CCFC Old Boys Close Season News: Chris is Bury Bound: A Brace for County

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Chris Kirkland

Chris Kirkland

Former Coventry City goalkeeper (and CCFPA member) Chris Kirkland has signed for Bury. Chris began at the Sky Blues’ Academy in 1997, making his first team professional debutin September 1999. He eventually made 29 appearances for the first team before then CCFC Chairman Bryan Richardson sold the promising youngster to Liverpool for £6.25m in 2001.  Injury has hampered the development of his career but he did win an England cap in 2006.

Leaving Anfield for Wigan in 2006 (after a loan spell there and with WBA) Chris had further loan spells at Leicester City and Doncaster Rovers before transferring to Sheffield Wednesday where he clocked up 85 appearances between 2012-15. He spent last season with Preston North End and was rumoured to be being lined up for a return to Coventry at one stage. Chris has now joined Bury on a one year deal and joins a cluster of players at Gigg Lane who have worn the Sky Blue including Nathan Cameron, Leon Clarke, Peter Clarke and Danny Pugh .

Meanwhile, Notts County have signed up two former Sky Blues loanee defenders. Both Richard Duffy and Carl Dickinson have joined up with the Magpies in the last few days. Richard who had four loan spells from Portsmouth with CCFC between 2005-09 clocked up 64 appearances for the Sky Blues in total whilst Carl made just seven appearances for CCFC in 2012-13 as an emergency loanee for Mark Robins’ Sky Blues.

Conor Thomas

Conor Thomas

Carl has now joined the League Two club on a two year deal after rejecting a new deal with Port Vale. He told the Nottingham club’s website: “I’m really looking forward to it and can’t wait to get going. I’m a leader, I like to be loud in the dressing room and get the lads going. I’m going to show people I’m a good defender – I don’t mind dishing it out a little bit, I’m hard working, wear my heart on my sleeve and give everything, day in, day out.”

Also ex CCFC midfielder Conor Thomas we hear is training with Swindon Town hoping to win a contract with the Robins. Conor came through City’s academy to make 117 appearances for the Sky Blues but injuries and loss of form meant that he was not offered a new deal by the Sky Blues and released at the end of last season.  Good luck to all the Sky Blues old boys as thet face their new football challenges!

Bussty Is Birthday Boy Today! CCFPA Says Have A Great One!

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Dave

Dave in the Sky Blue

Dave Busst

Dave in CCFPA ‘Civvies’

CCFPA member, one time committee man and heroic former Sky Blue defender David Busst celebrates his 49th birthday today. The Association adds to all Sky Blue fans in sending our congratulations!

‘Bussty’ is well known locally as he has for many years played a leading part in the Club’s enormously successful and award winning ‘Sky Blue in the Community (SBitC)’ operation ever since retiring from the game with an infamous serious injury received in a game against Manchester United on the 8th April 1996.  He later received a sell out testimonial at Highfield Road against Manchester United in May 1997 (which proved to be the last ever professional game for the Red Devil’s Eric Cantona).

A ‘Brummie’ (b. 30th June 1967), Dave started his career at Birmingham non league sides Solihull Borough (1987), King’s Heath (1988) and Moor Green Rovers (1990). The Sky Blue Manager at the time (and now fellow CCFPA member) Bobby Gould recognised Dave’s potential to step up to the top Football League division when he brought him to Highfield Road on a professional contract from Moor Green in August 1992. Norwich City were the opponents both times for his double debuts -in the F.A.Cup as a sub on the 13 January 1993 in a 1-0 defeat and in the Premiership at centre half three days later when the score was 1-1.

Bussty 2007

Dave & the Legends XI

GD2012 action -Dave Busst

Golf Day Action

‘Bussty’ went on to make 50 league appearances for the Sky Blues, scoring 4 goals plus 10 cup appearances (1 goal) before his horrific leg injury towards the end of the 1995-96 season ended his career. A month or so later at the end of May 1996 he was released from his contract and from 1998 to date has played an enormous part in energising the links between Club and the local Warwickshire community through sport as can be traced through numerous news items on this site. Dave has also gained managerial experience with Solihull Borough (2000-03) and Evesham United (2003-06) and has always been heavily involved in organising (with CCFPA members) regular Charity games involving various Sky Blue Legends XIs.

