CCFPA At Wembley-1: On The Road

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Billy leads the celebrations on CCFPA’s coach 1

 A large number of CCFPA members of all stripes were amongst the ecstatic 43,000 Sky Blue Army that turned over half of Wembley Sky Blue and saw Robins’ Raiders bring Checkatrade silverware back to Coventry 30 years after that memorable F.A.Cup win by the ‘Boys of ’87’. The cup should be back in the City in time for the Association’s 10th Anniversary Legends Day celebrations next Saturday (8th April). Then, we hope that the trophy will be on display (along with a replica of the F.A.Cup) to a joyous Ricoh crowd watching the Sky Blues ‘take on the Posh’ in the presence of over 40 former Sky Blues Stars of the Past (see separate news item tomorrow for who they will be).

Can you spot FPs Colin Holder, Bill Tedds, Ian Goodwin, Ken Brown & Bob Wesson?

There are many photos of the joyous occasion last Sunday on social media and elsewhere. We thought we would add to the photo album with a particularfocus on the CCFPA family before we concentrate on Legends Day itself.  Amongst our main ‘snappers’ were CCFPA’s Richard Morris, Mike Young and Frank Pritchard and their work will be presented to you today and the next few days.

FP Jim Holmes with an anticipatory smile

The Association and its guests filled up two blocs of almost 300 seats at Wembley and took two packed coaches down the M1 to the game. The coaches carried some famous CCFPA Former Players, CCFPA Committee, Corporate and Associate Members and various family members, friends and guests. One coach was (loosely) under the control of CCFPA’s Billy Bell and Sandra Garlick and the other of CCFPA’s Dean and Debbie Nelson.  Billy’s coach apparently as the warmer of the two not just due to Billy’s jokes and singing we understand! Sandra took most of the photo on her coach presented here.

The coach hosts read out messages from former players and Mark Robins wishing us all the best.  Sandra and CCFPA’s Sarah Morris spent time sending and receiving texts from City gaffer Mark Robins and our FPs (e.g. Carl Baker, Gary McSheffrey, John Salako and Kirk Stephens) and their replies were read out during the journey down.
 
Each coach watched the 1987 cup win on the journey down too. Billy did a quiz on Coach 1 and interviewed Jimmy Holmes.   This is Part One of the photo record of the Day giving us a memory of the happy band singing their way down to the Arch in anticipation of a Wembley win – which thanks to CCFPA member midfielder Gael Bigirimana and forward George Thomas was exactly what we got!  

More highlights from other parts of the wonderful Day out follow from tomorrow on. 

Happy Sky Blue Wembley Bound Travellers

Harty Stands In For CCFPA’s Jimmy Hill Guide Dog Puppy

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Jim, Dietmar, Ronnie & John at the Centre with Harty & Rumble

 
Veteran Sky Blues players Ronnie Farmer and Dietmar Bruck along with CCFPA chairman Jim Brown visited the Guide Dogs for the Blind Breeding Centre at Bishops Tachbrook a few days ago to find out what goes on.
 
In 2015 the legendary Sky Blues manager (and late CCFPA member) Jimmy Hill passed away and CCFPA saw fit to recognise the great man by naming a Guide Dog puppy after him. Jimmy’s family are fully supportive of the campaign & the wonderful volunteer staff of the Charity have given us their blessing too. Our members were at the Centre representing the Coventry City Former Players Association (CCFPA) at the start of our attempt to raise £2,500 for a new Guide Dog puppy which will be named after JH. Already we are well on the way to raising the first £1000!!
 
The Association will be donating money collected at games and from the proceeds of auctions at our upcoming 10th Anniversary Legends Day and CCFPA’s Golf Day 2017 in June.
 
If any Sky Blue fans would like to help CCFPA raise the funds for puppy Jimmy to be born you can do so by clicking  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/JimmyHillPuppyFund
 
The picture at top shows Jim (with Harty in the Sky Blue scarf) together with Club Legends Ronnie Farmer, Dietmar Bruck and centre staff member John Morris*  with another of the centre’s current young puppies, Jumble
 
*PS After the event John was enthused enough to join CCFPA as an Associate Member. Welcome John!
 

CCFPA Sends 65th Birthday Greetings To Sky Blue Star Dennis Mortimer

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Dennis in the Sky Blue

Dennis in the Sky Blue

Happy Birthday for Today to CCFPA member and former Sky Blue attacking midfielder Dennis Mortimer  (b. 5th April 1952) who we expect to be here in three days time at our 10th Anniversary Legends Day 2017. Dennis is 65 today!!

Dennis Mortimer at Legends Day 2016

Liverpudlian Dennis began as an apprentice at Highfield Road in 1967 and turned professional in September 1969 making his full debut in a 1-1 home draw against Liverpool in the F.A.Cup in January 1970. Before moving to Villa Park in December 1975 for £175k Dennis had made 221 first team appearances in all competitions and netted 12 times for the Sky Blues. He was also part of the Sky Blue sole venture into European competition (Fairs Cup 1970-71). When he left the Villa in 1985 (having had a loan spell with Sheffield United) Dennis spent time with Brighton and Birmingham City (1986) before ending his career at Kettering Town and Redditch United (where he became player-manager) in 1988. Dennis then gained coaching and administrative experience with both West Brom and the Professional Footballers Association (PFA). He is a regular at the Association’s Legends Days and Golf Days.

Dennis ended up with 3 England ‘B’ Caps; 6 England Under 23 Caps (all with City); 1 European Cup Winners medal 1982; 1 League Champions medal 1980-81; 1 League Cup Winners medal 1977 (all with Villa).

Have a great day Dennis!

Happy 42nd Birthday To CCFPA Member John Hartson

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Hartson, J (John)b

John in the Sky Blue

Happy Birthday Today to our member John Hartson who lifted the second half of the Sky Blues 2000-01 relegation season on a pay-for-play deal by scoring 6 goals in 12 games. Born in Swansea on 5th April 1975 John is 42 today!

A Welsh International striker (52 caps-15 goals), John has built a media career since retiring and also finally overcoming a serious cancer scare. Starting with Luton Town in 1972, John built his reputation at Arsenal and West Ham before arriving  for £7.5m at Wimbledon in January 1999. After more than 250 career appearances and 85 goals Sky Blues manager Gordon Strachan brought John to Highfield Road but in spite of 6 goals in his 12 appearances John’s input could not prevent our relegation from the top flight.

Moving to Glasgow Celtic in 2001-02 the Welshman won Scottish Cup Winners Medals in 2003-04 and 2004-05; as well as Scottish Championship Medals in 2001-02, 2003-04 and 2005-06 and was a Scottish League Cup Winner in 2005-06. Before retiring in February 2008 John had spells at W.B.A.(2006) and Norwich City (2007).

Have a really great day today John!