Matchday Memories: 1976 Swedish Tour Sees No Sky Blues Score (Inc. Roberts Junior)

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Dudley in the sixties Sky Blue

May was a prime month for the Sky Blues end of season good-will tours in the sixties and seventies – often a warm down in an exotic and very warmed up far eastern country! Today we provide a round-up of their record on this day (May 27th) which involved chillier European climes! The games so far were exactly three decades apart, and coincidentally each featured a member of the Roberts family, both inside forwards in the City side, father Ted and son Dudley Roberts (later a CCFPA member)!

Earlier today we looked at Ted’s contribution to City’s Denmark tour of 1946. Now let’s look at son, Dudley’s role in Sky Blues short Swedish break thirty years later in 1976. Later today we look at the contribution of an unrelated Roberts a couple more seasons down the line (so check back)!

Sky Blue Manager Gordon

Gordon Milne’s men had finished in a relatively comfortable fourteenth spot in the First Division. On this Sweden tour, however, they came away with two defeats!  Two days previously they had kicked off the tour with a 2-1 defeat against Helsingborg. Dudley was not in the Sky Blues team for this defeat but was in the City forward line for this day’s game at Malmo where the Sky Blues took on the local side but were again beaten, this time by the odd goal in front of a small crowd of just (nine fans) over 5,000.

The Sky Blues team that day was as follows.

Dudley Roberts at Legends Day 2017

Jim Blyth, Graham Oakey, Barry Powell, John Craven*, Alan Dugdale, Mick Coop, Les Cartwright, Dudley Roberts, David Cross, Donal Murphy and Tommy Hutchison.

*All, apart from the late John Craven, later became CCFPA members:-

Ted’s son Dudley was born in 1945, just as WWII ended, and began life at CCFC as a junior in 1961 because Ted had been  a trainer with the Sky Blues from 1959-61.  Sadly Dudley, though a promising striker, never established himself under Jimmy Hill being mainly used as an understudy in the Sky Blues forward line. Fourteen of his sixteen outings for the first team came in 1965-66 and he showed potential by scoring six goals in his eleven league appearances in Division Three.

Sky Blue Rose and 1962 Sky Blue Choir

Dudley’s best footballing days came with Mansfield Town (1968-1974) where became a great favourite scoring 73 times in 231 appearances for the Stag before a last hurrah in 1974-75 with Scunthorpe United (after a short loan spell with Doncaster Rovers) ended by injury which forced him to retire.

Schooled in Coventry he famously married ‘Sky Blue Rose’ McNulty one of the the staff at Highfield Road.

Dudley and Rose have both been back to CCFPA reunions in past years.

CCFC 1975-76

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

 

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