Committee Member News: Have A Look At Chairman Jim’s Blog – Out Now!

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Jim Brown

This Association’s committee Chairman and founding member Jim Brown has produced a long-standing, roughly weekly, blog post about all things Sky Blue for many years. Parts of it have also appeared in a regular column for the Coventry Telegraph.

The posts are a mine of information about the club’s recent and long distant past. As most Sky Blue fans know Jim is also Coventry City FC’s official club historian. The latest blog of this Championship season 2023-24 has recently been published online so why not take a look?

This time Jim reminds us that the 6th round F.A.Cup tie Mark Robins men earned recently with their Maidstone United victory will, in effect, be a re-match of the Wolverhampton Wanderers tie at Molineux at the same stage of the competition which took place in 1973. All Sky Blues fans will be hoping for  a different outcome to fifty one years ago when Wolves won 2-0!

CCFC striker Ellis Simms scored a hat-trick in that ‘Stones’ win and Jim gives chapter and verse on the five other occasions when a CCFC player managed a treble in an F.A.Cup tie! The earliest, in 1907, saw Birmingham League CCFC make it through seven rounds before going out at Highfield Road to Crystal Palace, in the process scoring a club record 32 goals in one campaign! 

Crystal Palace (FAC) (h) 11-01-1908 p1 (teams)

There is much more on, for example, where the excellent home crowd of nearly 27,000 against Maidstone fits in the all-time Arena F.A.Cup list and details of that famous 1962-63 F.A.Cup campaign when Third Division CCFC took some famous scalps before going out to Manchester United in front of a then record Highfield Road crowd.

As usual there’s much food for thought  and plenty for Sky Blue fans to get their teeth into in Jim’s latest offering as Sky Blue fans ‘keep the faith’ for the current campaign. It and all previous instalments of the blog can be read by clicking on the link below:-       

www.jimbrownsjournal.blogspot.co.uk

As usual it is well worth a read!

George & John together

NB. If you want to make a donation to the George Curtis and John Sillett statue appeal you can do it via:-

www.CCFC.Co.uk/statue-appeal

 

Matchday Memories: On This Day 2006 – Don’s Pen. Secures Stalemate At Saints For Micky’s Men

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Manager Micky

On this day (4th March) in 2006 the improving Sky Blues were mid table in the Championship under the tutelege of former player (and now CCFPA member) Micky Adams. Well into the second half of the season Mickey’s men were on their travels to meet a bit of a bogey team, Southampton.There was a crowd of 21,980 at St Mary’s to see what occurred.

Unfortunately our locally born striker Gary McSheffrey was missing suspended and City’s normally livewire loanee Dennis Wise put in a rather subdued performance against his former club. Nevertheless the Sky Blues managed to force a 1-1 draw with the Saints. The game remained stalemated until the home side scored what they expected would be their winner from their own loanee from ‘Spurs Gregorz Raziak ten minutes from time with a far post header.

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Don Hutchison in the Sky Blue

Fortunately sixteen minutes from the final whistle Mickey had brought on as substitute (fairly recent CCFPA recruit) Don Hutchison for Stern John.  Don’s arrival sparked a bit of a Sky Blue revival and when he went down in the box as a result of a Nathan Dyer challenge and won a spot kick with just two minutes left it proved Sky Blue salvation! It must have taken some nerve but ‘Hutch’ picked himself up and coolly slid the ball home, a blockbuster of a penalty, past Saint’s goalie Paul Smith. The Sky Blues probably deserved to share the points and the result might have been a tad predictable as the 1-1 draw repeated the score between the two teams at Highfield Road at the end of August. In addition, Southampton had now drawn seventeen games so far this season!  

The main match details are provided in the graphic below (courtesy of former CCFPA committee member Dean Nelson). The referee was Mr. P.Dowd
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We are delighted to say that the Sky Blues ‘gaffer’ and all team members (except Dennis and Stern) later went on to join CCFPA.

CCFC 2005-06

By season’s end both teams had had reasonable seasons in the second tier but City claimed bragging rights over George Burley‘s men finishing in eighth spot not far by position from the playoffs, albeit a dozen points. The Saints ended up twelfth.
 
At the top of the Championship title holders Reading with a massive 106 points and runners up Sheffield United sixteen points adrift both were Premier League bound. Bottom of the pile Brighton were accompanied down to the third tier by Crewe Alexandra (22nd) and Millwall (23rd).
 
Thanks to CCFPA’s Mike Young for sourcing the images.
 

Matchday Memories: On This Day 1990 – See Superb Sky Blues Vanquish Villa At Highfield Rd.

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Kevi Gallagher on the programme cover

On this day (4th March) in 1990 the Sky Blues, under CCFC player turned manager John Sillett, were facing their oldest Midland rivals in the top flight and both teams were doing well, City in seventh place in Division One and Aston Villa tucked in behind the leaders. However, back in November, the Sky Blues had suffered a 4-1 defeat at Villa Park so revenge would be sweet in today’s game.

Kevin in the Sky Blue

The Sky Blues were currently on a home win treble having beaten both Chelsea and Millwall in successive games at Highfield Road. The 2-0 scoreline today in favour of the Sky Blues was doubly gratifying, partly because of our historical lack of success against our closest rivals and partly because the emphatic home win denied Villa their hoped for top spot! Instead, the win put Coventry City into the top six!

