Football Gets Down at St Finbarr’s Thursday (at Walking Pace)!

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SBiTC Walking Football A5 1pp (print)CCFPA’s Thursday morning ‘Walking Football’ crowd meets at St.Finbarr’s again this Thursday (26th March). If you’re over 50 years old and would like to get involved you can’t do better than join us in these popular sessions (see our reports on the fun to be had at previous sessions in earlier news items)! New participants join every week so why not join the the mix of Sky Blue fans, Association committee members, CCFPA Associate Members, and our full members, including some of our most well respected former players like Dietmar Bruck, Ian Goodwin and Dave Bennett? The sessions, designed for over 50s who wish to exercise gently and enjoyably through football in the company of friends try to ensure all play is at walking pace and running is penalised!

Each event is organised by  Sky Blue in the Community (SBiTC)  supremo, former Sky Blue defender and CCFPA member David Busst along with SBiTC’s Hiedi Sloan. The sessions which are supported by, amongst others, CCFPA, Cov Support News Service and CCFC Diamond Club take place from 10:30am until noon at a cost of £3 which includes refreshments, so why not turn up at St. Finbarr’s Sports & Social Club (303 Holbrooks Lane CV6 4DG) tomorrow or any future Thursday. You can find out more by contacting the Sky Blues in the Community Team by Email: sbitc@ccfc.co.uk , or Telephone: 02476 786 314, or Text: 07813 455 531.

A Happy Team Photo of the 'Walking Football' Participants Yesterday

The ‘Walking Football’ Crowd

63/64 D3 Championship Squad Honoured at Legends Day 2015

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The 1963/4 squad with the Division 3 Cup

The 1963/4 squad with the Division 3 Cup -(l-r) Mick Kearns, George Curtis, Ken Hale, John Sillett, Hugh Barr, Ron Farmer, John Smith, Bob Wesson, Dave Meeson, John Mitten, George Kirby, Brian Hill, Ron Rees, Graham Newton, Ernie Machin, Dietmar Bruck, GeorgeHudson & Willie Humphries

At Legends Day 2015 last Saturday CCFPA was able to put right a missed celebration of an important former players’ anniversary which occurred due to the Club’s exile in Northampton last year. The season 2003-14 was, of course, the second full season season of legendary CCFC gaffer (and Association member) Jimmy Hill’s ‘Sky Blue Revolution’ and the 50th anniversary of his latest squad’s success in finally taking the Division Three Championship (after coming 4th the previous season and 16th in 1961-62 during which he took over the managerial reigns from Billy Frith).

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Joe & Ron Farmer

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Joe, Graham Newton & Jim

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Joe & Dietmar Bruck

 

 

 

 

 

The JH story, transforming CCFC into one of the most innovative, talked about and copied clubs in the land and and in many respects changing the wider face of football in general is too long (and well known) to recount further here. At Highfield Road, JH laid the foundations of Coventry city’s inexorable rise to the top division in English football from 1961-1967.  Many of the men that rode the Sky Blue Revolution together in the sixties were present at Legends Day 2015 and several Sky Blues heroes from famous 1963-64 squad (like CCFPA members Mick Kearns, George Curtis, Ron Farmer, Brian Hill and Dietmar Bruck) enjoyed the whole journey, rising through the divisions from Division Three all the way to the top.

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Joe & George Hudson

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Joe & Bill Tedds

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Joe, Bob Wesson & Jim

 

 

 

 

 

The Commemorative medal

The Commemorative medal

The Association was determined to mark the 1963-64 squads achievement in a number of ways this year. A suitably boxed special commemorative medal has been minted to mark the achievement and this was presented to those members of the squad present at Legends Day in front of all those former players and fans present at the special pre-match Legends lunch in the E.ON lounge last Saturday.

Ron Farmer, Graham Walker, Dietmar Bruck, George Hudson, Bill Tedds and Bob Wesson were each called to the E.ON Lounge stage one by one to be presented with their medals by CCFPA Life President Joe Elliott and Chairman Jim Brown.

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Jamie Hill picks up Jimmy Hill’s medal on behalf of his dad

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The late Peter Hill’s wife Barbara & CCFPA President Joe Elliott

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They were joined by Barbara Hill widow of former player Peter Hill who was club trainer at the time and Jamie Hill, representing his father Jimmy Hill (who was not well enough to attend) with his own son Hugo.  They then lined up for their ‘team photo’ (below) and were applauded for their achievement by former player colleagues and fans alike.

