The Coventry City Former Players Association will have Brian Roberts as the first special guest of 2013 in the New Year’s Day fixture against Shrewsbury.
A crowd favourite and always entertaining both on and off the pitch he will be hoping to see the Sky Blues excellent form at the end of 2012 continue. ‘Harry’ was last with us as our special guest earlier in the season in August when he watched the Sky Blues beat local rivals (and one of his previous teams) Birmingham City in the second round home (Capital One) League Cup fixture.
For many better known by his nickname ‘Harry’ (after a notorious 1960s criminal) , Brian is no stranger to the Ricoh normally being seen in and around the corporate areas as a matchday host for Coventry City FC.
‘Harry’ started with the Sky Blues as an apprentice in November 1973 and once he had made his debut in 1976 quickly became a crowd favourite for his tenacious and athletic defensive work (mostly at full back) as well as for his sense of humour on and off the pitch. Brian became noted for his defensive duties (sticking closely to his target) rather than his goalscoring prowess though his occasional surging runs out of defence were also memorable.
Despite ten years at the club and 215 first team league appearances (249 in all competitions) Brian only managed just the one league goal in his Highfield Road sojourn. This came away at West Ham in December 1982 though he did also score in a home 4th round F.A.Cup tie against Norwich City the following January. Also a loyal servant to his two other main midland clubs (though he also got 8 games out on loan with Hereford United in 1975) Brian spent 4 seasons at Birmingham City after leaving the Sky Blues clocking up another 187 appearances (no goals) before finishing his top-class career at Molineux making a further 21 first team appearances for Wolves (no score) between 1990-92.
A footballing career totalling 431 league appearances (and the one goal) and nearly 500 appearances overall is a substantial achievement. ‘Harry’ went on to building a second professional career within education becoming Head of Sport at a local private school in Leamington. His hosting duties for the Club around the corporate areas of the Ricoh often sees him interviewing CCFPA’s (and the Club’s) illustrious guests in the various lounges.
On Saturday afternoon, therefore, one wonders whether Brian will consider it appropriate to conduct an interview on himself! However we are sure CCFPA’s Billy Bell will be on hand to deputise should ‘Harry’ demur and Billy and ‘Harry’ are sure to provide entertaining banter on the stage of Lady G’s after the game! Welcome Brian.
Source: Coventry MAD