Matchday Memories: On This Day 1978 – Brazilians K.O. Milne’s Men From Japan Cup In Osaka

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Sky Blue Brian Roberts (1979)

On this Day (27th May) in 1978, the Sky Blues, managed by Gordon Milne, were in the Far East three games into their post-season attempt to win the ‘Japan Cup‘. One of the members of the touring party (and the team who played today) was current CCFC matchday ‘host’  Brian ‘Harry’ Roberts who should remember this tour well!

‘Harry’ is no relation to CCFC father and son Ted Roberts and Dudley Roberts who we featured in separate earlier posts today. However, both Dudley and Brian are current Association members!

 Having earlier in the month disposed of the Japan National XI in Tokyo (1-0), then got a 1-1 draw with 1FC Cologne in Omiya and beaten the Thailand National XI 1-0 in Tokyo they had been runners up in their group stage and moved to Osaka for one of the semi finals.

SOCCER Sealey/file3...Library file dated 1992 of goalkeeper

Les Sealey in Sky Blue action

Jim in the Sky Blue

Waiting there to meet them was Palmeiras the side from Brazil,  and the tie proved to be their fourth and final game of the tournament as they were ‘trimmed’ 1-0 by the Brazilians who took the tie with a first half goal.

The Sky Blues team fielded that day (and their ‘gaffer’) later all became CCFPA members apart from two ‘stars of the past’ who sadly later passed away from heart attacks at tragically early ages. Les Sealey, who was between the sticks, died in August 2001 in London at the age of only 43 and our centre-half, ‘Big Jim’ Holton died in Bagington (near Coventry) in October 1993 aged 42.

Sky Blue Manager Gordon

Milne’s Men that day were:-

Les Sealey*, Brian ‘Harry’ Roberts, Bobby McDonald, Terry Yorath, Jim Holton*, Mick Coop, Alan Green, Ian Wallace, Mick Ferguson, Barry Powell and Tommy Hutchison

Good to see ‘Harry’ ‘Wally’ and Barry at our annual Former Player this season Legends Day 2024 a few weeks back!

Palmeiras contested the final with Borussia Munchengladbach and since that ended in a 1-1 draw the Japan Cup 1978 was shared. The Cup was later renamed the Kirin Cup and eventually played for solely by national sides.

CCFC 1977-78

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


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