Health Matters to CCFPA: Osteo Arthritis Research Update

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KneeBack in March we reported that CCFPA had teamed up with researchers at Nottingham University’s School of Clinical Sciences to support an investigation into ‘Osteoarthritis Risk in Retired Professional Footballers’.

Their project, supported by PFA, the FA and FIFA (amongst others) aims to break new ground in investigating the prevalence and risk of osteo-arthritis amongst ex professional footballers (matched to a similar group of non footballers). Their aim is to find out whether the rigours of playing the game has exacerbated the risk of contracting the condition especially in affecting the the chances of osteoarthritis of the knee joints.

scan0002CCFPA committee member Mike Young has been leading the Association’s collaboration with the University’s City Hospital facility in Nottingham and its lead researchers Gwen Fernandes and Sanjay Parekh with the first phase of the research, organising the delivery of a detailed postal questionnaire to all of the eligible British members of the Association aged over 40. This was also done by a number of other Former Player bodies around the country (including, for example, the PFA, and FPAs in Derby & Cardiff and others) in an attempt to contact as large a sample of possible of former professionals.  Gwen reports that nationally the survey has produced 1115 returned questionnaires so far representing a very respectable response rate of around 25% of those sent out to all recipients.

On behalf of the the Nottingham University researchers CCFPA sent out just over 200 questionnaires to eligible members and, to date, at least thirty one (around 15%) of our former players replied – though others had likely responded earlier to requests from the PFA and/or other clubs they had played for.

The second phase of the research which is now underway (with Cambridge as the pilot site) involves selected former players being invited for a free clinical examination (involving a specialist knee x-ray scan) at a convenient local hospital. The news is that, of the replies from our former players over two thirds (21 FPs) have already consented to take part when phase two it is rolled out to the rest of the country! Gwen confirms that all 21 former players who consented to take part in the x-ray stage of our research from the CCFPA sample will be contacted and an appointment arranged for them mostly likely in the summer (probably within the next 3 months). Thanks to all Association members who have consented to take part in the research!

When completed the project’s results should show, for the first time, the extent to which osteo-arthritis is a special challenge for the footballing profession (and medically what, possibly age-related, impact it develops). This could not only benefit the treatment of past and current professionals but also lead to preventative strategies for younger players who are taking up the game.


Legends at the Cross Roads. Can Do Better?

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The 'Legends' Team

The ‘Legends’ Team

In their first charity game of the close season the Sky Blues’ Legends side took on a Coventry & Warwicks CrossRoads Care Select XI last Sunday (17th may 2015) at the Highway Club, Tile Hill, Coventry and they must have been a bit rusty since they lost convincingly!

Crossroads 1The family fun day, with a range of other attractions apart from the match, benefitted the Stars Club for Children and Young Adults with disabilities, Baginton Fields Special Needs School and the M.P.S. Society.  The game itself kicked off at 2.30pm and the Legends team included senior Sky Blues heroes Dave Bennett, Dave Busst, Claus Bech Jorgensen and Lee Carsley plus some former CCFC junior players.

Crossroads 2The Legends XI Fixture Secretary, CCFPA committee member Dean Nelson, sent in the following report and photos on what was evidently a greatly enjoyable day for all concerned and a successful one for the charities!

“Hundreds turned up to see CCFC legends side containing Lee Carsley, David Busst, alongside CCFPA committee members Claus Bech Jorgensen and Dave Bennett. Also in the side were former CCFC reserves from the 1990s, Paul O’Brien and Scott Goodwin, and CCFPA Committee member Dean Nelson who was a late call up and wore the goalkeeping gloves. Fellow committee member Sarah Jane Morris was also there as photographer.

The Crossroads side contained players that had just won a Coventry league title so the legends were up against it from the start. However, the legends played a bit like Aston Villa did recently as they conceded five goals in 20 minutes. Dean (wearing the unlucky 13 number on the back of his goalie shirt) tried his best but to no avail; his 56 years had finally caught up with him! Claus pulled a goal back with a volley from just inside the box and the match, which lasted 30 minutes, finished 6-1 to the Crossroads Charity XI.

Then and Now!

Then and Now!

Another game was played with the City legends borrowing players from the team that had just beat them in order to play another local side. Dean was able to retire gracefully being replaced by a much younger (by about 30 years) keeper ! This match was more evenly matched with former Sky Blue Lee Carsley scoring a simple tap in after rounding the keeper. A great time was had by all, but don’t ask Mr Busst about his pre-match parking; when returning to his car after the game he found that the Audi garage next door had locked his car behind their barriers and he was unable to get out!”

Thanks to everyone who took part and made the day a great success. Keep checking back on this site for news of more Legends fixtures coming up during the summer including the next one next Sunday 24th May at Atherstone Town FC).

The Next Legends XI Game in May is at Atherstone

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baddeley atherstoneIt has been confirmed that a team of Sky Blue legends will line-up for an annual memorial match later this month at Atherstone next Sunday, May 24 2015 kick off 2pm. CCFPA members Dave Bennett (who once played for Atherstone) and Claus Bech Jorgensen are expected to join other former Coventry City heroes like David Busst  Dele Adebola, Marcus Hall and John Williams in lacing up their boots once more for the game in memory of Paul Baddeley from the town who passed away in 2012 at the age of 48

Every year since Paul’s death his former colleagues at Profab Access Ltd  have remembered his life through a charity match at Atherstone Town FC’s ground at Sheepey Road. This year proceeds from the game will be going to Macmillan Cancer Support. The Coventry Telegraph has reported the sentiments of one of Paul’s former colleagues Kevin Paterson:

“Each year for the past four years we have held this event in memory of him and also to raise money for the charity that the family select. Last year we raised in the region of £1,500 and this year Profab Access Ltd will be putting a team together made up of work colleagues and family members to play against a Coventry City legends side. I am trying to make the event a lot bigger than it was last year – having contacted local clubs such as cheerleaders and marching bands …… to support this event.”

Post match fun and refreshments including a raffle and disco will continue after the game at the Royal Legion Club in the town centre at Atherstone.

Anyone wanting to donate can contact Profab Access Ltd and speak to Helen Perry on 01827 718222.

Mike Dale RIP

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Mike Dale 1Many of the Association’s older members will remember former Coventry City reporter Mike Dale who has recently passed away.

Mike (known as ‘Mick’ when younger) will have interviewed a number of our former players in his extensive career as a central cog in Coventry News Service which, amongst other things, provided copy to Coventry City’s match-day programme (being programme editor in 1976-77).

He also supplied club news and information to various media outlets both locally and nationally (including the CCFC’s clubcall service).

Mike Dale 2


We show a couple of articles which illustrate Mike output in the 1970s. Our Associate Member Kev Monks who runs the CovSupport News Service today describes Mike as ‘a gent who it was always a pleasure to meet’.

His funeral takes place on Thursday May 28th, at 10.30am at Nuneaton Crematorium. CCFPA extends its sincere condolences to Mike’s family and friends.