February’s ‘Legend #23’ Off To The Printers: Should Be With All Members Before Month’s End!

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The final proof version of the Association’s 10th Anniversary February edition of our members newsletter ‘Legend’ was approved (by its editor, CCFPA’s Mike Young) yesterday and our printers, Spectrum Print of Solihull have been asked to get printing!  This is the 23rd edition of our newsletter. It began publishing in September 2007 (Issue 1) under the banner ‘Sky Blue Heaven‘ and, since August 2013 (No.13), has been published as ‘Legend‘. This edition will therefore be the eleventh in the new style full colour magazine format and it will be a bumper 12 page issue with two extra pages of news and views about CCFPA activities and an application form and letter to all our Full FP Members formally inviting them to sign up for Legends day 2017 (and Golf Day 2017) both of which we intend to make our best ever!

In a season when we celebrate the achievements of two CCFC squads- the 50th Anniversary of the 1966-67 team reaching the top teir of English football for the first time and the 30th Anniversary of that famous 1986-87 F.A.Cup win at Wembley we have much to remember and even though the 2016-17 squad have got big problems in League One we can hope a corner has been turned with another Wembley final in the Checkatrade Trophy in April and, at long last, our first league win in 16 last Saturday at the Ricoh.

All the usual ‘Legend‘ items will be there and we focus particularly on the more than a dozen Former Players who have graced the Ricoh as our ‘special guests’ in home matches since last August. Amongst many other things we remember a couple of Jimmy Hill boys who have passed on to play in ‘Sky Blue Heaven’, we look at the on- and off-field charitable success of the Sky Blues Legends XI, tell you more about the work and personalities of the CCFPA committee, introduce you to our latest Association members and look back at some Xmas Hi-Jinks!

This means that, all being well, the printed copies will be sent to our distributors (and corporate members) Jigsaw CCS to be sent out to all our members to drop onto their mats, as planned, well before the end of this month. If you are not currently an Association member and would like to join us either as a new Former Player member or as a first time Corporate Memebr or Associate Memeber, details of the membership process and the benefits of joining us can be found under the ‘Join us’ button on the top right of this site. You have to be a member to receive your newsletter so if you wish to renew your Associate or Corporate Membership and haven’t yet done so, or you wish to join us for the first time please act quickly!

We hope that there is something for everyone in Legend 23 and that all will find it a good read. Watch this space for news of when the magazines are being sent out by us to our membership!

New SpectrumJigsaw CCS bus card

CCFPA Sends Birthday Greetings To David Speedie

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David in the Sky Blue

The Association would like to say ‘Happy 57th Birthday’ for today to our member, former Sky Blue forward David Speedie.

Born in Glenrothes, Scotland on 20th February 1960 David began working life apprenticed as a Yorkshire miner but his footballing potential was soon spotted by Barnsley who gave him a professional contract in 1978. Two years later he moved to Darlington and with 21 goals from well over a century of professional games already under his belt david hit the big time with Chelsea. From 1982 until being signed by CCFC in July 1987 the feisty forward turned out for the Stamford Bridge outfit 205 times and hit the scoresheet 64 times!  

John Sillett brought David (at £780k) to join the F.A.Cup winners at Highfield Road to further boost their goal power and we certainly saw some spectacular and cheeky goals from him (he was a skilled exponent of the ‘chip’) as David continued to develop his sometimes contraversial and combative style of play. By the time he left for Liverpool in January 1991 David had scored 35 Sky Blue goals in his 143 appearances. He scored both on his debut (in a 2-1 home win over our cup final opponents ‘Spurs in August 1987) and his last game (another 2-1 home win over the Villa in January 1991).

His time with Liverpool did not really work out and David saw out his top level career with a succession of clubs including Blackburn Rovers (1991), Southampton (1992), Birmingham City (loan- 1992), West Bromwich Albion (loan -1993), West Ham United (loan-1993) and Leicester City (1993). He then dropped down to non-league with appearances for Crook Town, Stamford AFC, Hendon, Harrow Borough, Crawley Town and Darlington Railway. David retired in the mid nineties to work for a Doncaster Recruitment Company and then a Football Agent.  David’s honours include a Division 2 Champions medal (1984); a Full Members Cup Winners Medal in 1986 and 10 Scottish International Caps 1985-89 (5 with CCFC).

