CCFPA Waiter’s Night Serves Up a Fantastic Fun Evening

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Millsy's EarlsdonLast Thursday night the Association held a novelty evening out with food, refreshments and entertainment to benefit Association funds hosted at Millsy’s in Earlsdon, Coventry. The ‘Waiter’s Night’ event was a great success and much fun was had by all and the evening which also included a raffle and auction raised well over £1000 to support the work of the CCFPA and its volunteers.

Some of the happy diners

Some of the happy diners

The prime organiser, CCFPA committee member Sandra Garlick reports that, ‘over 40 people attended, predominently business people in Coventry & Warwickshire. Guests were welcomed at 7.30 with a glass of Prosecco Royale and Canapes. Then they enjoyed a delicious three course meal whilst listening to interviews from their Celebrity Waiters for the night former Sky Blue stars (all CCFPA members), David Busst, Dave Bennett, Dietmar Bruck and Kirk Stephens.’

Dean Thomas Sings

Dean Thomas Sings

Benno 'At Your Service'

Benno ‘At Your Service’

‘Another guest for the evening, former Wimbledon, Northampton Town and Notts County footballer Dean Thomas was also interviewed by CCFPA’s Billy Bell and then ‘sang for everyone’s supper’ and provided mellifluous entertainment for the guests crooning a range of classic songs which got the guests dancing at the end of the evening. During the evening a raffle was held which raised over £300. Thanks to donors of prizes which included Corporate Tickets to CCFC v Oldham,  a meal for 2 at Millsy’s and various Bottles of Wine’.  It was nice to see senior members of CCFC staff supporting the evening and thanks are due to both Maggie & Cecilia, two of the guests who sold most of the raffle tickets and to Billy who, as well as hosting the auction, acted as general master of ceremonies during the evening.

Waiter Kirk Grilled by Billy

Waiter Kirk Grilled by Billy

'At Your Service' Dietmar

‘At Your Service’ Dietmar










Sandra continues, ‘the Auction was extremely successful raising over £500 with a signed a framed picture of Keith Houchen’s F.A.Cup diving headed goal going to Ian Quinn and the 1987 montage going to Dawn Parker, a life long City fan. Other auction prizes included Dinner for Two in the Boardroom at CCFC (donated by the Directors of CCFC), a 4 Ball at the Forest of Arden GC and four Tickets to Coventry Rugby (donated by Nick Newbold) and Afternoon Tea for Two (donated by Coombe Abbey) – again sincere thanks are due to all our donors.’

Bussty & the Signed Houchen header

Bussty & the Signed Houchen header

Benno with Auction winner Dawn Parker












As can be seen from the pictures the evening was a great success and we hope to make this a fixture on our calendar in future years. Much thanks is due to Sandra for the effort she put into making the evening a success and to fellow committee member Frank Pritchard who took the photos.

A brace of DB's Waiting to Wait

A brace of DB’s Waiting to Wait

Bigi Back: Ben Back? A Welcome Prospect For CCFPA FP Duo

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A young Gael in Sky Blue in 2010

A young Gael in Sky Blue in 2010

CCFPA welcomes back to CCFC (albeit on a short term loan from current club, Premiership Newcastle United) Gael Bigirimana. The former Burundi-born attacking midfielder says he very pleased to try to get his professional career back on track at the Ricoh and still regards the city as his ‘home town’ given his arrival in Coventry as a refugee, serendipitous start as an apprentice with the Sky Blues and immediate impact in the first team in 2012-13. He made 26 appearances that season and won the Championship Apprentice of the Year award to boot and his form attracted the Toon Army to pay big money to take the youngster to St James’ Park at the end of the season.

Gail Bigirimana signs up Feb2012-MY tidiedSadly things have not gone as well as expected for ‘Bigi’ at Newcastle and various factors (including injury) have limited his first team appearances so far to only 13. However the England U20 caps he won with the Sky Blues have recently been upstaged by Bigi’s first senior cap for his country of birth.

CCFPA’s Mike Young signed up Bigi to the Association on a visit to the Ricoh on a cold winter’s day in December 2013 (pictured). We look forward to seeing him once more in the Sky Blue!

Ben Turner

Ben Turner

Former Coventry City defender (and CCFPA member) Ben Turner has requested to go out on loan from Cardiff City to help him regain match fitness and the Ricoh is a strong possibility for his recovery.

Coventry Telegraph’s Andy Turner says that Ben who played in the Sky Blues central defence between 2005-11 is looking to get back to top level performance after completing his first 75 minutes first team action for Cardiff this season after only previously featuring twice for the Bluebird’s Development side (though he has turned out for the other CCFC more than a hundred times in total). Struggling League One side Barnsley are apparently cited as the Sky Blues main challengers for Ben’s signature and one would lhope it would be a no brainer for Ben to rejoin the club f where he made his breakthrough and for which he retains some affection. The choice is that he could help consolidate a top two League One spot with us rather than be involved with a club  scrapping at the wrong end of the table.

