The Tudors Enjoy Their Ricoh Return

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Anne, John & Jill Young before the game

Anne, John & Jill Young before the game

CCFPA member John Tudor and his wife Anne paid a rare visit to a Sky Blue home match last Monday afternoon and, despite the dramatic late Bolton equaliser that denied the Sky Blues a worthy win, both really enjoyed their day back in Coventry!

Both John and Anne are Derbyshire born and bred though now living in Minnesota, USA. Association committee member Mike Young and wife Jill brought the couple over to the Ricoh from their family’s base near their home town and returned them on their way back to their own Nottinghamshire home.

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John & Dean form a wall in front of the famous Hunt-Carr ‘Donkey Kick’!

As a young player John was one of the late Jimmy Hill’s sixties signing (from home club Ilkeston Town) in late 1965 turning professional on 24/01/1966. He played an important part in the ‘Sky Blue Revolution’ making 77 appearances in total for CCFC scoring 15 goals before moving to Sheffield United in November 1968 (85 appearances-37 goals). Predominately an inside forward, John was good with both head and feet and on occasion did well as an emergency defender.

As a memento of his time with the club CCFPA committee member, Dean Nelson, well known locally for his audio-visual presentations on Sky Blue history, put together a DVD of some highlights of John’s time at Highfield Road including some rare black and white footage of sixties Sky Blues games featuring John. Dean presented John with the DVD before the game (above right) in front of a picture of three ex Sky Blues John knew well, all CCFPA members, ‘Ernie’ Hunt, Jeff Blockley and Willie Carr.

'Harry' and John

‘Harry’ and John

John was pleased to meet a number of our former player Ricoh regulars, particularly former colleague ex-goalkeeper Bob Wesson, who shared some memories of JH and his men. John also talked to our other ‘special guest’ for the day Lloyd McGrath (see yesterday’s news item) and CCFPA committee member Dave Bennett, both heroes of our 1987 F.A.Cup victory.

In Q&As before the game around the supporters’ lounges with club host and fellow CCFPA member Brian ‘Harry’ Roberts as well as on the stage of Lady Gs with Association vice-chair Billy Bell after the game John was eager to recall his time at Highfield Road (as well as commenting on the game he had witnessed).

Both in the lounges and the Casino John was also in demand from fans who were keen to meet him, get a selfie or autograph and talk about their memories. For example, in Lady G’s he was greeted by a CCFC supporter of longstanding who, like John, had also emigrated well over a decade ago and had travelled even further, from Australia, to attend the game! John and CCFPA would like to thank G-Casino for their hospitality on Monday last!

John & Billy on the stage of Lady Gs

John & Billy on the stage of Lady Gs

John probably made his biggest footballing mark at his next club, Newcastle Utd where he became part of a feared striking duo with Malcolm Macdonald and, from January 1971, clocked up a 187 games for the Toon Army and contributed 56 strikes. John and Anne will also be travelling up to the North East in a few days time for a reunion with former colleagues there. Leaving St James’ Park for Stoke City in 1976 John wound down his career with KAA Gent in Belgium before a knee injury forced him to hang up his boots in 1978. A period of UK coaching followed with the likes of North Shields, Gateshead and Bedlington Terriers before retiring to become a publican in Bedlington and then Ilkeston from 1983.

John & 'Benno' at the game

John & ‘Benno’ at the game

Moving to the USA in the 1990s John became Director of Youth Development for junior clubs Tonka United and CC United until retiring as a full time community based ‘soccer’ coach around eight years ago. Both John and Anne still do part time sports and fitness coaching and were very interested in the success of the SBitC’s Coventry and Bedworth based ‘Walking Football’ fitness initiative for over 50s that CCFPA supports which they heard about whilst on their visit and said they may try to introduce something similar back in Minnesota.

The couple told Mike they thoroughly enjoyed their day in Coventry and would try very hard to come back again to attend the Association’s 10th Anniversary Legends Day 2017 reunion at the Peterborough game on April 8th 2017 when we are also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1966-67 Sky Blues squad (including John) that won promotion to the top tier of English football for the very first time (below).

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We would hope that a good number of John’s former colleagues who got to and then played in Division 1, all fellow CCFPA members, will also be able to attend (including the likes of Mick Coop, Mick Kearns, Dietmar Bruck, Ronnie Farmer, Bill Glazier, George Curtis, Jeff Blockley, Chris Cattlin and Bobby Gould). See who you can spot in the D2 Championship team above. John is fourth from the left (middle row).

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