Matchday Memories: On This Day 1983 – Bulawayo Saints Bag Four From Bobby’s Sky Blues!

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Bobby Gould- Sky Blue Manager

Finally, a couple of season’s after the tour game in Indonesia covered in our last post, in 1983 it was former Sky Blue player (and CCFPA member) Bobby Gould who led the Sky Blues into their first African adventure with a tour of Zimbabwe.

In the third game of the tour, having kicked off by beating the national Zimbabwe side 5-2 in Harare and five days later an Under 20 XI 4-2 in Gweru the young Sky Blues travelled to take on the Bulawayo Saints in the country’s second city.

This time the Sky Blues came out second best and the local side beat the visitors 4-2. The Gouldfather must have regarded this as a poor birthday present!

Sky Blue Steve

Steve Hunt in the Sky Blue

Steve Whitton, who had scored hat-tricks in the previous two games (with rookie striker Steve Mardenborough adding the extra goals), scored again but this time it was (now CCFPA member) Steve Hunt who got the other Sky Blues’ goal.

There were three more games to complete in the African tour and the Sky Blues won one, drew one and lost one (see later postings for details on their respective anniversaries). Several members of the tour party including Gary Gillespie, Mark Hatelely and Danny Thomas (all now CCFPA members) rejected new contracts for the 1983-84 season and left the club. ‘The Gouldfather’ was faced with rebuilding his side, signing eleven new players for the upcoming 1983-84 season.

In the summer of 1983, the Sky Blues once more faced the Zimbabwe national team in a friendly game at Highfield Road as part of a reciprocal agreement following City’s tour of the African country the previous May. Around 3,000 watched City’s 2-0 win with one of the goals coming from an on-trial Arsenal star Charlie George!

Thanks to former CCFPA committee member Dean Nelson for the clipping of the Sky Blues team that day (above) and to CCFPA’s Mike Young for sourcing the other images.


Matchday Memories: On This Day 1981 – Milne’s Men Score Four In Indonesia

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Sky Blue Manager Gordon

On this day (12th June) the Sky Blues were often busy on the pitch during post season overseas tours. Earlier today we covered a game from 1967 when the Sky Blues beat an eleven from Barbados 2-0 in the Eastern Caribbean. Next we cover Sky Blues overseas friendly games on two different continents two years apart in the 1980s. First we look at 1981!

Well over a decade later the 1981 generation of the Sky Blues, by now managed by CCFPA member Gordon Milne, were playing their last game of an eight match tour of South East Asia taking in Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

Gary in action

In Thailand they had kicked off the tour with a 2-2 draw in Bangkok against a national side. In Malaysia they beat a Selangor XI in Kuala Lumpur by the only goal of the game.

Next, in Hong Kong they squeaked past South Korean side Hallelujah by the odd goal in seven. Moving to Indonesia they had seen off a national Junior side 4-1 at Surabaya, had beaten a Surabaya XI 7-1 and a side from Jakarta by three clear goals and last time out hammered another local side in Medan Province Pardedetex by six clear goals.

Now, just before they returned home, they fitted in a game against Indonesian outfit called strangely ‘Local Medan‘ and apparently won comfortably 4-0 with Gary Bannister claiming a hat-trick. The other scorer and other details are not to hand sadly. However, we do know the members of the tour party which were (CCFPA members underlined):-

The late Les Sealey, Jim Blyth, Mick Coop, Danny Thomas, Brian Roberts, Gary Gillespie, Paul Dyson, Ray Gooding, Andy Blair, Steve Hunt, Peter Bodak, Mick Ferguson, Mark Hateley, Garry Thompson, Gerry Daly, Tom English, Steve Whitton and Gary Bannister.

CCFC 1980-81

Thanks to CCFPA’s to Mike Young for sourcing the images.


Blast From The Past 1981- The New HR All-Seater Stadium Takes Shape

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Jimmy Hill

During the 1980-81 season Sky Blues Chairman Jimmy Hill announced that by the start of the following season that England would have its first all-seater stadium, The old Highfield Road terracing would be ripped up and replaced by rows of Sky Blue seats.

Many fans were against the idea but JH insisted it was the way forward for football in this country and came up with the saying, ‘It’s harder to be a hooligan sitting down’. The record crowd of  51,455, which was obtained back in 1967, would stay forever as the ground capacity was almost halved. The Spion Kop would remain but closed off allowing for around twelve rows to be installed behind the goal.

The all-seater stadium was tested on the first day of the 1981/82 season with the visit of Manchester United when a crowd of 20,050 watched Sky Blues come out on top 2-1 with goals from (now CCFPA member) Peter Bodak and Steve Whitton.

The Club brought out a song written by Steve Taylor (later of Go for It City fame) and it was played over the airwaves of local radio station Mercia Sound

Work is underway on the renovations at Highfield Road Stadium in Coventry, 27th May 1981. (Photo by Gerry Armes/Birmingham Mail/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)


Some away fans did not take too kindly to it with Leeds United fans ripping out some of the seats . By the time 1984 came round standing area on the Kop was re-introduced and then it was totally all-standing a few years later with the remaining seats taken way. Of course, the club’s new stadium the Ricoh Arena (more recently rebadged the CBS Arena) was designed and has always been all-seater. Over forty years passed since CCFC kicked off that particular experiment and in recent years there has been a growing debate about reintroducing so-called safe-standing areas to some of the football league grounds in the higher leagues.

The Sky Blues have announced an experiment at the CBS Arena in 2024-25 season with over 2,700 seats replaced and we will have to wait and see how well that goes. In safe standing areas, each fan has their own specific ticketed standing space and seat, with individual rows separated by barriers to prevent falling when fans are stood up.

Thanks to former CCFPA committee member Dean Nelson for sourcing the images.



Golf Day 2024 Pt.11: Results & Winners Presentations (B)

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CCFPA LogoEarlier today, in our penultimate section of postings about our wonderful Golf Day 2024 Former Player sporting reunion just under a week ago (6th June) we presented on the overall results of the competition  achieved by the seventeen competing teams (almost all containing a CCFC ‘star of the past’) as well as the individual prizes for achievement won during the day. These prizes were presented during the the evening session of the brilliant GD24 when all players and non playing guests gathered to take dinner together (provided by hosts Stoneleigh Deer Park Golf Club). We provided photo reminders of the winning individuals in their teams and the top three teams. Now we can share photos of some of the presentations to the winning teams. Enjoy!

Dave Busst (centre)- Overall FP Winner 2024 with Jim Brown & Johnny Reay

CCFPA’s Billy Bell Presents Gift To Johnny Reay

Nearest the Pin Winner – Mark Newbold (left) presented by Pete Witherow GD24 sponsor (Auto Jap Spares)

Longest Drive winner -Steve Crowter (right) presented by Pete Witherow

Top Team: Scott’s Stars with Andy Blair

Runners Up: Carl Baker & Whos Your Caddy




















Wooden Spoonist – ‘Harry Roberts with our chairman!

Thanks to the SDPGC staff for making the day a competitive sporting challenge and a friendly and convivial reunion. Thanks to CCFPA committee members Jim Brown, Billy Bell, Richard and Sarah Morris for all their hard work in setting up and running the event.

Thanks too to  G-Casino, and two of our Corporate Members, Coventry Power Steering and Auto Jap Spares for sponsoring the day!

All that remains to do in our running photo gallery of Gold Day 2024 proceedings is to share some photos with you of the auction and raffle which also took place during the evening dinner before our guests departed. Check back here on this site tomorrow!

Thanks to CCFPA’s Richard Morris for taking all these images