The Sky Blues Legends XI pull on their boots again next Sunday (2nd October 2016) when they take on the “Pet-Xi All Stars” and hope to extend their three match winning run so far this season.
The game has been put on to remember Sinead O’Toole, beloved wife of former nineties Sky Blue reserve player Gavin O’Toole who lost her life last month after a severe illness at a tragically early age. Gavin has featured for the Sky Blues veterans team on a number of occasions. The Legends’ opponents are drawn from Gavin’s current work mates at the company where he is employed.
The Legends, who are likely to be represented by many of the Sky Blues former stars of the past like Dave Bennett, ‘Dele Adebola, Claus Bech Jorgensen and Dave Busst as well as some of Gavin’s former playing colleagues are playing their match at Hawksmill FC based at the Sports & Social Club run by CCFPA member and former 1987 F.A.Cup winning hero Lloyd McGrath.
Why not turn up to support the bereaved O’Toole family and the Legends XI in what is sure to be an entertaining game? Kick off on Sunday is 2 pm at Hawkes Mill Lane Allesley, Coventry CV5 9FN. There should be refreshments available too. Keep checking back on this site for further details of the teams as they get firmed up.
Heroic former Sky Blue defender and tremendous Club servant Dave Busst will be the Association’s ‘special guest’ at next Wednesday night’s game at the Ricoh when the Sky Blues take on Wimbledon and, once more, attempt to get their first League One win of the season under their belts.
Dave in CCFPA Colours
‘Bussty’ continues to be well known locally as leading player in CCFC’s enormously successful ‘Sky Blue in the Community (SBitC)’ operation. Amongst many other initiatives SBitC’s ‘Walking Football’ for over 50s involves many Association members every week. Dave is also central with CCFPA’s 1987 F.A.Cup hero and committee member Dave Bennett in organising regular Legends XI Charity games with our FPs and is also a regular at our annual Golf Days.
In 1992 CCFC gaffer Bobby Gould recognised David’s potential and brought him to Highfield Road from non league Moor Green Rovers in August 1992. ‘Bussty’ went on to make 60 first team appearances (5 goals) before enforced retirement after an horrific injury during a game v. Manchester United in April 1996. He later received a sell out testimonial at Highfield Road against the Red Devils in May 1997 (which proved to be the last ever professional game for their Eric Cantona). Between 2000-06 Dave also gained non league managerial experience at Solihull and Evesham.
Golf Day Action
Look out for David pre-match in the Ricoh supporters’ lounges with club host, former Sky Blue defender (and CCFPA member) Brian ‘Harry’ Roberts. After the game you are welcome to come down to the Ricoh’s G-Casino where CCFPA vice-chair Billy Bell will be conducting a jocular Q&A with him on the stage of Lady Gs. ’Bussty’ will also be assisting the BBC CWR match-day commentary team with their live commentary and analysis of the game as it unfolds.
CCFPA Associate Member Kev Monks’CovSupport News Service is reporting today that all those centrally involved in organising the celebration event at Coventry Cathedral in memory of our iconic former Sky Blues manager (& CCFPA member) Jimmy Hill have received official recognition for their efforts.
Prime Organisers, Dave Long and Association Life President Joe Elliottrepresented the whole of the organising committee which also included CCFPA chairman Jim Brownand others. The Cathedral ceremony, the day before Legends Day was packed with Sky Blue fans, former players and managers of CCFC and the wider world of football as well as of the media.
Bobby speaking for JH at the Cathedral
Joe and CCFPA member Bobby Gould were amongst the speakers and many of our Former Players in the congregation also attended the Bury game at the Ricoh where in another memorable day the Sky Blues demolished the Shakers 6-0!
They were given a special award for organising the event last February at last Thursday night’s Second Annual Coventry and Warwickshire Tourism & Culture Awards held appropriately at the Ricoh Arena, the place where JH’s statue takes pride of place as a symbol of past club glories and hope for future ones, and where some of Jimmy’s ashes were scattered after the February ceremony in the JH Garden of Remembrance.
The Arena itself was also named ‘Best Venue’ and ‘Best Music Venue’ in the awards.
The Association would like to join all Sky Blues fans in wishing true club Legend Tommy Hutchison ‘A Very Happy 69th Birthday’ for today!
Billy & Tommy in the E.ON
Born in Fife on 22nd September 1947, Tommy’s first professional outings were with Alloa Athletic from 1965. Three years later Blackpool took him south of the border for £10k debuting on the left wing for the Tangerines in Div.2 in March. His form was so strong that in 1972 then Sky Blues manager Joe Mercer brought the Scot to Highfield Road for £140k (plus fellow Scot Billy Rafferty going in exchange)
‘Hutch’ played at CCFC for eight memorable years playing probably the best football of his career and, as well as winning all of his 17 Scottish caps here, scored 30 times in his 355 games for the club. ‘Hutch was also voted supporter’s Player of the Season three times during his time at Highfield Road! Eventually Tommy left CCFC for another team in light blue, Manchester City in October 1980 (for £47k). Whilst there he hit the record books by scoring at both ends at Wembley in the 1980-81 F.A.Cup final v Spurs.
Tom (2nd right) in an all Scottish team at Legends Day 2013 with (L-R) Willie Carr; Ian Wallace; Colin Stein; the late Gerry Baker & Quintin Young
Tommy then had a spell abroad with both Bulova of Hong Kong and US side Seattle Sounders before returning to the UK to play for Burnley FC (1983) and Swansea City (1985) where he later had a brief taste of management. At the advanced age 41 in 1989 Tommy made his first foray into European club competition with the Swans in the UEFA Cup Winners Cup and later became the oldest player for the club in a game vs Southend Utd. in March 1991 when he was nearly 43 and a half! Leaving Swansea in 1991 he saw out his long career with Southern League side Merthyr Tydfil and eventually hung up his boots in May 1994, at the age of 46, having played more than a thousand first-team games in his career.
After a spell in Welsh local government as a Community Development officer Tommy returned to the game as Football Development Officer with Bristol City but since retirement in 2012 has moved back to his native Scotland.
A Youtube video from ‘Sky Blues TV’ including scrapbook photos, match videos and interviews with Tommy , his colleagues and fans (including at CCFPA reunions) remind us what a special place the Scot holds in the heart of Sky Blues fans and the silky skills, dazzling footwork and mazy runs which remain his hallmark.