Special Scotsman Sees Sky Blues Slice Sheffield Blades

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Wallace I. (Ian)(c)2

IW in his Sky Blue Hey Day

CCFPA ‘Special Guest’ for last Saturday’s last home game of the season at the Ricoh against Sheffield United was the Sky Blues Scottish International former inside forward of the seventies, Ian Wallace. ‘Wally’ had a packed day on his return to the Ricoh – he was last here for the Legends Day Weekend in February (when the late Sky Blue iconic gaffer Jimmy Hill‘s life was also celebrated at Coventry Cathedral).

IMG_5925It was fitting, therefore, that Ian was present along with other Association Members at the dedication by the Bishop of Coventry of the extended ‘Jimmy Hill Memorial Garden’ outside the Arena. CCFPA Life President Joe Elliott was was instrumental in the various JH commemorations also spoke movingly about Jimmy’s contribution to the City and its football club, and JH’s son Jamie also paid tribute before scattering some of his father’s ashes beside the special marker stone (see separate news item).

'Wally' & 'Harry'

‘Wally’ & ‘Harry’

Ian, then briefly visited the Family Zone under the Arena stands to meet the youngest generation of Sky Blues fans (the JSBs) and to sign autographs and pose for selfies) alongside current CCFC squad members Chris Stokes and Ryan Haynes (see separate news item) before moving on to meet more CCFC fans in the various supporters’ lounges prior to the game in the company of Chris and club host, former Sky Blue defender and CCFPA member Brian ‘Harry’ Roberts.

Ian Wallace & BBC CWR

BBC’s Clive & Stuart with IW

At Legends Day, along with around 40 other former CCFC players who were our (and the Club’s) guests at the game, Ian saw a stunning 6-0 Sky Blues victory over Bury. During the match Ian supplied expert analysis of the unfolding game live on air to the BBC CWR commentary team (of Clive Eakin and Stuart Linnell) and again brought the Sky Blues luck as they achieved a 3-1 win against the Blades to complete a straight hat-trick of home successes. Sadly the recent improvement in home form came too late to propel the Club to a top six finish (which they last achieved over 40 years ago!) but Ian was full of praise for the performance which blunted the Blades’ own play-off aspirations.

After the win and duties complete Ian ‘relaxed’ on the stage of Lady G’s in the Arena’s G-Casino entertained a packed house with CCFPA’s vice chairman Billy Bell. Thanks for being a great guest Ian and look forward to seeing you again on Thurday June 9th when you come down to participate in CCFPA’s Golf Day 2016.


Chris Edwards R.I.P.

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CCFPA Darker Logo 2012Coventry City Former Player’s Association is very sad to report the death of one of our longstanding Associate Members, Chris Edwards. Chris’s brother informed us that Chris passed away peacefully last Wednesday morning, 27 April 2016. Chris had been a CCFPA Associate Member since at least 2011 and attended Sky Blues games and Association events whenever he could from his home in Banbury, Oxfordshire. CCFPA sends its condolences to all members of Chris’s families and friends.

Details of funeral arrangements will appear on this site when we have them to hand.


Pat Says Thanks For Family Zone Visits

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Family Zone CCFPA Associate member and CCFC Family Zone organiser Pat Raybould has recently sent her thanks to CCFPA for all their help during the past season in supporting the work of the Zone. At last Saturday’s final home game of the season against Sheffield United, as usual with all the Sky Blues’ Saturday fixtures at the Ricoh, the Association’s ‘special guest’ of the day, Ian Wallace paid a visit to the youngest Sky Blue supporters before the game bearing a signed ball and shirt to be used as a future prize.   Sadly, due to other commitments Ian’s visit was a shorter one than usual for our special guests but nevertheless all in a crowded FZ were delighted to meet him!.

Chris Stokes signs a shirt for a young fan

Chris signs a shirt for a young fan

Typically they, together with a mix of others of our ‘regular’ former players and some representatives of the current Sky Blue squad and club mascot ‘Sky Blue Sam’ visit the Junior Sky Blues under sections 26 & 27 of the Ricoh Stands and also put on masses of fun and games for the future generation of the Sky Blue Army. On Saturday, apart from ‘Wally’ current squad members Ryan Haynes and Chris Stokes made themselves available for chats, photo ops and autographs.

CCFPA committee members Dean Nelson and Sarah-Jane Morris and their better halves are prominent members of Pat’s regular dedicated team of volunteers who lay on entertainment for the youngsters and their families and Sky Blue veteran Dietmar Bruck has been particularly supportive over the past season.

Ryan helps with a selfie

Ryan helps with a selfie

Pat wrote, “Just want to say a huge thank you for your support of the Family Zone this season. Having former players join us has made a big impact and
given us a real “family” feel. Parents and grandparents have been excited to see former players and it has been great to listen to the stories they have telling the young fans about watching when they were younger. Thanks once again and let’s continue this link next season. PUSB.”

Rest assured Pat that CCFPA (as well as the Club) greatly value the work of you and your colleagues in helping keep the CCFC flame burning in the hearts of all supporters and we will be there with you next season when we hope Mogga’s men can go one step further and clinch promotion to the Championship.

Birthday Greetings from CCFPA to Chris Kirkland

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The Association sends its best wishes to former Sky Blue goalkeeper (and CCFPA member) Chris Kirkland who was born on 2nd May 1981 and is 35 today!

Kirkland, C (Chris)Barwell born, Chris started out as a schoolboy then became a CCFC youth player in 1997 graduating to City’s Premier League team with a home League Cup debut against Tranmere Rovers in September 1999. He gained England U21 caps with City (and later a full cap). In all he turned out for the SkyBlues in 29 games before Liverpool came calling in August 2001 with a £6.25m fee. He made 45 appearances for the Anfield Club (going on to win League Cup, UEFA Super Cup and UEFA Champions League medals) before arriving at Oldham Athletic (initially on loan) in 2006 via a loan spell at West Brom.

Injuries continued to restrict the continuity of his appearances and loan spells with Leicester and Doncaster preceded a contract move to Sheffield Wednesday in 2012. Chris was a free agent after leaving Hillsborough and on 12 August 2015 he joined Championship side Preston (and he announced he would wear the number 43 jersey, a tribute to former Sky Blues goalkeeper Les Sealey who passed away from a heart attack at the tragically early age of 43 in 2001. Chris has played a handful of games for the Lilywhites in the latter part of the 2015-16 and now it remains to be seen how his footballing future will unfold.

Happy Birthday Chris! We hope to see you at the Ricoh as our guest next season.