Newsletter #67

Apologies for the non-appearance of a newsletter on Friday. This was due to a combination of factors; no game on Saturday, an early start for a weekend and hangover out of town and a partially full MCIVTA. It’s now full and looks pretty interesting despite the fact that almost nothing has happened. This must be incredibly irritating for our press chums who’ve been smelling a non-existent story for the last 3 months now.

We have a new subscriber in Canada who is proud to claim that most coveted title: ‘Oldest Subscriber’! I haven’t yet weedled his age out of him but he claims to have been at his first match in 1946 whilst Eric (Lancake) and John (Shearer) were still experiencing their football in the womb 😎

Subscriptions are coming in thick and fast, Blues standing up to be counted for the relegation battle no doubt, a time-honoured tradition! We are now up to 212.

Next game Crystal Palace away, Saturday 1st April 1995.



What? City in Europe? No, it was just a mid-season friendly with a less-than-full-strength side, taking advantage of a break in the Premiership programme because of England’s friendly against Uruguay on Wednesday. Unlike our last outing against quality European opposition (the curtain-raiser to the season against Feyenoord at Maine Road), City acquitted themselves well, coming away with a 1-1 draw and being the better side throughout most of the game. In an impressive first-half display, Gaudino and Simpson controlled the midfield and there were chances for Rösler, Griffiths and Brightwell(D) to give City the lead. In the second half Madrid came more into the game but it was still against the run of play when they took the lead in the 66th minute. Alessandro(?) picked up a loose ball in midfield and ran right through to hit the ball past Burridge from the edge of the area. Within a minute City were level; Griffiths picked up the ball 35 yards out, ran straight through the square Athletico defence and hit a shot which was parried by the Spaniards’ goalkeeper. Griffiths retrieved the ball from the bye-line, cut back in and knocked the ball home. Overall, a very encouraging performance and it’s nice to see Carl Griffiths in the first-team set-up for an event of this nature.

With thanks to ClubCall.

Paul Howarth (


Crap crowd, for a crap first half performance by both teams. Man City were hindered by the loss of Gaudino before the game started. Gaudino had managed to get lost whilst sightseeing in London. In desperation Brian Horton had rushed to the Victoria embankment and picked up some unwashed, unshaven, long-haired piece of sh*t, swigging out of a cider bottle. Unfortunately this cunning ruse failed miserably, with the tramp standing out like a sore thumb. It appeared as if Rösler had received the opposite of liposuction, with vast quantities of fat being pumped into him. The Judases (Curle and Phelan) had solid games. Phelan’s pace never lets him down.

Curle’s cunning tactic of trying to bore Wimbledon to death almost worked. When a player such as Ruddock picks the ball up you know you are in for excitement. When Curle picks the ball up he hurts the opposing defence as much as beating Mike Tyson with a vicious feather pillow. Beagrie looked very exciting, and I have to admit I might have liked him to score just to see the old back flip trick.

Man City had more of the possession but not dangerous, exciting posession. Playing endless streams of balls sideways from your centre half to your full back doesn’t do much good. A team like Liverpool when they have possession stretch the defence with every ball. They don’t just tart about with it for the sake of it. Tarting about with it is especially stupid against a team such as The Super Dons. We are always likely just to sit back off and get 11 men in our half.

Thorn’s goal came from a lack of commitment in the Man City defence. You would have thought Wimbledon were defending the corner the way that they fought for the ball.

Elkins’ goal was a fluke that took a deflection; still, it did come from a lot of pressure.

Man City came close to scoring from Quinn, and I find it mildly surprising that Quinn was not in from scratch. Maybe his fitness won’t carry him through?

Andy Stubbs (Wimbledon WWW)


Eric Cantona has been sentenced to 2 weeks in jail for his assault on the Palace fan. He has been released on 500 pounds bail whilst his appeal is prepared. His agent thinks that he’ll quit English football altogether; Inter Milan are still thought to be interested in signing him.

Paul Howarth (


Eric Cantona has been jailed for 2 weeks (pending appeal) following a guilty plea after his ‘kung-fu’ style assault on the Palarse supporter, Matthew Simmons.

Paul Ince has pleaded not guilty and his court case for common assault has been put back to May 23.

The only deadline day move was Martin Margetson’s loan to Luton.

Martin Ford (


Sat at home on a Saturday afternoon, no Premiership football, can’t play Lacrosse because I broke my ankle last week. So, I listened to Piccadilly Gold and there was an interview with Franny Lee.

Firstly he spoke about how bad City’s youth policy was when he arrived and now they are playing classy football under Neil McNab and in the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup. Moreover, 6 of the team are first years. If City were not under so much pressure, a few of them would have had a go in the first team.

He went on to talk about this European class midfield player City were going to sign. His choice was City, Athletico Madrid or South America. He went to South America.

