Marcus the Man For Yeovil

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Marcus in 1999!

Marcus in 1999!

We are delighted to announce that the Association’s special guest at the next home game against Yeovil on Saturday 13th September will be own home grown Sky Blue star and ‘Coventry kid’ Marcus Hall.  Marcus, who joined the Sky Blues from Coventry Schools in 1992 as an apprentice and quickly rose to the ranks of first team professional debuting in the Premier league against Spurs in December 1994 and subsequently became an England Under 21 and ‘B’ International, will be coming back to the Ricoh to see how the latest crop of Sky Blue youngsters are faring.

Hall, M (Marcus) 4Ever popular in various defensive roles Marcus appeared over 150 times in his first period with the Sky Blues before leaving in 2002 and after very short spells with Nottingham Forest and Southampton settled at Stoke City where he clocked up over 80 appearances for the Potteries outfit.  Marcus returned to the CCFC’s new home at the Ricoh in 2005 and doubled his overall appearances total at CCFC to 307 first team games (5 goals).  Leaving City for a second time in 2010 Marcus spent 2010-11 with Northampton Town and then was released. Amongst his other activities Marcus is a Football Consultant with the Sport First Agency.  He received his benefit from CCFC in 2009 and has also turned out in Sky Blue colours in the Serco Midland Masters 6 a side tournament a couple of years ago as well as Charity games.

Look out for Marcus around and about the stadium, on the pitch at half-time, contributing match analysis on the local radio (BBC CWR*) and in the G-Casino after the game next Saturday. Welcome Marcus!

* ‘our very own’ CCFPA committee member Dave Bennett should be doing a similar job on Freeradio (tbc)!

CCFPA Members Share the Ricoh Return Celebrations

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The Ricoh Rocking

The Ricoh Rocking

Last Friday Night was a contradiction – ‘back to normal’, but on an extraordinary and certainly not normal evening! The Sky Blues ‘Return to the Ricoh’ after the Club’s 15 month’s Northampton exile brought out the fans and the media in colourful and exuberent force. Sky TV was there to televise the game for those unable to join the over 27000 exuberant members of the Sky Blue Army including many members of CCFPA so glad for the Club to be back in its Coventry home. After a massive effort by Club staff given the short notice of the club’s abandonment of its Northampton exile, the ground was made ready for a memorable day.

CCFPA committee members too had very little time to organise to help restore the usual service to its membership. Late in the day it was confirmed our members would be able to gain access to a corporate lounge. Sadly there had not been time to open the Legends Lounge, gathering place of the club’s former players since the Ricoh opened in 2005.  Normal service returned as far as the natural camaraderie of our veteran players some of whom had previously wondered whether they had attended their last ever CCFC home match in Coventry when the club decamped to Sixfields for last season.

Amongst those CCFC former player members of CCFPA sharing a joyful day for the Club and City who were spotted at the game were (in alphabetical order):-  Ken Brown; Dietmar Bruck; David Busst; Bill Glazier; Ian Goodwin; Micky Gynn; Marcus Hall; Lol Harvey; Peter Hormantschuk; Brian Nicholas; Brian ‘Harry’ Roberts; Graham Rodger; Ken Satchwell, Kirk Stephens; Bill Tedds; Graham Walker and Bob Wesson. ‘Oggie’, of course was in the dugout along with Steven Pressley, the Gill’s side included Cody McDonald and Steven Bywater (in goal for City in that 1st ever Ricoh home game). We also understand former Sky Blues skipper Carl Baker who recently left the club was also characteristically there still supporting his former colleagues and mates.

Claus & Stuart Linnell

Claus (right) with BBC’s Stuart Linnell

Sky Blues favourite David Busst now SBITC Supremo was interviewed on the pitch by Sky TV before the game and scorer of the Sky Blues first ever goal at the Ricoh back in 2005 Claus Bech Jorgensen was CCFPA’s first ‘Special Guest’ of the season and picked up the usual duties we have come to expected from our guests including touring the corporate lounges, being introduced to the crowd and acting as game summariser for BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Radio’s coverage of the game (left).

BB & Claus on stage

Claus & Billy entertain Sky Blue fans

Finally after the game, as per tradition for our special guests, Claus joined CCFPA’s Billy Bell on the stage of Lady Gs at the Ricoh’s G-Casino (right) to entertain the fans after the game. This was a particularly joyous reunion!

