Blast From The Past: Billy Banks On A Winner

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Billy & Gordon Banks

Billy & Gordon Banks

Association Vice Chairman Billy Bell went to the races in Staffordshire last Sunday -and who should he see there but former Leicester City, Stoke City and England goalkeeper Gordon Banks.

Visiting Uttoxeter Race Course for their ‘Family Fun Raceday’ Billy may not have backed too many winners on the day but certainly managed to bump into a 1966 England World Cup winner for a chat!

Gordon in his playing days

Gordon in his playing days

As Billy said, ‘I met Gordon Banks at Uttoxeter races on Sunday, lovely man. He had fond memories of playing at Highfield Road and wishes the City well for the upcoming season’ .

Gordon, who is now 78, was happy to chat and remember his time as one of, if not the best shop-stopper of his day. After starting at Chesterfield FC in 1958, Gordon made nearly 300 league appearances for the Filbert Street club between 1959-67 and nearly 200 in the Potteries between 1967-72 before finishing his career in the USA. As Billy said, he remembers several of the tussles his teams had with the Sky Blues over the years. A brief summary follows, for the record.

Mr Bank’s first game against the Sky Blues and the only one in the Leicester City jersey was at Highfield Road in December 1964. Then, in the League Cup, class told and second Division CCFC went down to an ignominious 8-1 home defeat to the Division 1 club. CCFPA member George Hudson got the Sky Blues consolation that night and ‘iron man’ centre half George Curtis also unluckily conceded an own goal.

George Hudon

George Hudon

George in the Sky Blue

George Curtis in the Sky Blue

Neil Martin

Neil Martin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gordon’s top level meetings with CCFC were all with Stoke City, starting in 1967-68, CCFC’s first ever Division 1 season, when over Easter, Noel Cantwell’s men got a 2-0 win at Highfield Road with goals from Neil Martin (sadly no longer with us) and current CCFPA member John Tudor followed by a 3-3 draw at the Victoria Ground (goals from former CCFPA member, the late Ernie Hannigan, current CCFPA member Willie Carr and Martin) .

Carr, W. (Willie)

Willie Carr

John Tudor

John Tudor

Ernie Hannigan

Ernie Hannigan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following season Gordon was in again the Stoke side again both when the Sky Blues got a 3-0 victory in Stoke (a brace from former CCFPA member, the late Tony Hately and Martin again) and a 1-1 draw (Carr) at Highfield Road. In 1969-70 Stoke won all the points and five goals across the two fixtures and we failed to score against Banks.  In 1970-71 our member, our recently departed member John O’Rourke beat Gordon in a 1-0 win at Highfield Road (but Gordon missed Stoke’s 2-1 home win).

John in 1971-72

John in 1971-72

Tony Hately

Tony Hately

Ernie Hunt

Ernie Hunt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the first game of the 1971-72 season an Ernie Hunt header earned a Highfield Road 1-1 draw but the Sky Blues failed to beat Gordon in a 1-0 defeat at the Victoria in October. The last time Gordon faced the Sky Blues was in September 1972 at Highfield Road when a brace from Willie Carr ensured a 2-1 home win!

Happy Birthday Today To CCFPA Member David Phillips

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Phillips, D (Dave) 1987Sky Blues F.A.Cup winning hero (and CCFPA member) David Phillips is celebrating his 53rd birthday today and CCFPA would like to add its birthday wishes.

Though born in Germany (his dad was in the RAF) on 29th July 1963 David was capped for Wales 62 times from 1984 (including whilst at Highfield Road). David served his football apprenticeship from 1979 with Plymouth Argyle turning professional in 1981. After 93 appearances (16 goals) Manchester City came calling for the hard working and versatile midfielder in 1984.

