Members’ August Newsletter At the Printers

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COVCITY TIE Changed LogoCopy for the next August edition of the Association’s members newsletter is now at our printers, Spectrum Print of Solihull. This is the fourth in the new style full colour eight page magazine format. It is anticipated that Issue 16 of the magazine will be ready for approval towards the end of this month ready for publication early in August around the start of the new season.

As usual, it is packed full of news, views and reports of what we have been up to since the last issue in June and focusses in a centrepages spread on the wonderful Golf Day 2014 at Stoneleigh Deer Park Golf Club last month. We demonstrate how we have carried on our activities in spite of the Club’s continuing exile in Northampton and consider the coming challenging season for both Club and Association. Should the decision to remain at Sixfields not be overturned in the coming days the newsletter will also contain a survey form for all our members seeking guidance on our approach to Season 2014-15.  As usual we contain news of Sky Blues Former Players around the world, coverage of some of the Charitable events CCFPA’s former players have supported, historical memories in ‘Blast from the Past’, news of our new corporate members, and we also feature those of the ex CCFC playing family who have passed on to ‘Sky Blue heaven’.

smallIt is planned that each member will receive their copy as early as possible next month.  If you are not a Former Player member of CCFPA and would like to guarantee receipt of future copies of this popular publication as a CCFPA Associate Member you will either need to renew your current Associate membership or join us as a new member at the modest cost of £15 (just tap on the ‘Join us’ button on the top right for a guide on how to join). We hope that there is something for everyone and that all will find it a good read. Watch this space for news of when the magazines are being sent out by us to our membership!

Billy Gray’s Funeral Announced

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Gray, W (Billy) 1952The family of former Bantam Billy Gray who passed away on Friday last have now confirmed Billy’s funeral arrangement. The service will take place at St Cuthbert’s Church, Bellingham, Hexham, Northumberland NE48 2JS on Friday 1st August 2014. The service starts at 11 am. CCFPA hope to be represented by our Welfare Officer, Bob Eales. There will be family flowers only but donations in memory of Billy are welcome to a Parkinson Disease charity.

Billy who made two league and a number of reserve appearances for CCFC between 1948-54 came to Legends Day at the Ricoh in 2012 and son Alan told us it was wonderful to see his dad’s face light up when he came back to Coventry to meet old friends, former colleagues and the welcome of the Sky Blue fans. A brief appreciation of Billy’s time at Coventry penned by CCFPA chairman and club historian Jim Brown appears in the ‘Gone But Not Forgotten’ section under the ‘Players’ tab above.

Billy Gray RIP (03/12/1931 – 18/07/2014)

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Gray, W (Billy) 1952The Association is very sorry to report the passing of former Bantams defender Bill(y) Gray last week.

Although born in Scotland in 1931 Bill’s family moved to Coventry in his early years and he was first noticed at Binley Youth Club in 1944 before graduating in 1946 to Morris Motors Ltd (Modern Machine Tools) which became effectively CCFC’s nursery side. Billy was spotted playing football there and became one of Harry Storer’s early signings in 1948, joining a host of other talented youngsters at Highfield Road. A skilful wing-half, Billy got his chance in October 1951 as a stand-in for the injured Don Dorman but after just two appearances was back in the reserves. In 1954 he joined Southern League Kettering Town but was soon back in the city playing for his beloved Morris Motors.

Bill lived in the North East and joined the Association in December 2011 attending the following year’s Legends Day celebrations. He is pictured below at that event being presented by CCFPA’s Welfare Officer Bob Eales with his official tie. The  Association sends sincere condolences to all Billy’s family and friends and will pass on funeral details as soon as we receive them.

Billy (left) with Bob

Billy (left) with Bob

 

‘No Game For Girls’ Challenged by Cov Ladies & CCFPA

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logo_cclfcNext month Coventry City Ladies will re-enact a women’s football match between two factory teams at the Butts in 1917. A project is underway, which has received Heritage Lottery funding, to explore the early days of women’s football in Coventry. An exhibition and other events are planned. The project and th game are supported by CCFPA.

Women's game FinalPosterDesignCCFPA committee member Mike Young and Associate Member Lionel Bird, both students of football in the City in the 19th and early 20th century have been assisting the project and it is clear that Coventry was one of the key centres in the development of women’s football with the first known game taking place in 1895 at Singer FC’s Stoke Road ground. Though many contemporary commentators argued that football was at best unbecoming and, at worst, positively dangerous for female participants, the women’s game gathered momentum.

During World War One, with so many men at the front, Coventry women took their places in the munitions factories of the City. The 1914-18 years gave the women’s game a fillip as many ladies took up football with enthusiasm and entered teams in inter factory competition. One such competition Final from September 1917 between Humber Ladies and Rudge-Whitworth Ladies will be replayed in the costumes and conditions of the time – and once more at the Butts.

The date for your diaries is Monday 25th August 2014. After the war women’s football built up tremendous popularity throughout Britain with five figure crowds and well supported women’s internationals often in aid of charity. As far as we can establish Coventry Ladies (below) was founded in 1921 and we need to be reminded that well over 20000 paying customers turned out at Highfield Road in 1921 to see Coventry Ladies take on the top women’s team of the period from the Dick, Kerr factory from Preston. The women’s game went into decline when the F.A. shamefully denied women’s teams access to the professional football grounds of the day in December 1921.

Coventry Ladies c.1921

Coventry Ladies c.1921

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Association encourages all it’s readers to support what should be a memorable day. More information can be found via facebook.com/NoGameForGirls

Tickets priced £5 adults (under 12s free) can be obtained online by clicking here. An early bird discount of £1.50 for tickets purchased before 08th August applies.