Cardiff's Aron & Ben sign for CCFPA

Cardiff’s Aron & Ben sign for CCFPA

Ben, who made 84 first team appearances for the Sky Blues (4 goals) since joining the Sky Blues as an apprentice, joined the Association last November along with Aron Gunnarsson another recruit to Ninian Park from the Sky Blues at the time. CCFPA’s Frank Pritchard signed them up.

More on this can be found at – and

Let us hope we can welcome back both former Sky Blues and CCFPA members to the city where they first made their name and where they could help the current Sky Blues make their mark in League One!

Bedduth ‘Walking Football’ Runs Again Later Today

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Walking Football BedduthWalking Football continues on its Tuesday slot later today (17th November 2015) at Bedworth Town FC’s Oval ground. The sessions, designed to offer gentle but competitive exercise for the over 50s (men and women) start at 10.30am running through to around noon, cost £3 (including hot and cold refreshments). So there’s still time to get down there!

If you can’t make this session there is another regular event too in Coventry next and every Thursday (same time and cost) held at St.Finbarr’s Sport & Social Club.  Both sets of friendly events are run by CCFC’s Sky Blues In The Community run by former Sky Blue defender (and CCFPA member) Dave Busst and have always been supported by the Coventry City Diamond Club, Coventry City Former Players Association  and Covsupport News Service and their members.

CCFPA full members including the likes of Bill Tedds, Dietmar Bruck, Ken Brown, Ian Goodwin, Dave Bennett, committee members Dean Nelson, Sarah-Jane Morris and Frank Pritchard and a number of Associate Members can often be found amongst the 30+ participants at the sessions, so why not join the regulars? There are often ‘newbies’ joining the fun too!

For more information about the sessions at both sites you can contact Sky Blues in the Community’s Health Manager, Hiedi Sloan (telephone: 02476 786 314 Text: 07813 455 531 or by email: SBiTC can also be contacted at

A Happy Team Photo of the 'Walking Football' Participants Yesterday

Benno Ricoh Bound For Table Topping Gills Clash

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Benno in the 1987 Sky Blue

The Association announce with pleasure that popular Sky Blue Star of the 1980s Dave Bennett will be the Association’s ‘Special Guest’ at this Saturday’s League One top six clash between the Sky Blues and Gillingham.

Present at most home games at the Ricoh, Sky Blue F.A.Cup winner Dave will step up once again to the ‘special guest’ podium to watch Mogga’s men try to maintain their promotion push by maintaining their unbeaten start at the Ricoh in League games (unfortunately Northampton lowered our colours in the F.A.Cup last time out).

Bennett, D (Dave) 1986As a nominated true ‘CCFC Legend’ Dave will be hoping to bring some inspiration to the Sky Blues squad to build a decent momentum up to Xmas and the New Year and hopes for a sizeable ‘Ricoh roar’ to support the team’s efforts. Not only a long standing CCFPA committee member Dave has done much to support the work of various Legends’ charitable games over the years as well as other charity events and most recently sported a natty white shirt and dark trousers as he joined other former player CCFPA members ‘in service’ at our ‘Waiters Night’ at Millsy’s in Earlsdon in aid of Association funds. (below left with master of ceremonies CCFPA’s Billy Bell)

Benno & BBBenno was appointed President of Coventry Sphinx FC this season as is working hard to find ways to build success for the club. He is no stranger to media work being BBC CWR’s live match analyst at the Sky Blues 2-2 draw at Swindon Town earlier in this season. He will be hoping the Sky Blues go one better by beating the Gills when he performs the same service for that radio station’s commentary team in the Ricoh press box on Saturday.

04b-MY Benno &Schnozz with FAC-3 xFrom 1983-89 ‘Benno’  scored 25 league goals in 172 league appearances for the Sky Blues before moving on to Sheffield Wednesday and finishing his career with Swindon Town. Unluckily twice breaking a leg there, despite a loan spell with Shrewsbury and a brief stint with non- league neighbours Nuneaton Town he couldn’t overcome the effects of this injury and he hung up his boots in 1992.

Look out for Dave on Saturday around the Ricoh Lounges and in the Family Zone under the stands before the main event and, no doubt, immediately after the game Benno and Billy will reprise a well-worn but very entertaining double act on the stage of Lady G’s in the Ricoh’s G-Casino. All are welcome.

Readers will need no reminding that he was an integral part of the magnificent Sky Blues F.A.Cup winning squad in 1986-87 having already built an illustrious career with Manchester City and Cardiff City. He is pictured above right with then Sky Blues manager John Sillett remembering the fantastic day at the 25th anniversary celebrations in 2012. Even if you miss him on Saturday you are also likely to find him with other colleagues from that glorious team at the official launch of Steve Phelp’s new book ‘Sky Blue Heroes’ at Coventry City Centre’s Waterstones on Friday November 27th!