1963-64 D3 Championship Squad Remembered: Presentation Team Photo

The 1963-64 D3 Championship Squad Remembered: Presentation Team Photo. (l-r) Ron Farmer, Jamie Hill, Graham Newton, Dietmar Bruck, George Hudson, Barbara Hill, Bill Tedds & Bob Wesson. At back CCFPA’s Joe Elliott, Mike Young & Jim Brown

Later the group were pleased to join the guard of honour welcoming the the two teams onto the Ricoh pitch, and in their turn the current Sky Blues squad saluted these veteran players in front of the Ricoh crowd. At half time these elder statesmen of the club joined all their colleagues in being individually welcomed onto the pitch and took part in the traditional Legends Day team photo.

63/4 squad welcome the 2014-15 squad

The 1963-64 squad welcome the 2014-15 squad

George, Graham, Bill & Dietmar pitch-side

George, Graham, Bill & Dietmar pitch-side

Sadly a number of the 1963-64 squad members have since passed on to ‘Sky Blue Heaven’. Nevertheless their contribution was publicly remembered on Saturday in what was agreed by all to be a fitting tribute. Where possible, the remaining medals will be sent to those who those members of the squad who could not make it due to illness or other commitments (or their families).

Thanks to CCFPA’s official photographer Tony Thomas (tonythomasuk@btinternet.com) for the pictures from the day (Tony & Association claim copyright – not to be used without permission)

Look out for more stories and photos from Legends Day 2015 on this site in coming days!

Lady G’s CCFPA Raffle Results: Winners Please Contact Us

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The Association thanks everyone who took part in the two CCFPA raffles on Legends Day 2015 last Saturday. In all, around £1500 was raised from sales from the CCFPA stall, the raffles and the silent auction which took place, all benefiting Association funds and which will help them defray some of the costs of mounting what was, all agreed, another very successful reunion.

scan0001All the raffle prizes and silent auction items which took place in the E.ON lounge have been completed and presented to their winners. However, the three prizes won in the raffle held later in Legends Day in the G-Casino still need to be reunited with their winners! They were not claimed when the winning numbers were announced on Saturday evening. All the winning tickets are reddish in colour in strips of five with ticket book number AB 815427 at the top. You will need to present them to us as proof of identity.

Winning ticket of five starting with 606 won the signed picture of Keith Houchen’s fantastic header at Wembley in the F.A.Cup in 1987.  Can Gordon M. please get in touch with CCFPA committee members  Billy Bell (07896 709674)  billybell1987@orange.net  .

Winning ticket of five starting 716 won the signed Legend’s shirt. Can Chris E. please get in touch with CCFPA Committee member Bob Eales (07538 154239) covbob@msn.com.

Winning ticket of five starting 841 won the complimentary G-Casino meal for two. Can Steve T. please get in touch with CCFPA committee member  Billy Bell (07896 709674)  billybell1987@orange.net 

Either of these committee members will be able to arrange a mutually convenient meeting with you so you can pick up your prize. Please bring your winning tickets with you.

A Legends Day in the Life of Ian Wallace

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'Benno' Welcomes 'Wally' to Legends Day

‘Benno’ Welcomes ‘Wally’ to Legends Day

Mercurial former Scottish Sky Blues striker of the seventies Ian Wallace was one of the nearly forty former players that graced Legends Day 2015 last Saturday.  After a year’s enforced gap the Association’s major former player reunion brought ex Bantams and Sky Blues stalwarts from over five decades back to meet each other and the fans at the Doncaster Rovers game at the Ricoh. We have had fantastically positive feedback from our ‘fantastic forty’ guests, fans and other participants on Saturday in what is clearly an eagerly anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed event in the Sky Blue calendar. ‘Wally’ had a particularly busy time!

Chris Cattlin mobbed by autograph hunters on arrival

Chris Cattlin mobbed by autograph hunters on arrival

Ian shared in all aspects of the reunion which he said was unsurpassed by any similar events mounted by his other clubs in both professionalism and the warmth of welcome provided by club, CCFPA and fans alike!  ‘Wally’ also had the additional duty of ‘riding the airways’ as guest of BBC CWR assisting their matchday commentary team of Clive Eakin and Stuart Linnell in analysing what eventually proved to be a disappointing 1-3 home reverse for the Sky Blues.  BBC CWR were also pleased to be able to gain a live interview with Sky Blue stalwart full back and crowd favourite Chris Cattlin on the Friday before the game as he and his wife had travelled up early. Ian’s Legends Day, therefore, can be used to exemplify the experiences of his former colleagues as detailed below.

