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Sky Blues: The hot shot who packed a real punch!

Byline: Jim Brown

MY RECENT story about Clarrie Bourton has continued to generate interest among City supporters.

Last week Les Raven, from Kempley Avenue, wrote to me. Les is 91 years old and was a season-ticket holder when Bourton arrived in 1931.

He thinks the reason Bourton had lost his place at Blackburn was because of a broken leg and remembers some of the fans having a go at Harry Storer for signing an old crock with a broken leg. To quote Les: 'some old crock, some leg!' In Les's opinion Clarrie was the best centre-forward ever to wear a City shirt - and he has seen most of them. He particularly remembers a stirring comeback against Bournemouth at Highfield Road when City came from 1-0 down at half-time to win 6-1 with Bourton netting five!

According to Les, though, Clarrie did have a temper - he remembers him landing a vicious right hook on Northampton Town's burly centre-half who had been giving him a rough time.

Fortunately he waited until the referee's back was turned.

After Clarrie left City for first Plymouth and later Bristol City, Les recalls him returning to Highfield Road to play in a friendly. He was surprised to see the great man had altered considerably, putting on weight and completely bald.

Unfortunately, I can find no record of Clarrie playing at Highfield Road after he left in 1937. Great memories, Les.

Howard Wheatley also wrote in following my short piece on former City goalkeeper Derek Spencer.

Howard's first game at Highfield Road was that infamous 2-0 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday in April 1952 when third-team keeper Derek was given a shock debut after injuries hit the club.

Before signing with City Derek had worked with Howard's father at Courtaulds, Little Heath and after he retired Derek and Howard worked together at Morris Motors in Durbar Avenue.

POOR old Iain Dowie suffered another sacking last week - his second this year - after apparently failing to kowtow to QPR's new very rich owners.

It is a mystery to me why the new regime, who aim to be in the Champions League within four years, went for Dowie in the first place. His recent track record is very average and his transfer record at Coventry and Charlton before that was dubious to say the least.

If QPR chairman Flavio Briatore had taken soundings they would have discovered that Dowie likes to be the man in charge and a clash of egos was inevitable.

The timing of his departure was strange, too - a week before QPR visit Manchester United in the League Cup. Someone should have pointed out that a Dowieinspired Sky Blues knocked the Reds out last season - and I fancy Iain would have given Fergie's boys a good run for their money next week.

MY book signing at Waterstones last Saturday was a great success and the fans certainly flocked to see former players Mo Konjic, Bill Glazier, Lol Harvey and David Busst.

My thanks to all of them plus Waterstones' diligent staff and Val Saunders, Billy Bell and the staff at the Isle of Capri Casino who provided lunch for the former heroes. I was amazed how many City fans were at the Casino before and after the match and their presence creates a great atmosphere.

At the Derby game I had the pleasure of meeting Wendy Austin, the widow of Frank Austin, stalwart of over 300 games for City in the 1950s and 60s.

She was there with her Derby-supporting family but still supports the Sky Blues herself from her home in Long Eaton.

Wendy and Lol Harvey, Frank's best mate at Coventry, were reminiscing about the good old days with stories of old managers Harry Storer, Jesse Carver and George Raynor.

If you have any Sky Blues queries or news of City old boys, e-mail me at the above address

CAPTION(S):

HEROES ... Sky Blues favourites David Busst, Mo Konjic, Bill Glazier and Lol Harvey join Jim Brown at the Cathedral Lanes branch of Waterstones for the launch of his new book The Seven Year Itch Picture: James Balfour JB251008BOOK1; DUMPED AGAIN ... Iain Dowie has been sacked for the second time this year
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Nov 1, 2008
Words:696
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