The ITV Live Sport cameras were there at Highfield Road along with 18,012 fans and they saw the Sky Blues dominate the first 45 minutes without landing a killer blow.

David Smith in the Sky Blue

In the second half things were to change in the space of a minute as City punished Villa with two excellent goals. First, on 51 minutes, Sky Blues substitute Kevin Drinkell (on for young Steve Livingstone who had picked up a hip injury) scored with his first touch!

Barely a minute later the game was over as our tricky winger David Smith curled a right footer past Villa goalkeeper Nigel Spink.  Spink saved the Birmingham team from an even worse beating with several brilliant saves subsequently. All three CCFC players mentioned later joined this Association!

Thanks to former CCFPA committee member Dean Nelson you can watch match highlights by clicking on the image below:-

The late John Sillett‘s Sky Blues that day lined up as follows:-

Sky Blue Manager- John Sillett

Steve Ogrizovic, Brian Borrows, Tony Dobson, Micky Gynn, Brian Kilcline, Trevor Peake, Kevin Gallacher, David Speedie, the late Cyrille Regis, Steve Livingstone (sub. Kevin Drinkell -46) and David Smith

We are delighted to report that Sills (Sky Blue gaffer) and the whole of this team later went on to sign up for CCFPA!

Graham Taylor‘s Villa’s team took to the field as follows:-

Nigel Spink, Chris Price, Kevin Gage,  Paul McGrath, Derek Mountfield (sub. Stuart Gray -54), Kent Neilsen, Tony Daley, David Platt, Ian Olney, Gordon Cowans and Ian Ormandroyd (sub. Paul Birch -72)      Referee:- G. Courtney 

CCFC 1989-90

The Sky Blues finished the 1989-90 season in twelfth spot and had a great run in the (Littlewoods) League Cup going out over two legs to Nottingham Forest in the Semi Finals. 

Aston Villa continued as pacesetters in Division One and finished runners up to Liverpool. At the other end of the table Sheffield Wednesday, Charlton Athletic and bottom club Millwall got themselves relegated.

Thanks to CCFPA’s Mike Young (& Dean Nelson) for sourcing the images.

 

Matchday Memories: On This Day 1978 – Watch Fergie’s Treble Bash Brum For Milne’s Men

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Sky Blue Manager Gordon

On this day (4th March) in 1978 Sky Blues manager Gordon Milne (now a CCFPA member) was enjoying the majority of his team’s performances in the top division so far and today’s result against Midland’s rivals (and recent landlords) Birmingham City was another result to savour. The Sky Blues ran out winners at Highfield Road by four clear goals in front of 22,295 highly impressed Sky Blues fans. The man who did the damage against the Brummagems was our tall No.9 Mick Ferguson who hit a hat-trick. Mick had also scored in our 1-1 draw at St Andrews the previous October! The Blues were being managed at this time by current director and past England World Cup winning manager Sir Alf Ramsey.

Mick in the Sky Blue

Interestingly, Brum would have further good cause to have mixed feeling about ‘Fergie’ as in March 1984, by now a Birmingham City player, he returned to us on loan from them and scored a Sky Blue goal in the last game of the 1983-84 season which saved City and, instead, sent his parent club down!

This season ‘Fergie’ formed half of a ‘deadly duo’ with inside man Ian Wallace and the pair scored forty Sky Blues goals between them.

John Beck in the Sky Blue

Today’s treble was Mick’s third of the season! He first scored after only 25 seconds from a cross from (now fellow CCFPA member) Alan Green. Fergie got his second just after the half hour from a ricochet and completed his hat-trick thirteen minutes before the final whistle with a clever header.

Fellow Sky Blue John Beck had got the Sky Blues other goal on 44 minutes with a precise strike to give the Sky Blues a 3-0 half-time lead.

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Thanks to former CCFPA committee member Dean Nelson you can watch Fergie’s hat-trick and other action by clicking on the image below:-

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Milne’s men that day comprised:-

Jim Blyth, Brian Roberts, Bobby McDonald, Terry Yorath, Jim Holton*, Mick Coop, Alan Green (sub. John Beck), Ian Wallace, Mick Ferguson, Barry Powell and Tommy Hutchison

*Sadly, ‘Big Jim’ later passed away at a tragically early age. Neither he nor John joined CCFPA subsequently but the rest of this team and Manager Milne, we are pleased to say, did so.

Sir Alf’s Birmingham Boys took to the field with the following players:-

Jim Montgomery, Jim Calderwood, Archie Styles, Tony Towers, Joe Gallagher, Pat Howard (sub. Steve Fox), Kevan Broadhurst, Trevor Francis, Keith Bertschin, Terry Hibbitt and Kevin Dillon     Referee:- A.Grey

The Blues’ Terry is the brother of former Sky Blue (and CCFPA member) Kenny Hibbitt!

Both teams had reasonably good seasons in Division One with the Sky Blues getting the eventual bragging rights finishing seventh to their near neighbour’s eleventh place finish.

CCFC 1977-78

West Ham United, Newcastle United and bottom club Leicester City were the fall guys this season and Nottingham Forest took the Division One title by seven points from Liverpool with Everton third.

Thanks to CCFPA’s Mike Young (& Dean Nelson) for sourcing the images.