He is also a regular at the Association’s annual Golf Days the last one celebrated earlier this month and is often an Association ‘special guest’ on Ricoh match days.

Happy Birthday Bussty!

 

Celebrate Dave Busst’s Birthday & Join Us at SBiTC’s Walking Football in Cov. Tomorrow!

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Walking Football (Dietmar)

Dietmar demostrates his walking skills at the Ricoh

SBiTC Walking Football A5 1pp (print)SBiTC’s Cov based Walking Football is up and walking on its usual Thursday slot tomorrow (30th June 2016). The summer is beconing evening though June has been a bit of a washout so no reason not to join other sporting over 50s and get warm, healthy and fit with a bunch of new friends. You might have seen the boys (including CCFPA’s Billy Bell, Frank Pritchard and CCFC Legend Dietmar Bruck) demonstrating the game at half time in the Sky Blues Ricoh home game against Millwall last April (above right). CCFPA invites you to join the happy band of senior football players at St.Finbarr’s Sport & Social Club, 303 Holbrooks Lane, Coventry CV6 4DG where the sessions are run this and every Thursday.

The sessions are designed to offer gentle but competitive exercise for the over 50s and start at 10.30am running through to around noon. All it costs is £3 (including hot and cold refreshments). So, if you want to come look sharpish, get out your football boots/trainers and get along to St Finbarrs!

Assorted CCFPA Members & Sky Blue Shirts!

Assorted CCFPA Members & Sky Blue Shirts!

CCFPA full members including the likes of Dietmar Bruck, Ron Farmer, Ken Brown, Bill Tedds, Ian Goodwin, Dave Bennett, committee members Dean Nelson, Billy Bell and Frank Pritchard and a number of Associate Members can often be found amongst the participants and supporters at the sessions (at least 30 regularly turn up usually including a few newbies!), so why not join the regulars?

Walking 21-1-16e

Defenders await a Walking Football Tackle

If you can’t make this session there is another regular event locally too in Bedworth next and every Tuesday (same time and cost) held at Bedworth Town FC’s Oval ground.  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

‘Gunnar’ Great as England Exit

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Aron Gunnarrson

Aron Gunnarrson in the Sky Blue

Former Sky Blue defensive midfielder (and CCFPA member) Aron Gunnarsson captained his country Iceland to an historic victory over the overwhelming favourites England in Euro 2016 last night. Iceland with a population less than Coventry shocked a disjointed and underpowered English side with a 2-1 win after a Wayne Rooney penalty gave England an early lead in the final game of the last 16 knockout stage of the competition in Nice.

Gunnar, now with Cardiff City, played a true captain’s game in the humbling of England with the whole Icelandic team producing a high energy, quick breaking direct game with tenacious tackling and harrying which contrasted with a tentative, stumbling, apparently tactically inept performance from Roy Hodgson’s men. Sky Blue fans will remember Aron developing his effective long throw with CCFC which he used to good effect against the English defence who seemed unprepared in counteracting it and which led to Iceland’s quick equaliser inside the first ten minutes.

'Gunnar' in Icelandic Blue

‘Gunnar’ in Icelandic Blue

The result leaves Wales, managed by former Sky Blue gaffer Chris Coleman as the last surviving representative from the home countries in the last eight – Congratulations!  Both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland made the last sixteen; however both join England in leaving after the knockout stage. N.Ireland, managed by former Sky Blue player Michael O’Neill (and with former Sky Blue loanee Ollie Norwood prominent) went out of the competition first and were followed by the ROI (with CCFPA member and popular former Sky Blue defender Richard Keogh and attacking star Robbie Keane prominent).

Aron’s men deserved their victory and now go on to meet the host nation in the last eight while England return home (now managerless) to face the music. Who would have predicted ‘England Out of Europe’ twice in the space of a week? Good luck to Aron and his colleagues in the rest of the tournament!