February ‘Legend’ Printed & Ready For Distribution To Members

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We are please to report that our printers, Spectrum Print of Solihull have informed editor, CCFPA’s Mike Young, that the Association’s 10th Anniversary February edition of our members newsletter ‘Legend’ has been printed and will be delivered to our distributors (and fellow corporate members) Jigsaw CCS by Monday of next week. This means that, all being well, the printed copies will be quickly sent out to all our members to drop onto their mats within a few days.

This is the 23rd edition of our newsletter. It began publishing in September 2007 (Issue 1) under the banner ‘Sky Blue Heaven‘ and, since August 2013 (No.13), has been published as ‘Legend‘. This edition will therefore be the eleventh in the new style full colour magazine format and it will be a bumper 12 page issue with two extra pages of news and views about CCFPA activities and an application form and letter to all our Full FP Members formally inviting them to sign up for Legends day 2017 (and Golf Day 2017) both of which we intend to make our best ever!

In a season when we celebrate the achievements of two CCFC squads- the 50th Anniversary of the 1966-67 team reaching the top teir of English football for the first time and the 30th Anniversary of that famous 1986-87 F.A.Cup win at Wembley we have much to remember and even though the 2016-17 squad have got big problems in League One we can hope a corner has been turned with another Wembley final in the Checkatrade Trophy in April and, at long last, our first league win in 16 last Saturday at the Ricoh.

All the usual ‘Legend‘ items will be there and we focus particularly on the more than a dozen Former Players who have graced the Ricoh as our ‘special guests’ in home matches since last August. Amongst many other things we remember a couple of Jimmy Hill boys who have passed on to play in ‘Sky Blue Heaven’, we look at the on- and off-field charitable success of the Sky Blues Legends XI, tell you more about the work and personalities of the CCFPA committee, introduce you to our latest Association members and look back at some Xmas Hi-Jinks!

We hope that there is something for everyone in Legend 23 and that all will find it a good read.

New SpectrumJigsaw CCS bus card

Many Happy Returns To Sky Blues F.A.Cup Hero Lloyd McGrath!

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Lloyd in 1987 Cup strip with medal

Lloyd in 1987 Cup strip with medal

We are sure CCFPA speaks for all the Sky Blue Family in wishing our member Lloyd McGrath a ‘Very Happy Birthday’ for today!! Brummy born on 24th February 1965 Lloyd is celebrating his 52nd birthday.

Sky Blue fans need no reminding of Lloyd’s qualities of gritty resilience which he brought to the CCFC teams of his day and the big part he played in bringing back the F.A.Cup for the first and only time to an ecstatic Coventry. No one can forget how Lloyd expertly pinged the ball off Spurs defender ‘Gary Mabbut’s Knee’ for our winning goal in our 3-2 extra time victory! No doubt he is looking forward to the club’s next Wembley final date in the Checkatrade Trophy on April 2nd almost exactly 30 years after their 1987 triumph. He will be sure to joining with his colleagues from the ‘Boys of ’87’ for a number of reunions and commemorative events in coming months.

Lloyd in the Sky Blue

Lloyd in the Sky Blue

Lloyd had eleven interesting years at Highfield Road from starting out as an apprentice in 1983 through to leaving CCFC in 1994 making well over 200 first team appearances. After a spell playing abroad with Sing Tao he saw out the rest of his professional career with Pompey retiring in 1997.

Lloyd remains a popular figure in the locality running the Hawkesmill Sports and Social Club in the north of Coventry which from time to time often hosts Association and other charity events. He has recently been a guest speaker at the Clubs Diamond Club Xmas lunch as well as being CCFPA’s special guest at a Ricoh home game for the first time!

Have a great Birthday today Lloyd and we will see you back at the Ricoh soon!


Jim Launches New Book At John Hartson’s Charity Festival Sports Quiz

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Jim in the Sky Blue

CCFPA member and former Sky Blue midfielder Jim Holmes is doing a book signing, launching his new book*, in Coventry on 1st March 2017. Jim is a pretty frequent visitor to Sky Blues games at the Ricoh and often puts in an appearance at our annual golf Day and Legends Day reunions.

