Book review: Standing Ovation: A Tribute to the Kippax

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Review by: Ashley Birch

TITLE: Standing Ovation: A Tribute to the Kippax
AUTHORS: Phillip Gatenby
PUBLISHER: Phillip Gatenby, PO Box 4, Manchester M40 9AP, England
ISBN: No None
PRICE: £1.40 inc. postage & packing (UK)

This booklet is one fan’s commendable refusal to let the Kippax pass into history without marking the occasion in some way. He’s chosen to do this in fitting fashion, producing what’s essentially a compilation of individual fans’ reminiscences of days on which the Kippax became indelibly etched into their memories. The booklet is card-backed and contains 32 A5 pages (including glossy cover) which have been attractively printed with well-reproduced photos. Phill has got it just right; the foreword from Glynn Ford, although entirely justifiable, threatens to plummet into a full blooded attack on the bankrupt government policy which inexorably led to the demise of stands like the Kippax. I found myself mentally nodding at the idiocy which has finally robbed us of a place full of hallowed memories. Phill’s introduction nicely balances the indignation expressed by Glynn but rightly turns the readers’ attention to the celebration he intended rather than letting the booklet become negative.

The core is composed of personal memories which are arranged chronologically and are interspersed with nicely chosen photos and newspaper cuttings. Many of these touch something deep down; perhaps that’s the attraction, a shared experience, something we can all relate to as City fans? Matt Pattenden’s description of his first match as ‘like coming home’ hits the nail squarely on the head.

The booklet’s original printing run was 1000, priced at £2.00 and quickly sold out. Phill has subsequently had another 500 done (costs were lower) which are sold for £1.00 plus postage. As I write (March ’95), Phill still has 200 left. If you’ve stood in the Kippax and felt its special atmosphere then buy it! It’s a nice little souvenir and considering the price, the quality is admirable. Incidentally, Phill is also the editor of ‘This Charming Fan’ which he subtitles; ‘Another Bloody Manchester City Fanzine’! This is also available from the above address (50p). Just a question though; how come the Club didn’t see fit to publish anything special?

All the above are my own personal opinions

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