Newsletter #255

There is very little news indeed, all the transfer speculation has died down, as well as that concerning Neal’s position. The latest news concerns Kernaghan who plans to return to the first team this Xmas – almost messiah like! The thought of Big Al at the back, whatever his Premier League shortcomings, fills me confidence – hand me some more happy pills!

There’s some opinion, news of the Internet Blues, more on the Corgi model and another good Why Blue.

Lastly an appeal, can anyone offer to review the CITY magazine on a regular basis? This would be a big help.

This one reaches 1204.

Next game, Oldham Athletic away, Saturday 21st December 1996


City have cancelled Michael Frontzeck’s contract and allowed him to return to Germany to try to find a new club. The move was in the best interests of all concerned according to Phil Neal, since Frontzeck was clearly unhappy in England and this wasn’t helping morale. City have retained Frontzeck’s registration and will want a fee if he does manage to restart his career.

City’s efforts to sign Barnet ‘keeper Maik Taylor appear to have hit a deadlock. Although Barnet are willing to sell him to City, their asking price of around £1 million is much higher than City’s valuation and the Blues are not willing to increase their offer. “We have other irons in the fire,” said Phil Neal. “If one deal falls down you move on to the next one and hope for better luck. We certainly wouldn’t be prepared to pay more for a player than we believe he’s worth.”

Paul Howarth (


Thanks to all those who took part, the Internet Blues, the Rags and especially AEK team for turning up at such short notice. The tournament took the form of a round-robin competition with each team playing the others. Each match lasted 45 minutes (ko half-time or end change).

The City team was:
Martin, Sam, Gary, Ben, Matt, Benny, Scott, Craig, Rob(?), Colin and Andy.

Formation, well that was part of the problem, there wasn’t really a set team.

The tournament opened with the Manchester derby; City fielded a bare 11 whereas the Rags had actually managed to get together 12 players! I won’t go into details (it’s too painful to recall), but suffice to say the Rags fairly dominated the game (if only with finishing!) and ran away easy 5-2 winners (yes Blues hang our heads in shame!).

The second game saw the Rags play AEK. It looked like a typical Rags display against European opposition when AEK took a 2 goal lead within the first ten minutes. Within minutes of the second AEK goal the Rags had pulled one back and then proceeded to take their chances and ended up winning 3-2. So they were winners!

The final game saw the Internet Blues play the AEK team, for the second place. Things looked good when City scored within the first couple of minutes. However, AEK equalised and from then on goal was matched by goal until the scores reached 3-3 (City getting the equaliser). As the Blues faded, AEK came on a little stronger and scored two more goals to win the game, final score 5-3 for AEK.

So the final standings were:

Pos Team    Pd W D L F  A Pts
1   Rags    2  2 0 0 8  4 6
2   AEK     2  1 0 1 7  6 4
3   City    2  0 0 2 5 10 0

Maybe next time we’ll get some revenge.

Martin Ford (


To all those who have inquired further about the Corgi classics model, here are the complete details.

COST: £16.99 (RRP) to £23.00 (The price I purchased it at)

Corgi Classics Ltd.,
P.O. Box 2001,
01703 336600 [7 days a week between 8am-8pm]

Corgi Classics Limited,
Harcourt Way,
Meridian Business Park,
Leicester LE3 2RL.

MANUFACTURERS WEB PAGE: [where bus is mentioned – no picture though]
[no obvious e-mail address found on casual browse]


  1. Only 5,000 of these models have been manufactured, and I’ve got number 821.
  2. Beatties, Merry Hill Centre, Dudley is where I bought mine from – Alas it was the last one that they possessed.

The model in this box represents the team coach used by Manchester City FC, winners of the Cup Final in 1956 when the team beat Birmingham at Wembley to secure the Cup for the third time in the club’s history. They had first achieved First Division status as long ago as the 1898-99 season. Evocative names such as Revie and Trautmann featured in the winning 1956 side, captained by Roy Paul.

The team coach was and still is, provided by the local and very well-known firm of Finglands. Today they also provide many local stage services and their brown, orange and white buses can be seen throughout the South Western suburbs of Manchester. The coach used to parade the team and cup through the streets of Manchester was not a very new one, in fact nearly 10-years-old but did have an opening roof where the team could sit, giving a special job to a proud company with a long history of service to many Mancunians.

Richard Mottershead (


There was a very interesting article in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday, regarding the situation at Brighton and Hove Albion FC. The report made very depressing reading about the state of football today, and the fact that the fate of this team is in the hands of a Chairman (Bill Archer), and his sidekick (Bellotti), who seem intent on driving the club into the ground (whilst they’ve still got one). The Brighton fans (and players) are desperate to get rid of them, but both they and the FA are completely unable (or unwilling?) to do anything about it. Meanwhile the club has plummeted to 10 points adrift at the bottom of Division 3, and are in serious danger of relegation into the Conference, and liquidation.

