Newsletter #60

We welcome a Reading fan to the list who joins a Red, two Evertonians and a QPR fan who either look out for the Blues, pass MCIVTA on to their friends or just like reading it. We have an important game tonight against Chelsea who are also firmly stuck in the relegation zone. Despite having one of the most admired English players of the 80’s as manager and some useful players they seem unable to find any degree of consistency. Sounds familiar, well except for the manager that is 8-). Does anyone know when the transfer deadline is? Surely we’ll see players arriving and leaving in the traditional merry-go-round of panic buying that accompanies the end of every English season. At least BH buys good players, even under these adverse circumstances.

Subscription list is up to 180.

Next game Chelsea at home, Wednesday 8th March 1995


BH has altered the team somewhat redically from the previous couple of games. Out go Vonk and Quinn, who are replaced by Beagrie and Rösler. Buzzer has been moved into an attacking midfield rôle; this along with Beagrie’s wide postition means City are reverting to the 4-man attacking formation from earlier in the season. The midfield battle will be left for Simpson and Gaudino. So it looks like the formation will be 4-2-4.

Here’s the team details:
Coton, Ian Brightwell, Curle, Kernaghan, Phelan, Gaudino, Simpson, Summerbee, Walsh, Rösler, Beagrie
Subs: Foster, Quinn, Dibble

This is a game which City have just got to win, anything less will be regarded as points thrown away. A win would put Chelsea three points behind City and at least give a bit of breathing space. City need to pick up as many points from here as the final run-in isn’t easy.

Martin Ford (


Ian Thompson gets a message in this week’s 90 Minutes. It is an article about the Internet and has a section on Newcastle United. In the article there is a review of their FA Cup match against City. There is a report from a Newcastle fan and one from a City fan, namely our very own Ian Thompson.

A.J.Davies (


At last I’ve found out the names of those two Russian players; they are Shota and Archil Arveladze of Dynamo Tbilisi, who are brothers but that’s as much as I know about them.

Jim Walsh (


The FA inquiry into all overseas transfers looks like uncovering all sorts of dodgy dealings. Accusations have already been made this week about Graeme Souness taking a “bung” and of course George Graham has been dismissed already for a similar offence.

As mentioned in MCIVTA 31, the transfer of Kåre Ingebrigtsen to City appears to have been less than completely above board. City claim to have paid 660,000 pounds, half to Røsenborg and half to agent Rune Hauge’s company. Ingebrigtsen has never denied receiving a £50,000 cut from Hauge but that still leaves £280,000 unaccounted for. City secretary Bernard Halford is adamant that City have done nothing wrong and has invited the FA to examine the club’s books. Hauge is refusing to disclose where the rest of the money went. If the deal went along the same lines as those arranged by George Graham, Peter Reid’s bank account might be a place worth looking. We haven’t heard the last of this.

Paul Howarth (


Here’s a short bit of interesting gossip for all City fans. During my recent visit to Newcastle to watch City play the Geordies in the FA Cup, I discovered some interesting facts about the Blues’ training methods. After our depressing defeat at the hand of the Toon Army, I decided to drown my sorrows with copious quantities of the local Brown Ale. So off I headed, with my Geordie interpreter, to a local bar (somewhere in Whitley Bay). After a few drinks I became brave enough to show off my “Rösler’s Grandad bombed Old Trafford” T- Shirt, and it was at this point I met an interesting fellow pub resident. Now this bloke, whose name I have long since forgotten, was the manager of a company which took businessmen and the like on golfing holidays in Portugal and the Mediterranean. He was pleased to inform me that only a short time ago he’d had the pleasure of taking the Man. City team on a golfing holiday in Portugal. Apparently our beloved Blues had spent most of the time off the golf course getting totally pissed, almost every night, ’til at least 6:00am. Peter Beagrie was said to have been so plastered one night that he was carried back to the team’s hotel by my drinking partner and a waiter!! Guess that explains those jinking runs! Niall Quinn was described as a “Gentle Giant” who would frequently drink 15-20 pints in a night!. And where was Brian Horton during all of this…? Well apparently he’d go off back to the hotel around 9 every night after telling the boys to “have fun, but don’t drink too much”!!. So City fans, hold your heads up with pride, our boys’ football may be a tad dodgy at present but in the boozing stakes they’re champions!!!

Shurely shome mistake, Niall only drinks 10-15 pints a night!!! [Ashley]

Roger – the Blue Kiwi (


A Wrexham fan gives his impression of Mike Quigley…

Yes, Mike Quigley is at Wrexham on loan but please take him back… Having said that, Brian Flynn is mad enough to sign him… I’ve seen him twice and he is no better than what we have. In the lower divisions he is too small… he is not strong enough on the ball. Please, please take him back. He has also been booked twice. I did not go to Saturday’s game but by all accounts he was again dreadful. The feeling among Racecourse fans, who will get on his back tonight, is that Flynn should save face, send him back and say he is not what we want before the crowds really dwindle… our abysmal results over the last month mean that the play-offs are beyond us and only the Welsh Cup remains… I thought he was absolute c–p when I saw him play… not fit to wear Gareth Owen’s boots… it’s a tough life in the lower divisions and players don’t get the time & space on the ball before being clattered.