Everything outside playing is going to plan. City are now in profit and, although further money is available, there is nobody any good worth signing without paying stupid fees.

He finally mentioned that he is trying to stamp out bad language in the crowd at City. He would not comment on what he said to the players after the game at Wimbledon but when asked about Joe Kinnear’s comments on City, he replied that anything Kinnear said, he took with a pinch of salt. Apparently Sam Hamman phoned Lee a few weeks ago asking him if he was trying to poach his manager. Lee said he last spoke to Kinnear when he was a footballer and that Kinnear probably started the rumours of him going to Maine Road.

Kevin Duckworth (


City’s game against Aston Villa has been rearranged twice since the last MCIVTA. Firstly it was brought forward two days to Monday 3rd April but now it’s been moved back to Wednesday 3rd May. This at least removes one of our run of four straight away games but the constant shifting of dates is really beginning to annoy me now. I’m fortunate in that I can take days off from work pretty well as and when I please so the rearrangements don’t affect me too much personally. However, a number of people I occasionally go to matches with have to make such arrangements well in advance and they can end up missing a game after having a holiday on a different date with the specific intention of going to that game. It’s about time something was done about this, like imposing a minimum period before a match, after which the date may not be changed except under exceptional circumstances, e.g. adverse weather conditions.

Paul Howarth (


Here’s wishing Cantona an enjoyable two weeks in the slammer!!! However, I have to aknowledge that it’s been a sad season if this is my highlight of the year (as I’m sure it is for a lot of other City fans).

As for Flipper leaving at a reported price of 3-4 mil… see ya! Although he showed great promise in the Reid and Ellis era, he hasn’t got any better since. Whether this is because of the environment in which he plays or because he doesn’t have the skill is open to question, but I feel that it would be in both Flipper’s and City’s interest if he were to leave for a good price. If he does go (and remember it’s only press speculation) we will still have an ample midfield in addition to money for a midfielder with some presence (in other words a bruiser!). One of the problems that has become apparent over the season is that we lack a midfield player with the character to “get stuck in” and win the ball off the opposition. Finally, can someone tell me if Horton is intent on getting rid of both Quinn and Griffiths. This would seem to me to be suicide with only one potential replacement in Adie Mike!!

Adam Houghton (


The team just don’t seem to be able to string together anything like a consistent performance, even within the same match. Horton should not go before the end of the season but should be judged at the end of it, relegation or no. I think then that the only sensible option would be for him to go. Then we need a top class coach and trainer and I believe that the continent is the best place to go (Holland, Germany or Italy).

Horton must be worried though as history has proved that the kiss of death is a vote of confidence from the Board!

As for selling players, to let Quinn go now is suicidal but four million for Flitcroft – should snap Kenny’s arm off – we could buy 2 or 3 good players with that sort of money. Players should only be sold if the proceeds go to bolster the squad, not to plug a deficit in the bloody social club!

Good news at last is the sending down of philosopher and all round FRAG Cantona. Let’s hope that his sentence is extended on appeal and that he can form a prison service elite eleven with Wise, Ince, Smith, Merson, Fashanu, Grobbelaar, Maradona, all of which will be trained by George Graham. Who knows, even Souness may come out of retirement and join them and Nick Leeson could run the club’s finances!

If anyone has any better ideas for the prison 11, I would be happy to hear them!

Philip Gregory (


We have been challenged by the Spurs e-mail list XI to a football match in the near future; it’s uncertain at the moment whether it will be a full 11 or 6 a-side match. Anybody who fancies playing and thus entering the annals of (MCIVTA) history should contact Russ at the address below. Bear in mind that some have said that us fans could possibly summon up more enthusiasm in a blue shirt than certain well-paid individuals we could name! The game will almost certainly take place in London but anyone who fancies playing is welcome.

Contact: Russ Jenkins (



Regarding the transfer rumour about the possible swap between Carl Griffiths and an unnamed left-back:

I have been told by a Carlisle fan that the lad is Tony Gallimore. As I have said before, Horton has already been to see him play a few times. Personally I think the lad is a donkey after seeing him play last week against Rochdale. He is too slow and it would be a bad deal for City if he were to be swopped with Griffiths. Their midfielder Paul Conway looks a much better prospect and has already mentioned in MCIVTA 58, City are interested.

Steve Gaughan (


Regarding watching City for the first time, my father took me to see my first match — it was the 1969 Charity Shield match at Maine Road between the Blues and West Brom (playing in Liverpool red). I was only nine at the time and had to stand on a box to see over the wall. It was a wonderful, bright summer day and City thrashed the visitors 6-1! But although I can remember the excitement of the win, the only lasting memory of the game itself is turning to my dad and telling him that I didn’t think Colin Bell would be such an old man! The bright sunshine on his blond hair made him look like an old man with grey hair to me… City being City didn’t win again for about a dozen games after this.

