Coventry City Former Player Association's ‘special guest’ for the Sky Blue’s last 16 EFL Checkatrade Trophy tie with Brighton and Hove Albion’s U21s at the Ricoh on Tuesday evening (10th January 2017) will be Association committee man and CCFC star of the 1980s Dave Bennett.
‘Benno’ will be at the Ricoh, as usual, to see whether the Sky Blues can once more use their cup games to try to kick off a recovery after a very difficult first half of the season for CCFC. Though Dave is a regular at the Sky Blues home games, his presence when doing the additional ‘special guest’ duties (all at evening games) offers some encouragement for the team.
Back in August in their first home fixture of the season he saw the young Sky Blues edge out Peterborough United 3-2 in the EFL Cup. More recently, on 7th December he saw another home win against Crawley Town, this time 1-0, in the English Football League (Checkatrade) Trophy. As one of our 1987 Sky Blue F.A.Cup winners (celebrating their 30th anniversary this season) Dave will know how valuable to the club in all senses would be a win and progress into the last eight of a shot at a Wembley Appearance.
Benno is on a sort of ‘double’ treble in desiring to watch a third successive home Cup win as ‘special guest’ yet recognising that each time he has performed that role the Sky Blues have been performing under a different ‘gaffer’! Tony Mowbray was in charge in August, caretaker Mark Venus in December, and now Russell Slade will hope to lead his team into the sunshine of 2017 after the gloom of 2016!
Therefore, as a nominated true ‘CCFC Legend’, Dave will be hoping to bring some inspiration to the Sky Blues squad. Fans will need little reminding that from 1983-89 ‘Benno’ scored 25 league goals in 172 league appearances for the Sky Blues including the memorable first at Wembely before moving on to Sheffield Wednesday.
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. Look out for Dave on Tuesday night around the Ricoh Supporters’ Lounges before the main event and, no doubt, immediately after the game Benno and CCFPA’s Billy Bell will reprise a well-worn but very entertaining double act from the stage of Lady G’s in the Ricoh’s G-Casino.
As usual with our ‘special guests’ Benno will also be adding his considered analysis to the live matchday coverage of BBC CWR for fans who will not be at the game (probably more than inside the Ricoh judging from past attendances in this competition)!