Now the old traditions have been reset in something of a (necessary) hurry we hope to get fully ‘back to normal’ with CCFC’s next home game at the Ricoh against Yeovil Town next Saturday when we are trying to gain access again to the Legends Lounge.

*thanks to CCFPA’s Frank Pritchard for the photos. Incidentally Frank also managed to sign up another ex Sky Blue as a new member of the Association on this memorable day. Watch out for further details in due course.

Ricoh Return: Mission Accomplished: Congratulations Sky Blues!

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ricoh panorama

An Empty but Expectant Ricoh Getting Ready to Rock as the Sky Blues return

All members of the Sky Blue family must have been proud last night, wherever they were, whether or not they were able to be at the 1st proper home game back at the Ricoh in 15 months or followed the game through various media outlets. CCFPA adds its own congratulations to Sky Blues boss Steven Pressley (below left) and his squad for delivering the hoped for victory in what eventually turned out to be a tight game, pipping Gillingham 1-0 to the League One three points in CCFC’s first game returned to its Ricoh home after over a season’s exile in Northampton.

IMG_2432 x Steve PressleyIn a massively emotional homecoming Association member Steven’s youthful squad rose to the occasion overcoming not only the high expectations of the moment, the tremendous and joyful singing from the over 27000 members of the Sky Blue Army (the 2nd highest attendance there for a league game) and the intense and all pervasive media interest exemplified by the Sky TV cameras broadcasting the match live. The Sky Blues team containing only a handful of players with 1st team Ricoh experience and plenty of Academy bred youthful exuberance (exemplified by the Man of the Match award to youngest player on the pitch Ryan Haynes) took on an eventually resilient Gillingham side containing two ex Sky Blues, CCFPA member Cody McDonald and former loanee goalkeeper Steven Bywater (who was in fact the Sky Blues goalie in the 1st ever home match at the Ricoh).

Cody presented with his Association tie last year by CCFPA's Frank Pritchard

Cody presented with his Association tie last year by CCFPA’s Frank Pritchard

This time Cody was kept very quiet and Steven had to pick the ball out of the net put there in the first ten minutes by Sky Blue debutante Frank Nouble after a sweet attacking move involving captain Reda Johnson, Conor Thomas, Jim O’Brien and Ryan Haynes.

The banners, balloons and replica kits were out in force and a great many Association Members took their part in creating the atmosphere for this memorable game which Steven Pressley described as probably the most important day for Club and City since the F.A.Cup final victory in 1987. The G-Casino’s welcome at the Ricoh ready for the happy fans to arrive is shown below (pics courtesy of Frank).

Look out for more about the CCFPA presence at the game in a separate news item to follow.

casino welcome

 

Blast from the Highfield Road Past

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CCFPA Associate Member and local Coventry historian Lionel Bird reports an important ceremony recognising the heritage of CCFC will be held next week in our previous Coventry home. Lionel writes,

Highfield Road Plaque And Plinth To Be Unveiled Thanks to the excellent support provided by Coventry City Council, a new plaque and plinth will be unveiled at the Sky Blues former ground on Tuesday 9 September, at 11.30 am. The plaque commemorates CCFC playing at Highfield Road for 106 years (1899 to 2005). This replaces the historically inaccurate artwork sculpture which was commissioned by Taylor Wimpey two years ago. Some former CCFC players are expected to attend. Also the descendants of Mark Rideout will be attending. Rideout scored the first goal at Highfield Road on 9 September 1899 in the 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town”.

Roy Barry at Highfield Rd3Sky Blue Legend (and CCFPA member) Roy Barry is pictured with the now replaced and discredited original memorial on a visit back to see us a couple of years ago.  Apparently the Taylor Wimpey artwork has been removed and a new brick plinth has been built. Ces Edwards has procured a suitable plaque bearing a much more suitable inscription. For those who don’t know, the green space amidst the housing development which now marks where the Highfield Road pitch used to be is now called Signet Square at CV2 4NZ. The organisers hope as many Sky Blues fans as possible turn up to see this long due restoration of club and civic pride at what is now an important part of the Club’s history and heritage.