Sunday, 4 April 2010

JIM'S COLUMN 3.4.10 Another successful Legends Day

Last Saturday’s Legend’s Day was another massive success but I’m sorry to say I was unable to attend due to some family issues. Mike Young, a fellow committee member has however given me a full report on a great day for our former heroes, and Tony Thomas our resident photographer has again produced some memorable images of the day.

Numbers were slightly down on last year but quality was in big supply with Tommy Hutch, Willie Carr, Roy Barry, Ian Wallace and Ernie Hunt leading the charge of top players from the 1970s. These guys really know how to enjoy themselves and you can begin to understand the problems that managers like Noel Cantwell and Gordon Milne had in controlling themselves. Barry and Wallace made the long trek from their homes in Scotland with ‘Wally’ struggling on crutches but both had a great time and are great ambassadors for the Former Players Association.

Tommy Hutch vied with the legendary George Hudson for the biggest cheer in the Eon lounge at lunchtime but by all accounts Tom got the biggest cheer on the pitch at half-time. ‘The Hud’ as many fans called him in his heyday, presented Joe Elliott with a signed 1960s City number 9 shirt on behalf of the committee for all the fantastic work Joe has done in supporting the association since its inception.

The oldest guest was Trevor Lewis who is 90 next January and made his debut for City back in 1948 and is very sprightly for his age. The youngest was 33-year old Claus Jorgensen who was still playing league football last season. In between those two, all eras were represented. Two new members made their first appearance at an FPA event, Graham Newton and Ian Goodwin. Neither of them were at the club too long but both were remembered by their former team mates and thoroughly enjoyed the reunion. Their appearance reminds us that all former first team players are welcome at games and events, whether they played one game or five hundred. They are all part of the football club’s fine history.

Mike tells me everything went like clockwork with the players receiving a rapturous reception from the crowd at half-time. A number of people have asked why they didn’t do a lap of honour and the reason is that last year the lap took so long that there were still former players on the perimeter when the second half kicked off and the club risked a fine if there had been a repeat. The fans however had their opportunity to meet and mingle with the former heroes after the game when they were guests of the key men at G-Casino, Quinton Korsma and Paul Davis. Quinton and Paul have been enormously supportive of the FPA this season and a post-match trip to the Casino has become a regular event for all guests at home games. A video clip of the goings-on in the casino and pictures of the day can be found on the association’s website

On a personal note I would like to thank the hard-working committee who put in many hours of work to make sure it all worked well on the day. Apparently Bob Eales excelled himself with his speech and Billy Bell kept everyone on their toes with his humour, although a little bird tells me he failed to turn up for breakfast at Roy Barry’s hotel – he forgot to put his clock forward!

All in all it was another successful Legends Day and ensures that the club’s glorious past is remembered through their former players.

One former player missing last Saturday was Charlie Timmins. The 87-year old former captain and full-back is quite poorly at the minute and he was sorely missed by his contemporaries. Birmingham-based Charlie has become a regular at the Ricoh since the association was formed and all his friends wish him well and are thinking of him.

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