Hartson Joins The Former Players Association

Last updated : 26 September 2011 By Mike Young

John Hartson signs up to CCFPA

The Coventry City Former Players Association is very pleased to announce that former Sky Blue and Welsh International John Hartson has recently signed up for CCFPA.
John will be remembered as a combatative (and sometimes controversial) centre-forward whose relatively short spell with CCFC was nonetheless an inspirational one in the club’s valiant but unsuccessful attempt to avoid relegation from the top flight in the 2000-01 season.
John (left) is pictured below receiving his Association tie and membership welcome from committee member Bob Bromage at a recent charity event at Dorchester Town.

John (left) with Bob Bromage

Capped 52 times for his country, the rugged Welsh centreforward was much in demand and clocked up transfer fees of over £13m in successive moves between Luton Town, Arsenal, West Ham United and Wimbledon during the 1990s. This shows the value placed by his clubs on his muscular but skilful goalscoring prowess (63 goals in 207 appearances overall). Regular and reliable goalscorers are hard to come by and John was both.

Sky Blue manager Gordon Strachan signed him in February 2001 on a pay per play deal from Wimbledon when we were looking for another of our famous do-or- die end of season escapes from relegation. For a while, John’s stirring leadership (in a classic centre-forward role) contributing 6 goals in his 12 games provided some grounds for hope (though relegation was eventually confirmed in a disappointing final day 3-2 defeat at Villa Park).

The big Welshman made an immediate impact on his arrival at the City helping to win a point at West Ham and scoring in his home debut in a 2-2 draw with Charlton Athletic. He led the line with aplomb supplying leadership qualities missing all season - skilfully holding the ball up and always creating problems for defenders. Only two of his first 8 games were lost. However this crucial signing came far too late for the club and at the end of this fateful season John was snapped up by Celtic in another multi-million pound deal. In 5 seasons with the Scottish club John picked up numerous League and Cup honours and in over 200 first team appearances clocked up another 109 goals before moving to W.B.A. in 2006 and finishing his career on loan at Norwich City.

Since hanging up his boots in 2008 John has faced and overcome a serious medical condition and now can often be seen providing match analysis with Sky and other media outlets. John remembers his short time at CCFC with some affection and regret that the likes of Mustapha Hadji and Craig Bellamy were not retained to help him lead a fight-back to the top flight the following season!

We are very pleased to welcome John to the Association and look forward