The spring Diamond Club was held this afternoon at The Ricoh Arena along with the annual AGM.
The afternoon started with the sad news of the passing of Diamond Club treasurer Carole Cumberlidge who died last Sunday. A minute's silence was held in memory of Carole who had been long time and tireless committee member, she will be sorely missed by those who knew and worked with her.
The AGM was held before lunch was served. The minutes of last year''s AGM were read by the Diamond Club secretary Julie Chambers and approved.
This was followed by the chairman''s report. The chairman, Alan Ludford, thanked the committee members for all of their hard work over the year. He also thanked Mark O''Shea, who oversees the lunch for the Arena, for his continued support and service to the Diamond Club. He noted that the caterers make a much smaller profit from catering for the Diamond Club than they do from other events and thanked those who worked hard to support the Diamond Club.
He then read the treasurer''s report and reported a small profit for the year.
The chairman said that there will be around 40 former Coventry City players at the forthcoming Legends Day on April 8th. This year''s Legends Day concides with the 50th anniversary of promotion to the old First Division in 1967 and the 30th anniversary of the club winning the FA Cup in 1987.
One committee member, Geoff Wells retired from the committee leaving one position to be filled. There was just one nominee, Barry Chattaway who was elected on a show of hands.
The AGM ended and Joe Elliott thanked the committee for their hard work. He then introduced the chairman of the Coventry City Former Players Association, Jim Brown and vice chairman Billy Bell. They spoke about the forthcoming Legends Day and announced there will be about 40 former players attending the day.
Among those former players who will be attending the day will be several players who helped win promotion in 1967 and that there will be a strong Scottish contingent including Tommy Hutchinson, Roy Barry and Ian Wallace. In addition other former players who will be in attendance are Dennis Mortimer, Bill Glazier, Dietmar Bruck, and Ron Farmer.
Jim Brown spoke about the annual Golf Day being held at Stoneleigh Park. He said there are usually 20-30 former players taking part and invited any interested Diamond Club members to join the fun.
Billy Bell announced that the CCFPA are raising money to buy and train a Guide Dog. The dog will be named Jimmy Hill and will be introduced to the crowd at half time during the Legends Day match against Peterborough. Jimmy Hill''s son will be accompanying the dog onto the pitch. The former players have raised around £3,000 of the £5,000 needed and a collection will be held to raise more money for this worthwhile cause.
Joe then had a quick chat to Pat Raybould and Lynn Hills about the Junior Sky Blues. Pat said interest in the JSBs had held up well during the recent downturn in matchday attendances and numbers had actually increased this season.
Another guest was former player and manager of Coventry Sporting, David Kite. David now chairs the Coventry Charity Cup committee. David told a quick story about managing Coventry Sporting to the first round of the FA Cup where they beat Tranmere Rover 2-0 at Highfiled Road and then drawing Peterborough in the next round, but Sporting lost to Posh who were managed at the time by former City manager Noel Cantwell.
He recalled he was sacked as Sporting manager but later returned to the club as their chairman.
After lunch Joe Elliott spoke to the main guest of the afternoon, former City player and manager Micky Adams.
It was the first time Mickey had been back to the club after he was sacked as manager in 2007. Micky and Joe exchanged banter in an exchange about his sacking. He said of all the times he had been sacked in his career as a football manager, his leaving of Coventry hurt him most.
He recalled that his demise was as a result of a poor run over a four week perion over the Christmas and New Year period of 2006/7. and that he blamed pundit Richard Keys for getting him sacked.
He was invited to a meeting at the Houses of Parliament by the then club chairman Geoffrey Robinson. At the meeting Robinson said he had been advised to sack Adams and after querying who had advised him, Robinson admitted it was Richard Keys. Naturally Adams was not impressed and after a frank discussion Robinson did not sack Adams, that is not until the following week.
Adams believes the current plight of the club, which he described as one of the saddest things in football, began around that time. The club, he claimed was being mismanaged and was deep in debt leading to the best players being sold including star player at the time Gary McSheffrey to Birmingham City, who Adams claimed was sold for a knock down price because Birmingham knew Coventry were desperate for cash.
Adams went on to say he had a great time in football and had over 800 games as manager, winning a total of four promotions.
Micky has given up football management and is now assesses Premier League referees.
He finished by saying he will be rooting for City in the Checkertrade Cup Final, but believes Oxford will win.
The usual raffle and bingo followed and the afternoon came to a pleasant end.
The next Diamond Club Lunch will be held a little earier than usual, on May 18th, to coincide with the 30th anniversary of winning the FA Cup.