Hutchison Stars At Diamond Club
Diamond Club lunch report Coventry City legend Tommy Hutchison and City Chairman Ray Ranson were the stars of the Coventry City Diamond Club AGM.The official supporters club for Coventry City supporters who have been supporting the club for fifty or more years started the day with their Annual General Meeting.This saw speeches by Tom Dentith (Chair), Alf Abbey (Secretary and Registrar) and Maureen O'Neill (Treasurer), highlighting the years events which have included speakers such as Ian Wallace and Marcus Hall.There was an election of officers and Maureen O'Neill, Kev Monks and Ray Stephens had to stand down for re-election. They were re-elected after a ballot which also saw co-opted Committee Member Alan Ludford elected to the committee whilst Mr Green and Mr Pritchard who both stood for election can be co-opted if required.After the AGM and an excellent lunch ,the 150 attendees heard the first guest speaker in Bob Eales from the Coventry City Former Players Association. Mr Eales said that the former players day would be on March 27th for the Sheffield Wednesday home game and he hoped that around fifty former players would attend.Talking of former players, 76 year old Brian Nicholas who joined City from Chelsea in 1958, spoke about his love for the City of Coventry, which has been his home for the last 44 years and the club. He also spoke fondly about working for Massey Ferguson.Then, it was the legend that is Tommy Hutchison turn to speak. Looking as though, he could still play ninety minutes at a high level, He said that he had enjoyed his football wherever he played in a career which started at Alloa and ended at Merthyr. Hutchison cited making his first Scotland appearance in a World Cup Qualifier against Czechoslavakia in 1973 as ' winning the lottery without buying a ticket' and got the call up after a Scotland selector had seen him score in the 1-0 win against Liverpool. A player who derived more pleasure from taking on and beating players than he did scoring goals, he spoke about that game against Bristol City in 1977 and the fact that the City players had been taken round factories in Coventry before the game to meet the fans who paid their wages as well as his time at Manchester City which saw him play with City Chairman Ray Ranson.Hutchison's links with current CCFC staff don't end there as he play with Chris Coleman at Swansea and coach Steve Harrison was his baby sitter at Blackpool.Nowadays, Hutchison works for Bristol City as past of their community teams. The UEFA A Licence holder still plays football with Prime Concern kids and works with teachers and parents in various parts of Bristol on a number of initiatives to get kids playing football rather than hanging round on street corners.Hutchinson received a standing ovation and there was good applause for Ray Ranson, who admitted that he was enjoying his time at the club and "it had been challenging to say the least but the fruits of the hard work put in by everyone were beginning to be seenf"The Chairman added that he had only been down to the training ground three times this year and that was to sign players and he lets the manager get on with it.Speaking about players, Mr Ranson said that the club would do its damnedest to keep Keiren Westwood and that Jon Stead was enjoying the training and the fans backing.He finished by speaking about his time at Manchester City and said that as a 21 year old with the likes of Hutchison and Dave Bennett there, he had a ball, playing in cup finals and semis.After Mr Ranson received good applause, Associate Director Noel Hand spoke about the Associate Directors being ambassadors for the club and the fact that they were helping to financially benefit the club by bringing in new companies in the club's arms. An excellent afternoon which was described as one of the best ever lunches was ended with the customart bingo and raffle. Diamond Club members will be written to with full details of the next lunch.For more information on the Diamond Club, please click onhttp://ccfcdiamondclub.homestead.com/index.html Picture copyright and courtesy of Pete Chambers.
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