The Coventry City Former Players Association is pleased to announce that our ‘special guest’ at the Sky Blues next Ricoh home game, their 1st Round F.A.Cup tie with Maidenhead United, will be our member Andy Blair. The game kicks off at 2pm and is a rare Sunday fixture for the Sky Blues.
Needing little introduction to Sky Blues fans as Andy still lives and works locally and is a ‘Ricoh Regular’, the Sky Blues former midfielder will be looking to see a comfortable progression into the next stage of the competition against the Conference premier side. Apart from the home tie being against a lower league side (and the Sky Blues are well aware of the perils of such banan-skins from past experiences) hopes will be high after that excellent demolition of the League Two leaders on their own patch last time out.
Nevertheless, they must not count their chickens as an eight day playing gap may have dented the positive momentum achieved and Mark Robins may well field a different side to last Saturday especially with another (Checkatrade) cup-tie to be played at the Ricoh next Tuesday night. On the other hand the full debuts of youngsters like the two Jordans, Ponticelli and Shipley, at Luton showed their potential. The obvious capabilities of the club’s younger players and the continuing resoluteness of our defence bodes well. Another Sky Blues’ clean sheet would not go amiss!!
Hailing from north of the border, though living locally for much of his life, Andy is a longstanding member of CCFPA. He started for the Sky Blues as apprentice and debuted in Division One against Birmingham City on 28th October 1978 in a 2-1 victory, Andy gained 5 Scottish U21 caps scoring one goal and clocked up over 90 appearances for CCFC (six goals) before moving on to local rivals, the Villa in 1981.
A European Cup Winner whilst at Villa Park, Andy subsequently played for Wolves and Barnsley on loan, Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa (again) from 1986-88 and Northampton Town (1988-89). After a brief sojourn with Maltese outfit Naxaar Lions Andy returned to England and turned out for a number of non league clubs.
Outside the game Andy founded a small local chain of sports and school wear outlets which, as it happens, supplies CCFPA with its popular official ties. He also does some scouting and naturally takes a close interest in the career of his son Matty who is currently a professional with Doncaster Rovers. Very sadly Andy and his family lost their other son Ross to cancer last August.
Andy is a regular and ace performer at the Association’s annual Golf Day reunions and regularly attends Legends Day. He has also enthusiastically helped CCFPA and local author Steve Phelps round up interviews with fellow members of the Sky Blues 1980-81 squad (who got to the Semi Finals of the League Cup) for Steve’s book on that campaign, ‘29 Minutes From Wembley‘ only just published*.
Andy will be interviewed around the lounges at the Ricoh before the game and is sure to be ‘lightly grilled’ by CCFPA’s own Billy Bell on the stage at Lady Gs after the game in front of our supporters. Andy will also be riding the airways as BBC CWR’s matchday pundit as the game unfolds for those unable to make it to the Ricoh (k.o. 2pm). Welcome Andy!