At Maine Road David clocked up nearly a century of first tem outings (16 goals) before a player exchange plus deal was settled with the Sky Blues in close season 1986. Young goalkeeper Perry Suckling plus £150k was exchanged for David as he became a valued fixture at Highfield Road and an integral part of that season’s John SillettGeorge  Curtis led assault on F.A.Cup silverware in the 1986-87 campaign. David shared all the excitement in the City caused by that season’s victorious campaign and has played his part in all the subsequent reunions – and still living locally will no doubt be celebrating again this season, the 30th Anniversary of that momentous occasion with his cup winning compatriots most of whom are CCFPA members!

CCFPA's Frank Pritchard congratulates David on his Golf Day 2016 win

CCFPA’s Frank Pritchard congratulates David on his Golf Day 2016 win

On eventually leaving Highfield Road for Nottingham Forest in August 1993 David had amassed 124 Sky Blues 1st team appearances (11 goals). David rounded off his career at Huddersfield Town, Lincoln City and Stevenage Borough before hanging up his boots in 2001.

He still pulls them on from time to time for charity outings with the Sky Blues Legends XI and, of course, retained a direct interest in the playing staff at the Ricoh given his son former Sky Blue apprentice Aaron went on to play over 60 times for the Sky Blues until being transferred to Northampton Town at the end of last season. David supports the Association’s Golf Days and, in fact, took the top prize this year at Golf Day 2016 (above right)!

Happy Birthday David, have a ‘good one’ and see you back at the Ricoh this coming season!

CCFPA August Committee Meeting on Thursday Next Week

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CCFPA Darker Logo 2012After July’s somewhat unusual ‘Away Day’ meeting at the Sky Blues friendly at Nuneaton the Association’s formal monthly committee meetings resume at the Ricoh (G-Casino) in Coventry next Thursday 4th August commencing at 6pm.

Membership Sec. Sarah Morris will send out an agenda in time for the meeting. Business is likely to include plans for the coming season including confirming the dates of both Golf Day 2017 and Legends Day 2017; the progress of membership renewal; plans for marking the two big anniversaries occurring this season (1966-67 and 1986-87); plans for the next issue of ‘Legend’; plus the regular items concerning finances, website readership and the ‘special guest’ programme for 2016-17.

Please can committee members send any apologies for planned absence to vice chairman Billy Bell and agenda items to Sarah.

‘Elvis’ Leaves the Cod Army in pre Season

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Steven Pressley tie presentation red.

CCFPA’s Billy Bell Signing ‘Elvis’ in 2013

Steven Pressley, CCFPA member and former Sky Blue player and manager, it has just been announced, has resigned as gaffer of Fleetwood Town (along with assistant -also with him at the Ricoh Neil McFarlane). The media are speculating that ‘Elvis’ walked away so late in the 2016-17 pre season campaign due to unresolved differences about player recruitment with the Fleetwood board.

‘Elvis’ was signed up for CCFPA in April 2013 not long after becoming the Sky Blues boss and Tony Mowbray’s predecessor managed a win rate of 32% in his 100 league games as Sky Blues’ gaffer between March 2013 and February 2015. As well as leading the Cod Army’s successful campaign to avoid relegation from League One last season after joining them in November 2015  Steven had prior experience assisting Southampton’s scouting network as well as helping manage the Scotland Under-17s squad.

SP in the Sky Blue

SP in the Sky Blue

A rugged and uncompromising defender in his playing days, ‘Elvis’ Pressley was last with the Club as a player in 1994-95. The young central defender was signed from Glasgow Rangers for £630,000 by Phil Neal and continued with the Highfield Road outfit under Neal’s successor (and CCFPA member) Ron Atkinson. It is fair to say that the season was not a success, albeit relegation was eventually avoided with a little comfort. Steven made 22 league and cup appearances for one goal (against Manchester United) during the season before moving back to Scotland with Dundee United where he helped them get promotion to the Scottish Premier Division.

In Scotland Steven went on to play for Hearts and Celtic winning 32 Full Caps for his country between 2000-06 and had a spell at Danish club Randers before finishing his playing career at Falkirk which he went on to manage from 2010 until snapped up by CCFC.

The Association would like to wish Steven well in his future endeavours!