Puts all our problems into perspective doesn’t it?

Does anyone out there know whether we as City fans can do anything to help the Brighton fans’ plight? (I am already boycotting Focus DIY shops, which is owned by Archer).

Modern football eh? I remember when it was just schoolboys in the park, jumpers for goalposts…

Hurrah for international fixtures, so now Saturday is Stockport vs. Peterborough.

I know I am, I’m sure I am, I’m City ’til I die…

Ben (int Umbro Stand great) Brookes (


At last the tide of misfortune seems to be turning for the Blues. Not only did we “scrape” a win against Bradford (who?) but casting a quick glance down Saturday’s results I think most of them went in our favour. The only thing missing was a Rag defeat (Mind you some might say that it is the first Saturday in a long time that Bolton didn’t win and City didn’t lose!). Perhaps the gods of football have decided to give City fans a reprieve so now let’s get on with the job of winning promotion (even if it means a few extra play-off games).

We have a run of games now against what we used to call “lesser” opponents but in our present plight are “relegation rivals” and we need the points. Let’s stick with the formation that managed to score 3 (wow!) goals in the last outing and why not give Creaney a run out even if he starts as sub?

Yours ever-optimistically, Clive Tysoe – The Caribbean Blue – (


If Frontzeck has been released does that mean that we have paid him the rest of his contract and are just not going to play him again? If so why not keep him on the staff? I know he can’t play but if we’re going to pay him anyway what’s the point? If we will still demand a transfer fee this must mean he’s still under contract so what’s going on? Also, what’s happening with Immel? Is the Barnet ‘keeper any good? How much are they meant to want for him and will it be worth it? In response to all those people who decry Fjørtoft, it was only a suggestion of someone who might score on a regular basis for us and I don’t see any other names being mentioned in the press/by the club or anything. What about the Israeli Sunderland were going to sign? Can we get him instead when his foot’s healed? I could keep going as we look like we need so many players but at least we might be starting to get rid of some of the ‘dead wood’ so a small plus. Here’s hoping for more,

Thomas Bodey (


Being a City, as well as United football fan, based in the US, who out there can tell me have City gotten a good ‘keeper like Jürgen Somner from QPR? Based on what I have read in recent issues of MCIVTA, it seems that many of my fellow football fans are dreading the game when Andy Dibble starts in goal. Are there plans afoot, now that Stephen Boler has put an additional five million pounds sterling into the club, to go out and find a top ‘keeper? Can anybody tell me who the top five goal scorers for City are? Thank You very much. Go Blue!

Paul Vary (


Has anyone got any spare tickets for the Oldham game? If so please contact me on 0161 7990124 (Ross), or mail me.

Ross (


Well, it’s time I think to let you know why I’m a Blue. One or two of you who may have had the misfortune of reading some of my rants over the years, may have wondered if I was a Blue or not at times!

Well, like so many of you, my blueness is genetic. My grandfather (my mother’s dad) was a Blue from the days when we played at Hyde Road. Well, my grandad never took to me and when things started to get bad (when I was approx 6-7) may mum would tell me about when her and her dad would go to the match. This was her way of showing me that he wasn’t all bad (put that tissue down now!) so to try to get on the right side of him I told my mum that I was a Blue. Not the most romantic way I know, no particular game, or old flame to turn me Blue, but pure and simple self-gratification. Make my granddad like me and that would make my mum happy… at 6 there is not much more you want in life, but to make your mum and dad happy is there?

Well, things did not change much between us, except now and then he would talk to my mum about the old days, knowing I would sit and listen; I did not know then, but know now that the stories were for me and not for her. That was the start, but my old man was, at that time not into football much, but when he would watch M.o.t.D. with us (which wasn’t much as he worked shifts at McVitties, yes the real chocky maker, I was brought up on Penguins, Captain Scarlets and Yo-Yos and for those who have seen me you now know how I got my wonderful body!); he would follow Liverpool, why I don’t know!

This then started what would become a lifetime of defending my Blues from remarks like “just look at that pass, your lot cannot do that can they?” Which would be met with the best six-year-old satire and the line “I don’t care, they don’t come from Manchester.” Then came the time to go to school and the first time I started to understand what supporting a team meant; at that age it meant not much more than I had a whole lot of new friends and I got to play on the best team at dinner time, which meant 30 to 40 lads running around after a tennis ball and scoreline of 20-25, or 30-15!