Legends Day 2008: Former Players of the 1980s: David is 3rd from right with Dean Emerson, Cyrille Regis, Paul Culpin, Dave Bennett, Kirk Stephens and David Smith

David was last at an Association event when he attended Legends Day 2008 (above)! We hope we can persuade him to come to what we hope will be our best ever grand reunion, Legends Day 2017 on April 8th this year but in the meantime, have a great day today David!

Kirk Sees Sky Blues League Win After 16 Attempts: Gills Gutted & Cody Concerned

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Kirk in the Sky Blue

The Association’s ‘special guest’ at the Ricoh last Saturday watched a memorable win. CCFPA President and former midfielder Kirk Stephens saw the Sky Blues rid themselves of an unwanted record by winning their first League One game since November 1st 2016 on their 16th attempt. The 2-1 defeat of Gillingham (with ex Sky Blue striker and CCFPA member Cody McDonald on view for the Gills in the first half) was also the first win for new Sky Blues manager Russel Slade after nine games of suffering! 

‘Harry’ with Kirk

As usual with our special guests, before the game, Kirk was pleased to visit the volunteers and young fans in the club’s Family Zone as well as touring the supporters lounges (together with currently injured Sky Blue squad member Stuart Beavon).

There he was interviewed in front of our fans br former Sky Blue defender Brian ‘Harry’ Roberts.

Kirk & Billy in lady Gs

After the game he also took part in an entertaining and upbeat Q&A with fellow CCFPA committee member Billy Bell from the stage of Lady Gs where he regaled the audience of Sky Blue fans with tales of his time at Highfield Road in the mid 1980s.

Kirk also assisted the BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Radio live matchday coverage as he watched the game unfold and conclude with a very welcome Sky Blues win!

Kirk & the BBC CWR team (with Micky Gynn also in the Ricoh Press Box)

Cody McDonald & CCFPA’s Sarah Morris before the game

Given it was a somewhat scrappy game Kirk was able to enthuse about the hard fought victory with the Sky Blues taking a 2-0 half-time lead with smart goals from the the two Thomases (Kwame and George) and then showing grit and defensive tenacity in the second half especially after a Gills goal in reply stimulated a revival from the visitors which threatened but this time failed to deliver the all too frequent loss of Sky Blues points to a last ditch goal. By the end both teams seemed exhausted in a tough, physical encounter and clearly recognised with respect each others contribution to a hard fought game full of exertion.

Look out on this site for news of CCFPA’s exciting ‘special guest’ for next Saturday’s must win home game against Swindon Town –  a former Sky Blues attacking midfielder from the first half of the 1970s.

Reminder: SBiTC’s Walking Football in Coventry & Bedworth Taking A Break Next Week

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Walking FebCCFPA, CCFC’s Diamond Club and Cov Support News Service all support the now, well established, weekly  ‘Walking Football’ sessions in both Coventry (St Finbarr’s Sports & Social Club) and Bedworth (at Bedworth Town’s Oval ground) and many of their members participate, playing, watching or supporting the events.  ‘Walking Football’ encourages fitness, football and fun for the over 50s. Despite the chilly weather attendances continue to grow and around forty seniors gather each week at each event to undertake relatively gentle and restrained but competitive exercise through soccer.

However, all regular patrons (and any ‘newbies’ planning to attend a session this coming week) should note that next week everyone is taking a half-term break. This will allow participants and some of the supporting staff organised by Heidi Sloan of Sky Blues in the Community a well earned week off.

Rest assured ‘Walking Football’ will resume after the break in Bedworth on Tuesday 28th February (and subsequent Tuesdays) and in Coventry on their two sessions on Monday 27th February and Thursday 2nd March (and subsequent Mondays and Thursdays) all kicking off at 10.30am. They cost £3 (including hot and cold refreshments) and often taking part are CCFPA full members including the likes of SBiTC supremo Dave Busst, Bill Tedds, Dietmar Bruck, Ken Brown, Ian Goodwin, Dave Bennett, committee members Dean Nelson, Sarah-Jane Morris and Frank Pritchard and a number of Associate Members.  If ‘Walking Football’ is good enough for CCFPA members it must be good enough for all Sky Blue fans!

For more information about the sessions resumin at both sites next week you can contact Sky Blues in the Community’s Health Manager, Hiedi Sloan (telephone: 02476 786 314 Text: 07813 455 531 or by email: hiedi.sloan@ccfc.co.uk). SBiTC can also be contacted at sbitc@ccfc.co.uk