The book signing coincides with Jim taking part as a team member (alongside Steve Thomas and Jim’s fellow former Sky Blues and fellow Association members Dave Busst and Barry Quinn) at a Charity Sports Quiz taking place at the Festival Pub. The quiz, in aid of the charity ‘Zoë’s Place’, features as rival captains former Sky Blue striker (& CCFPA member) John Hartson and former Celtic and Villa player Stiliyan Petrov (themselves both prominent survivors of cancer). Zoë’s Place is an independent registered Charity providing palliative, respite and end of life care to babies and infants aged from birth to 5 years suffering from life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and has a Hospice in Coventry. More on the Charity can be found here.

Big John in the Sky Blue

The evening event is a must for Sky Blues supporters and promises to be both interesting and entertaining.    A limited number of tickets costing £15 for the ‘Over 18s’ event are still available from the Festival (Leaf Lane, Coventry, CV3 5QJ) by telephoning 02476 847920. The Quiz kicks off at 7pm and the event finishes at approx. 11.30pm.

*Jimmy’s autobiography co-authored with Coventry journalist (and CCFPA Associate Member) Mike Malyon traces his path from Dublin schoolboy to achieving his dream of becoming a top professional footballer in England beginning with CCFC (1970) where he made 150 appearances and then ‘Spurs (1977) where what promised to be a glittering career with multiple caps for his country was wrecked by a severe leg break with complications. Jimmy suddenly found himself looking for ways to continue in the game he loved at a lower level, before pursuing a new career in the police force. Spells with Vancouver Whitecaps (1981), Leicester City (1982), Brentford, Torquay and Peterborough (1983) failed to live up to the heights of his former career as he wound down his association with football at the non league level including playing and managing locally with both Bedworth and Nuneaton.   
With forewords by Glenn Hoddle and Johnny Giles, ‘The Day My Dream Ended’ tells the compelling story of Jimmy’s meteoric rise to the top of his game and beyond, and the untimely end of one of the most promising football careers of his generation. Published this January by Apex it is available at all good bookshops and can also be bought online here.

Dennis Here For The Robins on Saturday

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The Association is pleased to announce that our ‘special guest’ for the Sky Blues upcoming home game against Swindon Town on Saturday next will be our former attacking midfielder Dennis Mortimer. Dennis will be hoping to see a good performance from the Sky Blues in this crucial League One fixture where the 3 points are vital for our fight against relegation.

Dennis in the Sky Blue

Dennis in the Sky Blue

Liverpudlian Dennis began as an apprentice at Highfield Road in 1967 and turned professional in September 1969 making his full debut in a 1-1 home draw against Liverpool in the F.A.Cup in January 1970. Before moving to Villa Park in December 1975 for £175k Dennis had made 221 first team appearances in all competitions and netted 12 times for the Sky Blues. He was also part of the Sky Blue sole venture into European competition (Fairs Cup 1970-71). When he left the Villa in 1985 (having had a loan spell with Sheffield United) Dennis spent time with Brighton and Birmingham City (1986) before ending his career at Kettering Town and Redditch United (where he became player-manager) in 1988. Dennis then gained coaching and administrative experience with both West Brom and the Professional Footballers Association (PFA). He is a regular at the Association’s Legends Days and Golf Days most recently Legends Day 2016 last February.

Dennis Mortimer at last Legends Day

Dennis ended up with 3 England ‘B’ Caps; 6 England Under 23 Caps (all with City); 1 European Cup Winners medal 1982; 1 League Champions medal 1980-81; 1 League Cup Winners medal 1977 (all with Villa). Dennis will aim to meet as many Sky Blues supporters as possible during the day.

Look out for him in the club’s Family Zone under the Ricoh stands with the JSBs before the game as well as ‘around the lounges’ before kick off. After the game CCFPA’s Billy Bell will be looking to coax him down to the stage of Lady Gs in the Arena’s G-Casino for a bit of craic and reminiscence about his Sky Blue days. For those unable to make the game Dennis will be ‘riding the airways’ on BBC CWR assisting their live matchday team with commentary and analysis. CCFPA looks forward to welcoming Dennis and all Sky Blues fans to this crucial game.