Ian with Stuart

Ian with Stuart

Ian and partner Anne had flown down to East Midlands airport from their Scottish home earlier in the day and, when they arrived at the Ricoh well before noon, Ian, Chris and the rest of the former players had to run the same gauntlet of fans and autograph hunters in the Arena’s Atrium whilst being formally welcomed by the CCFPA team and picking up their documentation. Ian was welcomed by CCFPA committee man and fellow Sky Blue forward star Dave Bennett (at top). The guests were then escorted to the Ricoh’s top floor E.ON Lounge where, after more welcomes and signing some personal memorabilia and raffle/auction items for the Association, Ian and Anne renewed friendship with other arriving guests in the hospitality area. Eventually around 300 former players and fans sat down in a packed E.ON., and new Sky Blues gaffer Tony Mowbray said a few words and toured the former players tables for a chat before leaving to continue preparation for the game.

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Corporate Member David Shortland (Shortland-Horne) & Ian

CCFPA’s chairman Jim Brown made a speech welcoming all the participants in Legends Day 2015 and thanking all those who had made it happen. Each one of our ‘fantastic forty’ was then asked to stand up to be welcomed by the assemblage and each was warmly applauded.

Over the period of the three course meal (courtesy CCFC & Compass) CCFPA’s Billy Bell toured the lounge and did brief light-hearted interviews with some of the Legends present. Sixties legend George Hudson in a rare Ricoh appearance received particularly noisy acclaim as did Ian when he stood up! Introductions to some of CCFPA’s Corporate members were also made (above right). Ian also was happy to facilitate ‘selfies’ with fans during the Day – as proved by one sent in by Stuart Cosgrove (above left) wearing, on CCFC’s ‘Retro Day’ the famous brown tramline kit as worn by Ian in the 1970s and featured in the Club’s excellent matchday magazine PUSB!

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Ian welcomed by the Sky Blue army at half time

Members of the 1963/4 Third Division Championship squad were also called up to the E.ON stage to be presented with commemorative medals recognising their achievement by Association Life President Joe Elliott and the whole room responded with generous applause as the veterans had their team photo taken along with CCFPA’s Jim Brown and Mike Young (covered in more detail in a later news item).  Ian departed to do his media stint whilst Anne joined everyone else in some of the best seats in the house to watch the game unfold.

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Ian (& fellow Scot Willie Carr on the Ricoh turf

At half-time, with the Sky Blues 1-0 in the lead, Ian came down from the press box to join his colleagues in the traditional pitch-side welcome as each Former Player (in debut order, from fifties to noughties) was given a wonderful ovation by the Ricoh faithful as they walked to the centre circle to assemble for the traditional team photo and the ‘fantastic forty’ waved to all sections of the Arena in turn before returning to their seats to warm applause to watch the second half.

After the disappointing result was confirmed Ian stayed a while ‘wrapping up’ his media contribution to the BBC CWR post match coverage before rejoining the other members of the ‘fantastic forty’ for the announcement of the raffle and auction results (on behalf of CCFPA funds) before all the former players were escorted down under the Arena to a VIP champagne buffet courtesy of the G-Casino at the Ricoh.

Legends GCasino5IMG_1138There the social gathering continued for the rest of the evening broken only by the advertised appearance of the ‘fantastic forty’ on the stage of Lady G’s in front of a packed house of Sky Blues fans, who made sure the former players felt firmly part of the Sky Blue family once again! Ian was one of the ‘legends’ singled out for an extended chat with master of ceremonies, CCFPA’s Billy Bell who made sure the exuberant and friendly occasion was conducted in good order with plenty of banter and humour and, as can be seen by the big smile on Ian’s face on all the photos, a great time was had by all! The formal part of Legends Day was concluded by Billy conducting the Legends Choir and the Lady G’s chorus in a stirring rendition of the Sky Blue song.

Ian with CCFPA's Mike Young

Ian with CCFPA’s Mike Young in Lady Gs on Legends Day evening

When everyone dispersed some former players left to return home, many stayed for some time in the Casino area mixing with friends and former colleagues (and fans) both within and outside the hospitality area. A few of the former players, like John Tudor, Chris Cattlin and Ian were staying the Saturday night in local hotels so lingered longer. Ian and Anne along with CCFPA committee man Mike Young and his wife Jill were booked in at the De Vere hotel at the Ricoh so were able to enjoy the facilities offered in the G-Casino until late in the evening. Ian and Mike chatted until the volume of the very good tribute act booked into Lady G’s (‘Black Eyed Teaz‘) got too high!

And so another fantastic Legends Day ended. Keep checking out this site as more stories and photos emerge from Legends Day 2015 as thoughts of FPs and committee alike start to drift towards Golf Day 2015 on June 4th and what everyone hopes will be another memorable occasion next year, Legends Day 2016!