CCFPA’s Greg and Sills Meet Again at Defeat to County

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Greg & SillettThe Association’s ‘special guest’ for the day F.A.Cup winning hero (and CCFPA member) Greg Downs had a dissappointing homecoming last Saturday (15th November 2014) when the Sky Blues succumbed to a narrow 1-0 home defeat by East Midlands rivals Notts County at the Ricoh.

Greg & HarryAs with all our special guests, Greg toured the lounges at the Ricoh before the game and, in the company of fellow CCFPA member and club host Brian ‘Harry’ Roberts, entertained fans with his thoughts on the current state of game and the prospects of this former club for the rest of season 2014-15 (right).  In the corporate areas as well as after the game, where Sky Blue fans saw him ‘lightly grilled’ in a Q&A conducted by CCFPA Vice Chairman Billy Bell on the stage of a packed Lady G’s Show bar in the G-Casino (below), Greg was also encouraged to focus on his Sky Blue past (including his considerable contribution to CCFC’s fantastic F.A.Cup win in 1987).

Greg & Billy xGreg was greatly looking forward to renewing acquaintances with other members of the 1987 F.A.Cup squad during his (fairly rare) visit to the City (like CCFPA members Dave Bennett, Micky Gynn, David Phillips, Paul Culpin and, of course, the current Sky Blues goalkeeping coach down in the dugout Oggy). Greg was also delighted to bump into his former gaffer from 1987 who was at the game John Sillett (another Association member). As shown in the picture at top they enjoyed a joke or two remembering those glory days of the past.

Those that couldn’t get to the Arena for the game were also able listen to Greg on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Radio where he became an important part of the  match commentary team with Clive Eakin and anchor Stuart Linnell (pictured below). Thanks to Greg for making such a great ‘special guest’ and we hope it is not as long before we see Greg at a match at the Ricoh. Thanks to CCFPA committee member Frank Pritchard for the pictures.

Clive Greg & Stuart

Clive Greg & Stuart


Frank’s Double Swoop Comes Off: Welcome to Ben and Aron!

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Aron & Ben

Frank’s former player sandwich as he formally ties Aron and Ben to CCFPA

Well, CCFPA committee man Frank Pritchard has done it again with a brace of new signings for the Association (as we trailed in an earlier ‘teaser’ news item).  The duo, both popular with Sky Blues fans in their time at the Ricoh, defender Ben Turner and midfielder Aron Gunnarsson are both now plying their trade with the ‘Bluebirds’ or ‘Red Dragons’ (depending on your preference) of Cardiff City. Frank was able to accomplish a ‘double signing’ not too far away from the Ricoh when the Welsh club fulfilled their Championship fixture at St Andrews on Saturday (8th Novenber 2014). Frank takes up the story……..

“Have you ever had ‘one of those days’? Well this was very nearly one of them but what appeared to be ‘Mission Impossible’ at more than one stage, eventually ended-up ‘Mission Accomplished’, thanks mainly to the courtesy and cooperation of Birmingham City’s stewards and security staff.

The game was in some doubt due to heavy overnight rain that persisted throughout the morning but following several pitch inspections eventually got the go ahead as the rain finally moved North East towards where Derby were demolishing Wolves (5-0).


Ben in the Sky Blue 2010


Aron in the Sky Blue 2010


The St. Andrews fixture (Birmingham City v Cardiff) kicked-off in dry weather but the first half was something of ‘cat and mouse’ affair but the game livened up after the break as the home side came a little more into it. Cardiff looked the more likely side to break the deadlock but it was Blues who found the net, only for the goal to be ruled-out for offside! So after almost five minutes of stoppage time it ended in stalemate 0-0.

Thanks to the Birmingham Club’s helpful staff I was able to track down Aron Gunnarsson and Ben Turner just outside the dressing room before they boarded their coach for the return journey to Cardiff.

Both ‘new signings’ produced impressive performances on the day although Ben did pick-up a first-half yellow card for a late challenge. It was however his first 90 minutes since returning from a long injury lay-off. Aron ‘bossed’ the midfield for much of the game and frequently caused the Blues’ defence problems with his ‘signature’ long throws.

Many thanks to both Aron and Ben for being so accommodating and also our other recent signing Gary McSheffrey for putting me in touch with both Former Players.

On behalf of Chairman Jim Brown and the CCFPA Committee, the Association wishes both former players a very warm welcome”

Ben signs

Ben signs for CCFPA

AG teaser2

Aron signs up


Ben came up through the Academy ranks at CCFC and made his debut for the Sky Blues in 2006. By the time he left for Cardiff in August 2011 he had notched up 72 first team league appearances for the Sky Blues (scoring 4 goals).  An Icelandic international, Aron joined the (then) Bluebirds a month earlier having made 123 league appearances (6 goals) for the Sky Blues since joining us from Dutch club AZ in June 2008.  the Frank is pictured at top presenting both players with their official CCFPA membership badge and ties. We hope to see both of them back at the Ricoh for Association events before too long  whenever their playing commitments allow.

