Peter in the Sky Blue
Jim Brown, Chairman of CCFPA was recently able to renew contact with the family of former Sky Blues’ star of the 1990s Peter Ndlovu who has sent us a signed shirt from his homeland Zimbabwe together with his greetings. We report this a day after ‘Nuddy’ celebrated his 43rd birthday back in Zimbawbwe.
In December 2013 both Peter and his brother Adam (also a Sky Blue junior) were involved in a fatal car crash in their homeland returning from a playing in a football game. Peter was seriously injured and sadly Adam lost his life. Regular readers may remember that, through a donation and sponsored collection, the Association helped support members of the Ndlovu family based in the UK return home for the funeral. The event saw a massive turnout of mourners, both brothers being footballing heroes in their homeland.
Jim met up with family member Brian Ndlovu and his partner Donna Carr last Saturday before the game against Gillingham (in which the Sky Blues got 3 points for the first time in 16 attempts). Peter is currently managing the ‘Mamelodi Sundowns’ who are a top flight club in the South African Premier League. Brian and Donna presented Jim with a signed Sundowns shirt with a message from Peter saying thank you for helping his family and ‘good luck’ to the Sky Blues both in their Checkatrade trophy final in April (30 years after our famous F.A.Cup winning Wembley visit) and also their desperate bid to wriggle out of what some argue is almost certain relegation.
Of course, Peter will well remember the way 20 years ago this year the Sky Blues did perhaps their most improbable escape act by staying in the top division by beating Spurs 2-1 at White Hart Lane on the last day of the 1996/97 season (plus relying on relegation rivals to lose). CCFPA member Gordon Strachan was our gaffer at that time and Nuddy was in the team along with Gary McAllister and CCFPA members (MOM) Steve Ogrizovic, Richard Shaw, Darren Huckerby, Noel Whelan and scorers Dion Dublin and Paul Williams.
Brian promises to send Nuddy’s contact details to Jim and we therefore hope to get him signed up before too long. Watch this space!!
For the record, Adam trialled at reserve level in the early 1990s for CCFC at the same time as Peter was establishing himself as an exciting forward talent at Highfield Road eventually becoming something of an icon for the club. He was signed by City in 1991 from Highlanders in Zimbabwe scoring 43 times in 196 first team appearances. From 1997 he also played over 130 times for Birmingham City scoring 28 goals then appeared for Huddersfield Town (2000, on loan), Sheffield United (2001), and had a trial with Stoke City in 2004 before returning to southern Africa to star first with South African outfits Mamelodi Sundowns and Thanda Royal Zulu and, after a brief retirement (2009-11), returned home to play for Highfield United and the Black Mambas in Zimbabwe. Since then he has been a successful club coach with club side Chicken Inn FC in his home country. Peter Ndlovu remains his country’s most internationally successful player and is Africa’s longest serving player in England,
The Ndlovu family at a Ricoh game a few years ago
Between 1991-2006 Peter (nicknamed ‘Nsukuzonke’ in his homeland) played in a century of international games for the Zimbabwean National team including nearly a score of caps whilst with the Sky Blues. He is now Assistant Coach to the Zimbabwe and coaches their Under 23s, ‘The Young Warriors’. Adam developed a useful professional career in Switzerland before returning to play in his homeland for Highlanders, SC Kriens, SR Delémont, FC Zürich, Moroka Swallows, Dynamos and Free State Stars. At the time of his death, Adam was coaching Chicken Inn FC and had also been with Peter a member of the 1990s national ‘Dream Team’. Peter also has an elder brother Madinda who has achieved footballing prominence in Zimbabwe as a player and coach.
You can relive some of Peter’s silky skills, quicksilver dribbling and explosive finishing by clicking on the following video-link fron CCFC mostly supplied by our Associate Member Dean Nelson (‘CovontheBox’):-