Then came a turning point for me; I had seen City on M.o.t.D. but a friend of my dad who had come down from Wolves for work had just got a colour TV(!) and had asked if my dad and I wanted to watch the cup final of City vs. Wolves. Well, I could not sleep the night before and then came the big day, we travelled up to my dad’s friend’s house (10 doors down Peacock Street, Gorton) for the big kick off. I was under instructions: no showing him up and no crying when we lost. Lost! Lost! No way! I told my dad we were going to win! Well you’ve guessed it, we lost and dads being what dads are like after drinking a can or two wound me up; my dad’s friend wound me up so I did one! Up the road I went, home and to bed. The next day my dad asked me who I was going to support now as City were no good and the Rags were cheats (even in those days they would win via the “odd” pen). I told him I would stay with City!

The next turning point for me was of course my first game, the noise, the colour! Who we played I’ve no idea as I spent most if not all of the game looking around me trying to take it all in (thanks Uncle Jimmy for talking my mum and dad around).

Well, from that day on I’ve been hooked. I’ve not seen them as much as some of you, but in my own little way I’ve kept the blue flag flying.

Highs: my first derby match at Maine Road; being there the night Colin Bell played for the first time after his leg break and singing through tears along with almost everyone that night for approx 20 minutes “We’ll drink a drink to Colin the King”; being at Villa when Paul Power hit that free kick and singing “walk on” for half an hour; seeing the first away goal by Trevor Francis; every time we come back up (not this season I think) getting my City tattoos; taking my girlfriend to her first game and getting her hooked on going.

Lows – and there have been too many to print – but here are a few: Every time we go down; my first away match ever was at Leeds, this was in the times when the away fans had to walk all the way from the coach park up Elland Road past the home fans to the away end; I got battered 3 times in that short walk! Going to the FA cup vs. T.H.F.C. both times and missing my coach home after the second one (thanks to the Blues from Blackley for letting me on their coach and supplying me with beer). That was another time when I got home I went to bed, but that’s a story on its own. The end of Colin Bell’s and Paul Lake’s careers (God how we need players like that now); the day we sold Garry Owen I loved that man! The many times I’ve been to nowhere places like Halifax, Shrewsbury and alike to see us knocked out of the cup again, the Oxford match recently, I could go on and on and on.

It’s time I came to an end before you all fall asleep or this gets set as a GCSE exam paper. Why still Blue? was the question and here is the answer… The fans, yes I’ve seen some teams at Maine Road that have made me want to spend my money, but it has always been the fans. There is something different about every single one of us that sets us apart for every other team’s fans. The wit, the colour (who can forget the bananas, the blues brothers, the sheep etc. in a hurry?) and the fact that we love football and the team (well some of the team… well ok we like the colour blue), the fact that we are all in this together, it must be like being in the A.A. (something I will find out if we carry on playing like this), the fact that once a Blue always a Blue is true. I know that we are fans not because it is a fashion statement, or because we are glory hunters; we are here for each other and because Prestwich Asylum is full.

I’m Blue because there is no other way to be.

Tony Hulme – the tattooed Donkey (


BARNSLEY                3-0    TRANMERE ROVERS
STOKE CITY              2-0    SWINDON TOWN

Up to and including Saturday, December 14 1996

Team                  Played   Won  Drawn Lost     For Against   Points
Bolton Wanderers        23     11     9     3      46    32        42
Barnsley                22     11     8     3      41    26        41
Sheffield United        22     11     6     5      39    24        39
Crystal Palace          22      9     9     4      47    23        36
Oxford United           23      9     6     8      31    22        33
Wolverhampton Wanderers 22      9     6     7      29    22        33
Stoke City              21      9     6     6      29    30        33
Norwich City            21      9     6     6      28    22        33
Tranmere Rovers         23      9     5     9      31    29        32
Birmingham City         22      8     8     6      23    21        32
Queens Park Rangers     23      8     7     8      29    28        31
Port Vale               23      7    10     6      22    23        31
Swindon Town            23      9     2    12      32    30        29
Ipswich Town            23      7     8     8      29    33        29
Portsmouth              23      8     5    10      28    30        29
Charlton Athletic       22      9     2    11      24    32        29
Huddersfield Town       23      7     7     9      26    31        28
MANCHESTER CITY         22      8     2    12      26    35        26
Reading                 22      7     5    10      25    33        26
West Bromwich Albion    21      5    10     6      28    33        25
Southend United         23      5     9     9      23    40        24
Oldham Athletic         23      5     8    10      24    28        23
Grimsby Town            22      5     6    11      24    41        21
Bradford City           22      5     6    11      21    37        21

Russell Town (
With thanks to Soccernet


Contributions: Ashley –
Subscriptions: Adam –
Club Questions: Stephen –

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 #255