Matchday Memories: On This Day 1985 – See Sky Blues Stun Table Topping Toffees – Another ‘Great Escape’

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Don Mackay at CCFC

On this last day (26th March) of the 1984-85 season, against all odds, with Don Mackay in charge since September, the Sky Blues pulled off the final leg of an unlikely May win treble to maintain their place in the top flight. They had had to win their last three games to ensure Division One survival and had successfully negotiated the first two hurdles. On the 17th May they won 1-0 at already doomed Stoke City with a 66th minute Stuart Pearce penalty, then on the 23rd, with only six minutes to go at home to Luton Town, Brian Kilcline struck the only goal of the game to get all three vital points. The third game on the 26th May looked a big ask as City’s opponents were the crowned Division One Champions, Everton! They had beaten us by the odd goal in three at Goodison early in the season (8th September).

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Psycho bears down on an Everton forward as Killer looks on

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Micky Adams tries a touch of ballet

Micky in the Sky Blue

Cyrille in the Sky Blue

On this day, 21,596 nervous fans (the best home gate of the season) were packed into Highfield Road knowing only a win would do to guarantee safety. A fourth minute strike from the late Cyrille Regis did little to settle the nerves though fans began to believe the ‘Great Escape’ was on when future Sky Blue manager Micky Adams put CCFC two up after seventeen minutes.

Though the Toffees were without four of their victorious Cup-Winners Cup side they pulled one back through Paul Wilkinson five minutes before the break. A minute after the second half began ‘Big Cyrille’ grabbed his second to put Sky Blue light between us and both Everton and the relegation trap-door. A killer goal from Terry Gibson on 78 minutes wrapped the game up and led to wild celebrations as it sank in with the Highfield Road faithful that their team had saved their skin by blowing away the Champs!

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Terry fires in the decisive last goal

They had won three in a row for the first time in three seasons to get the result they desperately needed.

Thanks to our former committee member Dean Nelson for the match highlights which you can see by clicking the image below:-

Don Mackay‘s Sky Blue saviours that day ALL later became CCFPA members and were:-

Steve Ogrizovic, Ian Butterworth, Stuart Pearce, Kenny Hibbitt, Brian Kilcline, Trevor Peake, Dave Bennett, Lloyd McGrath, the late Cyrille Regis, Terry Gibson and Micky Adams

Good to see ‘Oggy’, ‘Benno’, Trevor and Terry at Legends Day 2023 and ‘Oggy’And ‘Benno’ we’re back at LD24 not many days ago!

The top of the table Everton side, managed by Howard Kendall, took to the field with the following players:-

Neville Southall, Alan Harper, Pat van den Hauwe, Kevin Ratcliffe (c), Darren Hughes, Kevin Richardson, Trevor Steven, Paul Wilkinson, Graeme Sharp, Paul Bracewell and Kevin Sheedy     Referee:- R.Lewis

The Toffees’ Kevin Richardson went on to play for the Sky Blues in 1995-97 and on Everton‘s books this season (though not in this team) was future Sky Blue ‘gaffer’ (and Association member) Peter Reid.

CCFC 1984-85

The Sky Blues finished eighteenth equal on fifty points with Queens Park Rangers and it was Norwich City who became the fall guys on 49 points joining the already relegated Sunderland and Stoke City.

Everton were especially pleased to have come out on top as their runners up were bitter local rivals Liverpool a full thirteen points behind!

Thanks to CCFPA’s Mike Young (& Dean Nelson) for sourcing the images.

 

Transfer News: CCFPA’s Billy Marks G-Casino Top Man Hail & Farewell!

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Association chairman Jim Brown presents CCFPA’s crest to Igor GM G-Casino Cov a couple of seasons ago

Since the Opening of the Ricoh CCFPA has always had great relations with the staff and management of the G-Casino located under (now) CBS Arena. Its a regular post-match venue for, not only our match-day ‘special guest’ where our FP ‘star of the past’ regularly appears on stage in Lady Gs for some fun and games with emcee, CCFPA’s very own Billy Bell. The Casino also generously hosts post match refreshments for all our returning Former Players each and every Legends Day most recently at the beginning of this month.  The Casino is an Association sponsor and our plaque graces Lady Gs next to the stage and they host all our committee meetings.

Quentin with ‘Harry’ Roberts & an earlier Charity donation

We have experienced great support from successive general managers of the Coventry G-Casino including past boss Quentin Kosma and most recent occupant of the position Igor Zydek. Now Igor has been snapped up (and promoted) to a position at Grosvenor Casino’s London establishment and Billy recently took the opportunity not only to bid farewell to Igor and thank him for his wonderful support for the Association in the last few years but also welcome his replacement.

