September 30th, 2016

Bennett – Legends Day is our chance to say thanks

Updated: 4:50 pm, May 07, 2015

SKY Blues 1987 FA Cup-winning hero Dave Bennett is urging fans to attend this weekend’s Legends Day so the former players can say thank you for their loyal support down the years.

This Saturday the club’s annual Legends Day, organised by the former players’ association, returns when Tony Mowbray’s side host Doncaster Rovers at the Ricoh Arena.

A whole host of former players will return including George Hudson, Ronnie Farmer, Willie Carr and Ian Wallace.

Flying the flag for the club’s heroic 1987 FA Cup-winning side will be Bennett, who has played an integral role in organising the event as part of his work with the Coventry City Former Players’ Association (CCFPA).

And the former winger is confident Saturday’s eagerly anticipated even will be bigger and better than ever.

“It’s a massive day for everyone involved at the club,” Bennett told the Observer.

“We get given the day around three or four months before the day so a lot of hard work goes into organising the event and getting in touch with all the former players.

“It’s a day when us former players get to say thank you to the fans for their support over the years.

“We missed out on a Legends Day last year because the club were playing at Sixfields. I think 40 miles was too far for our fans to travel and we also want the former players to enjoy the occasion so we like to put them up in local accomodation.

“Every year legends day is a great event but I think with everything that has gone on at the club recently this year’s event will be more special.”

Fans will have the chance to mingle and meet their former favourites throughout the day before and after Mowbray’s side look to pick up their third consecutive win in League One.

As part of the day, the club’s historic promotion team from the 1963/64 season will be remembered and those in attendance from Jimmy Hill’s side will include Mick Kearns, Ronnie Farmer, Dietmar Bruck, Willie Humphries and goal-scoring artist Hudson.

“The fans deserve to have a legends day,” Bennett continued. “It’s a great honour for the former players to come back.

“These great players have been cheered on by the fans down the years and it’s great for them to come back and say ‘thank you’.

“I’ll be flying the flag for the 1987 side but they all deserve respect because it was such a great moment in the club’s history.

“We achieved something that perhaps this club might not be able to achieve again so it’s nice for the fans to see the ’87’ players again and show their appreciation.”

Bennett still looks back at the club’s greatest hour on May 16, 1987 with fond memories and he recalls the team spirit in the camp that year was something special.

“The way we won the cup will always go down as a great achievement. It was a great day for everyone involved especially the fans.

“We weren’t just a team back then were were all friends. We worked together on the pitch but we also helped each other off it too.

“You see a lot of loan players come into clubs now and they go home after the game but we got to know each other and became friend. We were like a family.

“If someone had a problem off the pitch we all helped each other out and discussed our problems.”

As for more recent affairs, Bennett agreed that Pressley’s time at the club had to come to an end following the Worcester defeat and the club’s slide down the League One table.

And he hopes Tony Mowbray keeps the Sky Blues up so they can re-group and begin the climb back up the football league ladder next season.

He added: “Mowbray has come in and he’s done a good job so far but I think it’s far too early to pass judgement yet.

“Hopefully the results keep coming our way and once we’ve stayed up we can see where we are and push on next season.

“It would be devastating if the club dropped down into League Two. For a club of this size with its stadium, its history and its fans it would have a huge knock on affect.

“Even more fans would lose interest. Nobody wants to watch a losing team and that would have a knock on effect to the younger generation of fans.

“To think we won the FA Cup 27 odd years ago and would now be playing in League Two is devastating.”

The 1987 FA Cup final was sweet revenge for Dave Bennett. 10.012.022.cov.jg2

Nick Pickering celebrates Coventry’s opening goal at Wembley with scorer Dave Bennett and Keith Houchen. (S) Photo courtesy of PA Images

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