United and Bohemians. With the Bohs Gary gained European experience, League of Ireland Championship medals and in 2008-09 Deegan’s talent was rewarded when he was voted on to their PFAI Team of the Season, though he was also developing his reputaion as an uncompromising and robust defensive midfielder!

Just before Xmas 2009 Sky Blues manager Chris Coleman brought him to the Ricoh on a three year contract to add steel to the club’s midfield and he settled in well. However, during the 2010–11 a stress fracture of the ankle suffered pre-season led him to miss the whole season apart from a subs appearance in the last game (a 2–2 draw against Norwich City). By the end of the following season Gary had clocked up 43 appearances, all but one in the League, and five goals. In August 2012 he moved north of the border with Hibernians for a season and has subsequently spent spells in England with, successively, Northampton Town, Southend United and, from the start of this season, Shrewsbury Town as he passes the career total since joining CCFC of 150 league and cup appearances.

Welcome Gary – we hope to see you back at the Ricoh for a future Association event whenever playing obligations allow!

Over 50? Can Walk & Kick A Ball? Why Not Get Down to Bedworth Oval Tomorrow?

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Brucky still dazzles

Brucky still dazzles

Walking Football BedduthWalking Football‘ in Bedworth continues this week! All CCFPA members and Sky Blue fans over 50 are once again invited to keep fit and active by joining the next Bedworth based SBiTC’s Walking Football session which carries on tomorrow (23rd August 2016) in its regular Tuesday slot at Bedworth Town FC’s Oval ground. Fans at the Sky Blues home game against Millwall last April will have seen some of our Walking Footballers including CCFPA’s Billy Bell, Frank Pritchard and CCFC Legend Dietmar Bruck demonstrate the fun and games to be had (above left).

All sessions are designed to offer gentle but competitive exercise for the over 50s (men and women) and start at 10.30am running through to around noon. They cost £3 (including hot and cold refreshments) and often taking part are CCFPA full members including the likes of Dietmar Bruck, Ken Brown, Ian Goodwin, and Dave Bennett, committee members Dean Nelson, Sarah-Jane Morris and Frank Pritchard and a number of Associate Members. There are regularly well over 30 players enjoying the exercise and banter, so why not get your boots on pronto and join the regulars – there are often ‘newbies’ joining the fun too!  So, now’s the time to put the spring in your step by joining us and get a good ‘walking to’ whilst getting toned up for the summer by having fun with friends!

A Happy Team Photo of the 'Walking Football' Participants YesterdayIf you can’t make this session there is another regular event too in Coventry next and every Thursday (same time and cost) held at St.Finbarr’s Sport & Social Club.  Both sets of friendly events are run by CCFC’s Sky Blues In The Community run by former Sky Blue defender (and CCFPA member) Dave Busst and have always been supported by the Coventry City Diamond Club, Coventry City Former Players Association  and CovSupport News Service and their members.

For more information about the sessions at both sites you can contact Sky Blues in the Community’s Health Manager, Hiedi Sloan (telephone: 02476 786 314 Text: 07813 455 531 or by email: hiedi.sloan@ccfc.co.uk). SBiTC can also be contacted at sbitc@ccfc.co.uk

Greg Downs Hopes To See Cobblers Nailed

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Greg Downs (1987)CCFPA is delighted to announce that F.A.Cup winning hero (and CCFPA member) Greg Downs will be the Association’s ‘special guest’ for the Sky Blues next home game at the Ricoh when they take on Northampton Town on Saturday 27th August 2016.

Greg travels over again from his East Anglian home. Last here in February for Legends Day 2016 Greg was due to come last June to take part in our Golf Day 2016 but had to withdraw due to circumstances beyond his control so his visit on Saturday will help to make up for it. Norwich City first discovered his talents in the mid seventies and (in addition to loan outings for Torquay United and Connecticut Bicentennials in the USA whilst with the Canaries) Greg made 169 first team appearances  before signing for the Sky Blues in the summer of 1985.

Greg in 1988

Greg in 1988

He quickly became popular at Highfield Road and was always ‘game for a laugh’ once briefly sporting an outlandish wig on the pitch to cover his balding pate! He became an indispensible part of the close knit Division One squad which surprised many outside Coventry by bringing the F.A.Cup back to a jubilant Sky Blue City in May 1987 after a stirring ‘road to Wembley’ and a memorable Final against Spurs. He will be pleased to link up again with former Cup winning colleagues (and CCFPA members) Micky Gynn, Oggie and Dave Bennett (especially appropriate in the 30th Anniversary of that memorable season)!

Greg & fellow FA Cup hero Micky Gynn at a previous CCFPA event.

Greg & fellow FA Cup hero Micky Gynn at a previous CCFPA event.

By the time he left CCFC for near neighbours Birmingham City in August 1990 full back Greg had clocked up 184 first team appearances for the Sky Blues (7 goals). After a season at St Andrews Greg became player-coach, then Manager at Hereford United from 1991-1994. Spells at a cluster of non-league clubs including Raunds Town, Redditch Town, Kettering Town, Forest Green, Bridgnorth Town, Malvern Town, Merthyr Tydfil, Worcester City, Lowestoft Town, Great Yarmouth Town, Mulbarton United, Blofield, Dereham Town, North Walsham Town and Wroxham followed until he retired from football in the mid noughties. Since 1997 Greg’s ‘day job’ has been as a serving policeman in East Anglia.

If you are planning to go to the game look out for Greg around the lounges at the Ricoh before the game (or visiting the club’s Family Zone) and if you aren’t able to get to the Arena why not listen to him for he is hoped to be part of the BBC C&W Radio match commentary team during the game. After the game we also hope to entice Greg down to the G-Casino where Sky Blue fans can see him ‘lightly grilled’ in a Q&A conducted by CCFPA Vice Chairman Billy Bell on the stage of Lady G’s. All are welcome!