I started going to watch City regularly some years later in about 1974 when I was fourteen. I remember that we lost the first three home games when I started going to watch them — Coventry City, Arsenal and somebody else. I had to wait about two months to see my first win 3-0(?) over Sheffield United.

My best moments watching City? Being at Wembley when City beat Newcastle in ’76. The 10-1 win over Huddersfield in Division Two (I was there, honest!) also ranks highly. I would like to say the times I saw City beat the rags, but back in the early seventies it seems everyone was doing it and it never seemed to feel as special as it possibly should have done.

Worst moments? Losing to Luton in the showdown (though I wasn’t there for that one — thank goodness). I was also at Wembley when City played Chelsea in the final of some cup or other. Before the game City boys had beaten Chelsea boys at penalties, so when the match started and City scored after less than two minutes the inevitable chant of “You’re so s**t it’s unbelievable” seemed to boom out from all corners of the ground. Then Chelsea spoilt it by scoring — five times. City pulled three back in the last two minutes, but…

If anyone has any recollections of City abroad it would be interesting to hear them. I remember Rodney Marsh telling a story of how City beat Panathinikos of Greece 3-0 away in a pre-season game. Afterwards, at a banquet for the visitors, with the wine flowing freely, the then coach of Panathinikos, Puskas, stood up and berated his team: not only had the English outplayed them on the field, but now they had drunk them under the table too!!

David Sheridan (


Just a couple of anecdotes about getting to meet players close up [Ashley].

Colin Bell opened a restaurant near us shortly after ’68 in Whitefield, Manchester, and as kids we would hang around for an occasional glimpse of him. At his best he was a marvellous player to watch, and when teamed up with Mike Summerbee and Franny Lee they were a delight of a team to watch.

When I was a nipper, down at the bottom of the Kippax Street stand, standing as close to the touchline as you could get. The ball came my way and skidded off into the stands. I caught it and passed it to the outstretched hands of George Heslop. George said “Thanks.” I didn’t wash my hands for a week. I wonder if George remembers it as well as I do!!!



TITLE           Standing Ovation: A Tribute to the Kippax
AUTHORS         Phillip Gatenby
PUBLISHER       Phillip Gatenby,
                PO Box 4,
                Manchester M40 9AP,
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



I am not able to confirm Jeremy Poynton’s tale of Tony Coleman firing a penalty over the bar against Reading in the FA Cup (1970, I think), though if memory serves me correct, the replay may have made history. City beat Reading 7-0 away, and I seem to recall reading that this equalled the biggest away win in the FA Cup by one league team over another. The only other time this margin of defeat was experienced by a league team at home in the Cup was many years previous (I don’t know when) when Swindon Town lost by the same score to… City!

I heard of a tale that Francis Lee was once bearing down on a ‘keeper with a defender in hot pursuit (against Blackpool?). Apparently Franny suddenly pulled up with what appeared to be a serious hamstring injury. The defender and ‘keeper both relaxed whereupon Franny sprinted forward and put the ball away with some aplomb!! Can this really be true??

David Sheridan (


I was 10 at the time but that game for some reason remains in my memory. I was sat with my dad in the Platt Lane corner where the large gate now is. This was probably one of the worst views in the ground. A crowd of over 40,000 witnessed a dreadful game with probably Coleman being the worst. If someone had claimed that Coleman had taken a bribe for that game, I wouldn’t be surprised. I can’t remember if Lee was going to take the penalty but Coleman took a long run up and ballooned it, in McClair fashion, way over the bar. In the replay City murdered Reading 7-0.

Kevin Duckworth (


It was at Old Trafford. Derby games were always a full-house then, 63,000 without fail. Think it was ’68 when we won the league. Colin Bell had broke free of the Utd defence, and only had Alex Stepney (?) to beat to score a simple goal. Tony Dunne (again – I think) came running up to him. For a moment we knew Dunn had to make a “professional” foul and stop what was a certain goal. A crunch of bodies, and Colin (Nijinski) went down in a heap. Ref’s whistle blew, trainer came on, and after what seemed like an eternity, Colin Bell was taken off (stretcher I think). His appearances in the City and England side after that were sporadic.


I received the above from David Smith but I wasn’t sure whether he was mixing up this incident with the more famous Buchan collision which led to Bell’s exit from the game. I checked the Pride of Manchester and it mentions Burns hauling Bell down for a penalty but nothing about any injury sustained, though it does appear that he was substituted. David remembers this earlier incident as affecting Bell’s career for a while. Is anyone out there able to throw any light on this?



Thanks to Dave (x2), Russ, Adam, Andy, Steve, Paul, Martin, Philip & Kevin.

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 #67