Thommo Tells Telegraph Tough Times To Come

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'Harry', Jamie & Garry Pre game

‘Harry’, Jamie & Garry Pre game

Coventry City’s legendary striker of the 70s & 80s Garry Thompson was the Association’s special guest at last Saturday’s League One fixture against MK Dons. As well as performing the necessary duties of our guest including being quizzed in the supporters lounges before the game and by CCFPA’s Billy Bell in the G-Casino post match he also gave great assistance to media coverage of the match.

As previously reported he provided live matchday commentary and analysis on the radio for the BBC Coventry & Warwickshire team (and online for the Club’s Sky Blue Player). After the game Coventry Telegraph also caught up with Garry and the Telegraph’s reporter asked him a few questions about his views on the game and the Sky Blues prospects as December approaches.

Geoff, Garry, Jamie & Stuart in the Press Box

Geoff, Garry, Jamie & Stuart in the Press Box

Garry, who throughout was sympathetic to club’s League One plight, thought that were “plenty of positives, not least the amount of chances they are creating but, like the fans and interim manager, he believes they are desperately lacking vital experience and a goal scorer. The next two months are going to be a very difficult time because everything is going to be magnified and they will have to show that they can cope with adversity as well as play under pressure and be brave enough to keep the ball, receive the ball and try to score goals. At the minute their biggest problem has been scoring goals, but they did create opportunities.”

Clearly the Sky Blues can take a temporary breather from League One after four consecutive league defeats. They have a tricky 2nd round F.A.Cup fixture at Cambridge United next Sunday (4th December) to navigate and then a home tie in the following Wednesday against Crawley Town in the first knockout stage of the English League Trophy. In the League they have no opportunity to climb out of the relegation zone until Saturday 10th December with a long trip to Southend United. Their only league date at the Ricoh in December is then the Thursday night televised game against high flying Sheffield United. These and the remaining December away days at Bristol Rovers and Peterborough assume massive significance if 2017 is to be a happy new year for the Sky Blues!

The full interview including a video giving his views on the performance of current Sky Blues’ striker Marcus Tudgay can be found at by clicking here.

Over 50? Join CCFPA Members & Get Down to Walking Football in Bedworth Later This Morning!

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DSC04886Tuesday Walking Football at Bedworth Oval continues later today (Tuesday 29th November 2016). Sky Blues in the Community (run by CCFPA member and former Sky Blue Dave Busst) have embedded the game in the Coventry area and we know that ‘Walking Football‘ will increase both social and physical activity opportunities for older people in the city. Walking Football is simply a slow-paced version of the beautiful game. It is designed to help people have an active lifestyle regardless of their age and ability, as well as get people back playing football. It’s a great way to keep fit, learn skills, have fun and socialise all at the same time.

CCFPA, the CCFC Diamond Club and Cov Support News service all support SBiTC’s Walking Football initiative and many of our members (associates and committee men alike) as well as some of our older former player members like Bill Tedds, Dave Bennett, Dave Busst, Ken Brown, Ron Farmer and Ian Goodwin can often be seen supporting the sessions.  So if you want to play with one of the CCFC veterans in a fun atmosphere whilst keeping fit get down to one of the sessions!

Why not join us there- there’s time if you get your skates on!  Also, a few of you have mentioned a Walking Football Christmas Social. If you haven’t popped your name down already, let Frank Pritchard at CCFPA know if you are interested. We have pencilled in a date at St Finbarr’s on the afternoon of Thursday 1st December for buffet, drinks and a few games (pool, darts, etc…).

CCFC Walking FootballTuesday Sessions
10:30am-12:00pm at Bedworth FC’s ground –The Oval, Coventry Rd, Bedworth, CV12 8NN

Thursday Sessions
In Coventry from 10:30am-12:00pm at St Finbarrs Sports & Social Club, 303 Holbrook Lane, Coventry, CV6 4DG

Each session costs £3 to participate in and the Sky Blues Team including CCFPA members serve refreshments before and after the Walking Football – providing a comfortable and social atmosphere for all involved. The Walking Football side of things generally involves a warm up followed by a round-robin format of games to ensure everyone gets plenty of playing time. The sessions are proving to be very popular and we are always looking to welcome new people.

If you want to find out more about the Walking Football scheme, you can contact the Sky Blues in the Community Team. Email: sbitc@ccfc.co.uk , Telephone: 02476 786 314, or Text: 07813 455 531.

Garry Sees Sky Blues MKD Misery

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Thompson G. (Gary) (c)

Garry in the Sky Blue

Our ‘special guest’ at last Saturday’s home fixture agains Milton Keynes Dons was our member, former popular and prolific Sky Blue striker of the seventies and eightie Garry Thompson. Sadly ‘Thommo’ was unable to bring inspiration to the current Sky Blues forwards as they succumbed to fellow League One strugglers Milton Keynes Dons 1-2 and slipped back down into the relegation zone as a consequence.