The Association hopes to build at least as good a relationship in future seasons with G-Casino’s new incumbent Matt Irvine. Billy is pictured below as meat in an Igor/Matt sandwich when he recently met both to say farewell and welcome!

CCFPA wish both ‘friends of the Association’ all good fortune in their latest postings!

Matt, Billy and Igor in the G-Casino recently

Matchday Memories: On This Day 1970 – Last Game Of USA Tour & Lancers Lose To Cantwell’s CCFC

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Noel Cantwell- CCFC Manager

To follow on from the two overseas games played by the Sky Blues on this date that we told you about earlier, here is the final game to make the club’s sixties win treble today on foreign soil! On this day (26th May 1970) at the end of the 1969/70 campaign Noel Cantwell‘s Sky Blues played their last game of an eight match nationwide  tour of the USA during May which was the reward for their best ever finish of sixth in the First Division that season.

Their opponents at the end of May 1970 were styled the Rochester Lancers who played in the same league as City’s previous opponents Washington Darts whom the Sky Blues had overcome 4-2 four days previously.

The result against the Lancers was 2-1 in favour of the Sky Blues in front of a modest crowd of a little over 4,000. The Sky Blues’ scorers were (now CCFPA member) Dennis Mortimer (seventeen minutes) and, after the Lancers found a first half equaliser, John O’Rourke slotted home with seven minutes left!

The full match details can be seen from a cutting from a local USA paper (left) which shows that, as early as 1970, in the States they were fascinated by the precise timings of scores and other match stats.

‘Sausard’ was, of course, the Sky Blues assistant manager Pat Saward who was given a run out in this last game. ‘Gould’ was Trevor Gould brother of former player and ‘gaffer’ Bobby Gould. Both are now now CCFPA members and both attended this season’s grand reunion Legends Day 2023 this time last year along with our members Chris Cattlin and Willie Carr.

John O’Rourke

Dennis in the Sky Blue

Apart from Pat all of the Sky Blues playing that day later became Association members!

The Sky Blues won six out of their eight games on the tour (Kansas City Spurs 3-1; Dallas Tornadoes 3-1; Atlanta Chiefs 2-1; Hertha Berlin (first game) 1-0; Washington Darts 4-2 and this game).

The two they lost were 1-2 to St Louis Stars in the tour opener and 0-2 in the repeat game with Hertha).

Thanks to former CCFPA committee member Dean Nelson for the cutting and CCFPA’s Mike Young for the other images.

 

Matchday Memories: On This Day 1965 – Icelandic Champs Keflavik Conquered By Canny CCFC!

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Sky Blue John Mitten

Alan Turner in the Sky Blue

On this day (26th May) CCFC were involved in tour games overseas on three occasions in seven years, the first two when our legendary manager Jimmy Hill was at the helm. We recently covered the first match in City’s German tour of 1964 now we look at 1965 when, on this day (26th May) the Sky Blues played their second match out of three on a visit to Iceland.

Dave Clements in Sky Blue action

Two days earlier they had beaten KR Reykjavik 4-1 with goals scored by the late Ken Hale and CCFPA members George Hudson and Ron Farmer both of whom last attended our Legends Day 2019 reunion before their sad passing. Up until COVID restrictions made it impossible Ron was still a ‘Ricoh Regular’ attending most of the Sky Blues home games including the two years ‘in exile’ at St Andrews. Infirmity prevented him attending as a regular in more recent seasons prior to his death.

On this day, one thousand spectators saw Jimmy Hill‘s men defeat Icelandic champions Keflavik by the same score as in their first game.

John Smith in the Sky Blue

The Sky Blues goals were 2-0 up at half-time and their goals came from John Mitten, Alan Turner, Dave Clements and John Smith.  The Icelandic team’s goal was scored by Sigurdur Albertson

Jimmy Hill on song

We don’t have the team details from this match to hand but JH‘s Icelandic tour party (CCFPA members underlined) was:-

Bob Wesson*, Allan Harris*, John Sillett*, Mick Kearns, Ron Farmer*, Dietmar Bruck, Dave Clements, John Mitten, Ken Hale*, John Smith*, Ernie Machin*, Bobby Gould, George Hudson*, Alan Turner* and Ronnie Rees*    (*Sadly these sixties stars have since passed away)

 

CCFC 1964-65

Shortly, on this site, we will cover yet another post-season overseas match, this time from 1970 when CCFC were on the last match of their USA tour playing and beating Rochester Lancers 2-1, so check back!

Thanks to CCFPA’s Mike Young for sourcing the images.