I’m saying nothing! James :>


Please inform your fellow City fans that Quigley was dropped from the Wrexham squad for last night’s game with Brentford. A reshuffled Wrexham midfield saw the return of Wales U21 starlets Owen and Phillips. Whether he goes back immediately is open to speculation. Perhaps there is a God after all.

[Result was 0-0 by the way – James]

Forwarded by… James Nash (


> On the subject of away fans, I think Jeremy Poynton missed the point
> somewhat about Ken Ramsden's quote, "We [Man. Utd.] do not have a
> single segregated section capable of holding 3,000 fans." The key
> word here is "single". United have smaller sections such as the 1,800
> seats in the corner they usually allocate to away fans, and larger
> sections, such as "K" stand which housed 6,000 Leeds fans the other
> week. What they don't have is a section that will hold around 3,000
> whilst being able to segregate them from the home fans. However,
> having said that, this situation is quite easily fixed by putting in
> partitions into an existing, large area, as many other clubs have
> done.

I’m sure Paul’s correct on the above. I think the problem is that United are worried about raising the funds to undertake the work required to meet this new requirement …. ;->

Please note the ‘smiley’ [Ashley]

Jeremy Poynton (


This in all honesty I cannot remember. The earliest ones I have memory of, all from around the same period, are :-

Middlesborough, twice, in the late 70’s. The first one we won 2-0; Asa Hartford scored one of our goals, a screaming 30 yarder. I think they had Souness playing for them, plus a certain Billy Ashcroft, a striker turned defender who was an absolute donkey (would make Brian Gayle look like a world class super-pacey sweeper) and sported one of those ridiculous 70’s Jackson family afro hair-do’s. Sat in the stand behind the goal, the City and Boro fans mixed quite well and there was a good atmosphere. It turned a bit sour at the end with Boro 2-0 down; I think their fans tried to get into the terraced section to the left. I certainly remember all the police pushing all the City fans to the front and there was nearly a bad incident. The following season was a dour 0-0 draw.

Derby County, late 70’s, twice. The first one was a draw, can only remember sitting in the high stand behind one of the goals and that Gordon Hill, the ex-rags winger, was playing for them and had his car attacked as he came to the ground. The following season I was in the away end, in the side paddock that touched the corner of the home end behind the goal. I think this was the last game of the 79-80 season when City almost went down and the last 2 relegation slots had to be decided between Bolton, Derby and City. City were 3-0 down at half time; I think their long blond-haired striker Alan Biley scored a hat-trick for them and we taunted them with chants of ‘You’re going down with Bolton Wanderers’, which is amazingly what happened as we did lose the game. At one point in the 2nd half, all the City fans sat down and refused to show any interest in the game as City were so bad. At the end the Derby fans invaded the pitch and came over to taunt the City fans, many of whom also got onto the pitch for a pitched battle.

Stoke City away, late 70’s. Again the details elude me, all I can remember is that it was a poor 0-0 draw and that City fans made up at least one third of the crowd and completely out-sang the Stoke fans. Happily this one didn’t end up with crowd trouble.

Sheff. Wed. late 70’s. I think it was the 1st leg of the 2nd round of the old League Cup? Stood in the now infamous Leppings Lane end and watched City battle away and earn a creditable draw. Colin Viljoen scored a first half goal for us (his only one in a short career with City?), a 30 yard thunderbolt free-kick around the Sheff. Wed. wall. I don’t know if the Wednesday fans are as vociferous as in those days, but the whole crowd got behind them and most people were stood up in both side stands shouting their heads off!

Ian Thompson (


First of all, I have to pronounce myself well and truly amazed at others’ powers of recall! My pitiful showing in this department may be due to age, too much Robinson’s ale, supporting Man. City too long or maybe a combination of all three. Alternatively, I was here in Zürich after Chernobyl, when we had great fun measuring the radioactivity on our shoes and believe me there was plenty of it.

