The 1963/4 squad with the Division 3 Cup -(l-r) Mick Kearns, George Curtis, Ken Hale, John Sillett, Hugh Barr, Ron Farmer, John Smith, Bob Wesson, Dave Meeson, John Mitten, George Kirby, Brian Hill, Ron Rees, Graham Newton, Ernie Machin, Dietmar Bruck, GeorgeHudson & Willie Humphries
At Legends Day 2015 last Saturday CCFPA was able to put right a missed celebration of an important former players’ anniversary which occurred due to the Club’s exile in Northampton last year. The season 2003-14 was, of course, the second full season season of legendary CCFC gaffer (and Association member) Jimmy Hill’s ‘Sky Blue Revolution’ and the 50th anniversary of his latest squad’s success in finally taking the Division Three Championship (after coming 4th the previous season and 16th in 1961-62 during which he took over the managerial reigns from Billy Frith).
Joe & Ron Farmer
Joe, Graham Newton & Jim
Joe & Dietmar Bruck
The JH story, transforming CCFC into one of the most innovative, talked about and copied clubs in the land and and in many respects changing the wider face of football in general is too long (and well known) to recount further here. At Highfield Road, JH laid the foundations of Coventry city’s inexorable rise to the top division in English football from 1961-1967. Many of the men that rode the Sky Blue Revolution together in the sixties were present at Legends Day 2015 and several Sky Blues heroes from famous 1963-64 squad (like CCFPA members Mick Kearns, George Curtis, Ron Farmer, Brian Hill and Dietmar Bruck) enjoyed the whole journey, rising through the divisions from Division Three all the way to the top.
Joe & George Hudson
Joe & Bill Tedds
Joe, Bob Wesson & Jim
The Commemorative medal
The Association was determined to mark the 1963-64 squads achievement in a number of ways this year. A suitably boxed special commemorative medal has been minted to mark the achievement and this was presented to those members of the squad present at Legends Day in front of all those former players and fans present at the special pre-match Legends lunch in the E.ON lounge last Saturday.
Ron Farmer, Graham Walker, Dietmar Bruck, George Hudson, Bill Tedds and Bob Wesson were each called to the E.ON Lounge stage one by one to be presented with their medals by CCFPA Life President Joe Elliott and Chairman Jim Brown.
Jamie Hill picks up Jimmy Hill’s medal on behalf of his dad
The late Peter Hill’s wife Barbara & CCFPA President Joe Elliott
They were joined by Barbara Hill widow of former player Peter Hill who was club trainer at the time and Jamie Hill, representing his father Jimmy Hill (who was not well enough to attend) with his own son Hugo. They then lined up for their ‘team photo’ (below) and were applauded for their achievement by former player colleagues and fans alike.
The 1963-64 D3 Championship Squad Remembered: Presentation Team Photo. (l-r) Ron Farmer, Jamie Hill, Graham Newton, Dietmar Bruck, George Hudson, Barbara Hill, Bill Tedds & Bob Wesson. At back CCFPA’s Joe Elliott, Mike Young & Jim Brown
Later the group were pleased to join the guard of honour welcoming the the two teams onto the Ricoh pitch, and in their turn the current Sky Blues squad saluted these veteran players in front of the Ricoh crowd. At half time these elder statesmen of the club joined all their colleagues in being individually welcomed onto the pitch and took part in the traditional Legends Day team photo.
The 1963-64 squad welcome the 2014-15 squad
George, Graham, Bill & Dietmar pitch-side
Sadly a number of the 1963-64 squad members have since passed on to ‘Sky Blue Heaven’. Nevertheless their contribution was publicly remembered on Saturday in what was agreed by all to be a fitting tribute. Where possible, the remaining medals will be sent to those who those members of the squad who could not make it due to illness or other commitments (or their families).
Thanks to CCFPA’s official photographer Tony Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the pictures from the day (Tony & Association claim copyright – not to be used without permission)
Look out for more stories and photos from Legends Day 2015 on this site in coming days!