Garry is a not infrequent visitor to the Ricoh since joining CCFPA and makes an effort to attend our Legends Day reunions as well as doing an annual stint as our ‘special’. On Saturday he was pleased to visit the youngest generation of Sky Blue supporters before the game in the Family Zone under the stands where Sky Blues mums and dads reminded their kids that Garry was part of a young Sky Blue team stuffed full of talent as they queued for selfies and autographs.

'Harry' & Garry

‘Harry’ & Garry

Joining him on his pre match tour of the supporters lounges was current Sky Blue team member (and loanee from Newcastle United) Jamie Sterry and club host, CCFPA member and former Sky Blue defender Brian ‘Harry’ Roberts.

During the game Garry joined the BBC Coventry & Warwickshire live matchday commentary team of Stuart Linnell and Geoff Foster in the press box and provided analysis as the game unfolded. Though many chances were created in the first half by adventurous Sky Blue approach play the forwards lacked a cutting edge and infrequent shots were often off-target. In contrast the Dons had few opportunities but scored clinically from a rare attack.

Geoff, Garry, Jamie & Stuart in the Press Box

Geoff, Garry, Jamie & Stuart in the Press Box

A super long range strike from young Sky Blue midfielder Ben Stevenson showed the forwards how to do it and half-time came all square. However the second half showed little quality from both sides in a disjointed and dispiriting performance in front of over 9000 increasingly disillusioned fans. The half was only remarkable for another (winning) MK Dons strike after poor defensive work and the sending off of Ben Stevenson after a rash tackle which made the defeat almost inevitable. Coming back from four League One defeats on the bounce will be a real challenge.

'Harry', Jamie & Garry Pre game

‘Harry’, Jamie & Garry Pre game

Asked if the Sky Blues were relegation fodder after this performance Garry suggested succinctly that, in his view, on the first half performance the answer would be ‘no’ but on the second half ‘sadly ‘yes’! He also felt that the sooner the Sky Blues clarify the managerial situation for 2017 the better. In a lighter hearted vein Garry and CCFPA’s Billy Bell took to the stage of Lady G’s in the Ricoh’s G-Casino after the game to entertain Sky Blue fans in a Q&A. Thanks Garry, for all you did during your visit and we hope to see you back at the Ricoh soon!

 

Big Cyrille Hits The Airwaves About ‘Whites v Blacks’ testimonial

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Cyrille in the Sky Blue

Cyrille in the Sky Blue

CCFPA member and Sky Blue Legend Cyrille Regis has been in the news a lot over the last week or so. Cyrille, who was present at the Ricoh at yesterday afternoon’s disappointing Sky Blue defeat to fellow strugglers, MK Dons has been busy across the UK media in recent days.

The reason for this centres around a remarkable testimonial game at West Bromwich Albion in 1979 which featured ‘Big Cyrille’. TV presenter Adrian Chiles has researched and popularised the story of Len Cantello’s testimonial at the Hawthorns on 16th May 1979 which, for the first time in the UK, saw a team of black professional footballers take on an all white eleven.

Cyrill & Len at Cantello's testimonial

Cyrill & Len at Cantello’s 1979 testimonial

Much of the media comment centres around a discussion as to what extent times have substantially changed in the last 30-40 years. In those days most teams were largely or all-white, there being only a sprinkling of non-white professionals playing in that era. It was probably therefore unprecedented for a complete team made up of non white players to take the field (and choosing teams solely on the basis of their skin colour would today likely be frowned upon).

There are many black and mixed heritage players playing at the top level today, of course, as well as many more overseas born professionals but the seventies was an era of substantial and overt racism both within and outside the world of football and both within clubs and on the terraces. Cyrille himself, together with Brendan Batson and the late Laurie Cunningham gained some fame when dubbed by their WBA gaffer (and now CCFPA member and former Sky Blue gaffer Ron Atkinson) as the footballing ‘Three Degrees’ at the Hawthorns.

'From One Cup F.A.Cup Winner to Another': Benno presents Cyrille with his CCFPA tie

‘From One Cup F.A.Cup Winner to Another’: Benno presents Cyrille with his CCFPA tie

The media have sought comment from Cyrille and other participants in that landmark fixture on TV, radio and in the press in recent days and culminates in a programme presented by Adrian Chiles on BBC2 tonight entitled ‘Whites v Blacks: How Football Changed a Nation’. As well as Cyrille the likes of Brendan Batson, Bob Hazell, George Berry and Ally Robertson who were participants in the testimonial are all interviewed about the cultural lessons of the game for football and race relations both now and then.

It should make interesting viewing kicking off at 9pm tonight!