Greg Will Take a Break for England On Saturday

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Downs, G (Greg) sep1985The Association would like to remind all Sky Blues fans that F.A.Cup winning hero (and CCFPA member) Greg Downs will be the Association’s ‘special guest’ for the Sky Blues when they take on Notts County at the Ricoh this coming Saturday 15th November 2014.

As with all our special guests, Greg will be touring the lounges at the Ricoh before the game and has confirmed that after the Sky Blues game he will be appearing ‘for one night only’ in the G-Casino on the stage of Lady G’s Show bar where Sky Blue fans can see him ‘lightly grilled’ in a Q&A conducted by CCFPA Vice Chairman Billy Bell.

Greg(right) & CCFPA's Jim Brown

Assn. Chair Jim Brown presenting Greg with his official CCFPA tie at the 25th anniversary celebrations of City’s 1987 F.A.Cup win

However, in deference to the 5pm kick-off for England’s Group E European Championship Qualiying international against Slovenia which many City supporters will want to see on the big screens at the Casino after the County game, both Greg and Billy have kindly agreed to postpone their appearance on stage until half-time in the England game(approx 5.45pm) so that Sky Blue fans are able to see and enjoy both and will not miss a thing!!  All are welcome!

Of course, if you aren’t able to get to the Arena, why not listen to Greg on BBC C&W Radio during the game since he will be an important part of the  match commentary team during the Sky Blues attempt to keep up the much improved form they showed in reaching the semi-finals of the JPT trophy last Wednesday evening when they defeated Plymouth Argyle 2-0 at the Ricoh.

Greg comes back to Coventry fairly infrequently so make the most of his visit – he has always been good value both in his playing days and an entertaining interviewee! No doubt he will renew acquaintances with other members of the 1987 F.A.Cup squad as the likes of Dave Bennett, Micky Gynn, David Phillips, Paul Culpin (and of course Oggy) are also expected to be around.


Bakes Brings JPT Bounty

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Soccer - npower Football League Championship - Coventry City v Leeds United - Ricoh ArenaThe presence of former Sky Blue skipper Carl Baker, who was CCFPA’s special guest last night at CCFC’s Johnson’s Paint Trophy quarter final tie at the Ricoh against Plymouth Argyle, seemed to spread positive vibes around the Sky Blue camp after their recent tribulations. Carl watched the Sky Blues gain a deserved 2-0 victory which, after a nervy first half, became a fairly comfortable win once their second goal, a splendid solo effort by Frank Nouble went in. This followed a debut goal for City striker Gary Madine, on his second spell with the club.

'Harry' interviews 'Bakes'

‘Harry’ interviews ‘Bakes’


Carl was heartened by the stronger commitment and motivation shown by the Sky Blues compared to their unforgiveable last cup outing on Saturday and praised both the Sky Blues youngsters as well as some of the more experienced players in their performance on the night. The fury shown by gaffer Steven Pressley (also a CCFPA member) after the ignominious dumping of the club out of the F.A.Cup by non league Worcester City seemed to have had some of the desired positive effect on the commitment and unity of the players who turned out last night – they seemed a team!

CCFPA’s Frank Pritchard reports “Carl proved to be one of our most popular Former Players with fans around the Arena and in the Lounges (and of course in the G-Casino post-match). He received a tremendous reception in all three Ricoh Lounges he visited before the game escorted by club host, former Sky Blue defender (and CCFPA member) Brian ‘Harry’ Roberts (above right). Although he’s now moved on (to MK Dons), he clearly still has a tremendous affiliation to the Sky Blues and especially its fans. Carl confirmed CCFC’s is the first result he looks for after a game.

Bakes with BBC CWR's Stuart Linnell

Bakes with BBC CWR’s Stuart Linnell

He was also a huge success with both fans and match commentary team when he joined them on BBC CWR (with Stuart Linnell and Clive Eakin) as evidenced by the remarks of the Sky Blue supporters who contributed to the post match ‘phone-in’ (left)!

It was great to see Carl back at the Ricoh. We made sure he knows he is welcome back anytime and hopefully we will see him at a CCFPA function in Coventry again soon (playing commitments allowing)”

In fact Carl has indicated, subject to holiday commitments, he wants to not only play in our Golf Day 2015 (again at Stoneleigh Deer Park Golf Club) but would also like to enter a team. If you want to join him make a note of the date – Thursday 4th June 2014 – and look out for further details before Christmas of how to join us for a great day out next summer .