Anyway, my most salient memories tend to revolve around the atmosphere or incidents at games rather than the actual game itself. In that period (76-78) City played such beautiful football that I often attained a state of nirvana in which everything seemed unreal and failed to be committed to memory! I have no real idea which was my first away game but seeing as I have all the programmes back home it shouldn’t be too much effort to find out. The most striking was the famous Leeds United FA Cup game at Elland Road (77?) where, after City went 2-0 up (Dennis Tueart, I think), the Leeds fans invaded the pitch in an effort to get the game stopped. We were in one end and the Leeds fans were going ‘ape’ as the City fans sang ‘we’re the best behaved supporters in the land’, slightly inflammatory! I remember one pissed-up Blue attempting to climb onto the pitch but being restrained by others so that the mayhem remained entirely a Tyke affair. It was eventually terminated by a massed cavalry charge by the South Yorkshire Police, which as you can imagine, went down pretty well at our end. When the whistle finally blew, the tannoy announced that we were being kept behind for our own safety which was very thoughtful of them indeed. Of course, those nice Hunslet boys didn’t seem to understand that they were meant to go home and instead used these 30 mins to get round our end in an attempt to start the third world war. As we came out there was a huge cordon of police which we filed through and on the other side hundreds of exceedingly ugly and barely human Leeds fans. One of them made a lunge in my direction and a copper on a horse told him to get back; he didn’t and in a moment I shall never forget, he swung his horse around and swatted the bastard to the ground with its flanks. He was out cold, much to my relief, being a congenital coward and about half the size of said Tyke.

My dad got me tickets for Goodison around this period and we all went in his car, though my mates had tickets for different areas of the ground. I can’t remember the result but I do know I wore my City scarf (well, I was with my dad) and my mates didn’t. It didn’t really dawn upon them that this anyway marked them out as Blues and when we arrived back at the car we found a heap of bruised and dishevelled Derbyshire Blues. My mate Wires had been beaten up but had seen salvation in the form of a huge Evertonian who smacked his attacker. Who was this scouse crusader? None other than another thug who wanted his watch; he was comforted that the motive was robbery rather than some mindless violence!!!

I remember a few games at Stoke where the ground was filled with Blues who always gave Shilton a hard time by singing ‘Shilton is a monkey, ooh, ooh, ooh’. Leicester was a tiny ground and they had some kind of lottery/card game where the winning numbers or whatever would be given out at half-time in the form of two mini-skirted girls who would parade around the touchline carrying little boards. They were given some fearful stick by the Blues, all in the best possible taste of course! A similar incident happened at Derby but this time to two lady coppers walking round the touchline. The whole enclosure seemed to sing with one voice, not coarsely but definitely a little lewdly (can’t remember the song) and you could see their embarrassment from 30 yards away. The Blues also sang the ‘Derby boys make more noise, when they play with Tonka toys’ song continually throughout the game, much to everyone’s amusement.

There was a game against Nottingham Forest around this time on a bitterly cold winter’s evening. On the way back we were tramming down a dual carriageway near Derby when up ahead appeared the ghostly figure of a policeman waving a torch from side to side in the middle of the road. My dad applied his brakes and we must have skidded 75-100 yards on black ice. I’ll never forget his presence of mind as the car slid up to him and stopped only a couple of yards before impact. He casually walked round and tapped on the window, ‘quite icy tonight Sir’ he said and my dad sheepishly agreed. The conditions were lethal and as we approached Matlock from Matlock Bath we were overtaken by a car doing a fair old whack. It was one of those strange (co)incidents that you experience occasionally in life; we all commented on how ‘the daft bugger was heading for a crash’ when, 2 mins later we rounded the sharp right into Matlock itself to find the car had come off a very poor second in a contest with Matlock river bridge which is made of huge rectangular ashlar blocks. We dragged the occupants out and they turned out to be Blues from Fallowfield, I think. We kept them warm ’til the ambulance came and resisted the overwhelming temptation to tell them they’d been driving too fast!

My best remembered ‘away’ was at a big stadium in London in ’76 when some guy scored a goal by kicking it over his head, anyone remember who it might have been and who the opposition was? 😎



Mar 07, 1995   Wimbledon     - Manchester United        0 - 1

(Tadge controversial this one!)

Pos    TEAM            P  W  D  L  F  A   PTS
 1. Manchester United 32 21  6  5 63 22   69
 2. Blackburn Rovers  31 21  6  4 64 26   69
 3. Newcastle United  31 16  9  6 52 33   57
 4. Liverpool         29 15  9  5 50 23   54
 5. Nottingham Forest 31 13  9  9 44 35   48
 6. Tottenham         29 12  8  9 48 42   44
 7. Leeds United      29 11 10  8 35 29   43
 8. Sheffield Weds.   31 11  9 11 40 40   42
 9. Arsenal           31 10 10 11 35 33   40
10. Aston Villa       33  9 12 12 46 46   39
11. Coventry City     32  9 12 11 33 47   39
12. Wimbledon         31 11  6 14 36 54   39
13. Chelsea           29  9 10 10 37 39   37
14. Norwich City      30  9 10 11 28 34   37
15. Manchester City   30  9 10 11 38 45   37
16. QPR               28  9  8 11 43 47   35
17. Everton           31  8 11 12 32 41   35
18. Southampton       29  6 14  9 40 46   32
19. West Ham United   30  9  5 16 28 39   32
20. Crystal Palace    30  7 10 13 21 31   31
21. Ipswich Town      31  6  5 20 31 69   23
22. Leicester City    30  4  9 17 33 56   21

With thanks to Riku Soininen


Thanks to Jeremy, James, Jim, Roger, Paul, Ian, Andy & Martin.

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #60