Newsletter #283

An excellent performance on Saturday which left you wondering how we were near the bottom and the opposition were in with a good chance of making the play-offs! We’ve a couple of match reports, some rumours concerning Uwe, news of this Summer’s internet tournament – sounds like a good ‘do’ so please let Martin know if you can play.

I’m out of Why Blues so more are welcome.

This one reaches 1,442.

Next game, Charlton Athletic away, Saturday 5th April 1997


MANCHESTER CITY vs. STOKE CITY, Saturday 22nd March 1997

My second visit to Maine Road this year proved to be an enjoyable game (for the first time this season). On taking up our seats in H left, we noticed that the pitch was full of people, due to a small fire in the Junior blues section of the North Stand. The match got underway late, the second half was rumored to be shown live on Match of the Day! We started well with City hitting the underside of the crossbar early on, and the entire match was dominated by the home team with Stoke, playing Sheron alone up front and content with hitting the ball over our defence for him to chase.

The first half was a bit flat, with Atkinson finding the pace of the game hard, but he did make some nice runs from deep, skipping past players and getting in a shot. The highlight of the first half was laughing at what looked like about 5 Stoke fans wanting to take on the whole of the North Stand!

The second half showed improvement, Atkinson improving with every minute, before being substituted by the spritely Kavelashvili. City took a deserved lead early on with a good header by Atkinson, which was followed by a header from Lomas about two yards from the goal line, the Stoke ‘keeper came over all Immel for a minute or two!

Mr Macari decided that this would be a good time to make an attempt to score a goal, made some substitutions, and actually got out of their own half. This allowed City to start taking the p**s and Summerbee in partcular made use of the increased space, beating his man on a few occasions and almost looking like G*ggs.

Kinkladze was moved forward when Kav was introduced and City were unlucky not to score more with Kav mis-hitting a cross to Kinkladze and almost scoring, Rösler had a header saved from two yards out, and I left the ground with a smile on my face, and dreaming of Wembley.

Final score: City 2 Stoke 0

Wright 7 Had almost nothing to do.
Brannan 7 Solid, good tackler.
Symons 9 Like a rock, got forward for a shot in first half.
Brightwell 8 Solid at the back, distribution poor. Hoof!
Horlock 8 Solid, simple passes, could penetrate a bit more.
Lomas 10 Full of running, good goal, MOM
McGoldrick 9 Solid, good passer, set up both goals.
Summerbee 9 Excellent!. One incredible cross-field pass to Horlock.
Gio 7 Underused, made some good runs, killed the game late on.
Rösler 7 Nuisance, unlucky not to score.
Atkinson 8 Good goal, bit fat, got better as game went on.
Kav 6 Good skills, unlucky not to score.

City played 3-4-1-2

Gareth Rogers – The Munich Blue (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. STOKE CITY, Saturday 22nd March 1997

We arrived at the Academy to be greeted by flashing blue lights and a big crush to get past the North Stand and into the Kippax. It soon transpired that there had been a fire (smallish affair but in a cavity wall). There were 1500 outside and about a quarter of the North Stand on the pitch. When clearance finally came, kick-off had been delayed by 45 minutes. The catering had come in for a fair bit of stick for closing at 3.00pm. We were assailed by an angry-ish voice on the PA demanding that the catering staff return to their posts!

City lined up with Bob, Symons and Brannan across the back, with Wright in goal. Midfield consisted of McGoldrick, Buzzer, Lomas, Gio and Horlock, with Rösler up front and – big surprise – Atkinson making the starting line-up. I was astonished by the sheer size of the man, he must be about 6ft 4 inches and about 17 stone, definitely overweight but a very, very big specimen of Homo Sapiens Sapiens. There was thus a nice little contrast between Dalian and the numerous examples of Cro Magnon man, up from Stoke for the day.

City set off at a gallop and soon opened Stoke up, Atkinson looked quite ponderous but surprisingly skilful, beating his man several times. Buzzer was doing his stuff again and provided the first few openings, resulting in a corner from which we hit the bar. Buzzer was the key component of a beautiful move which saw him hit an inch-perfect ball to Lomas along the wing, he cut in along the touchline and pulled the ball back for Rösler, who finished in fine style – not (!) by booting the ball yards over the bar from 10 yards out.

It was 0-0 at half time which was a poor reflection of our total dominance. The second half saw ‘no change’ as City piled it on again; we made several good chances, including a header from Atkinson which went over when it seemed he must score. Luckily, we have have Buzzer in the team, he gave the left back a torrid time, continually either beating him or curling dangerous crosses around him into the box. It seemed only a matter of time before we scored; after a poor clearance, with Stoke pushing out, McGoldrick floated a ball into Atkinson who rose above the defender (Sigurdsson) and glanced the ball over the goalie into the top corner. A few minutes later we were 2 up when McGoldrick picked out Lomas – this time from the opposite wing – and he headed in unchallenged (appalling defending). City then toyed with them for some time, the best piece of skill coming from Buzzer whose wicked cross picked out a flying Uwe whose powerful header was brilliantly saved by Muggleton. Overall, a very one-sided match.

This was a friendly match (players all shook hands at the end) and the referee was excellent – he made no mistakes, made no bookings and let the game flow – give that man a pat on the back. Wish I could say the same for the Stoke fans; they have a sizeable loonie contingent who tried to kick off some trouble, fighting stewards in a mini-invasion of the North Stand.


Wright (7) Nothing to do.
Brightwell (5) Great man marker, but when he’s not doing that he’s a liability, his distribution was absolutely appalling.
Symons (7) Steady game, dominated Sheron but not without applying a little force, some of it illegal.
Brannan (7) Solid home début, likes to bring the ball out of defence rather than hoofing it, he combined naturally with Horlock and McGoldrick.
McGoldrick (8) Excellent performance in midfield, always looking for the ball and distributing it well.
Buzzer (9) What can I say, this man is transformed and I’ve eaten all my hats.
Lomas (7) Good, battling performance.
Gio (7) Showed some good pieces of skill and coped well with a man-marker, albeit not a good one!
Horlock (7) Linked well and made his usual appearances in the box.
Atkinson (7) Looks very promising, a real handful, big and skilful, just needs to get fit.
Rösler (7) Good performance but missed a couple of good chances, should have scored twice.
Kav (7) Looked a danger but only had 15 minutes or so.



The weekend’s press have been linking City with Sunderland’s unsettled striker Craig Russell, who is valued at around £1 million. With Peter Reid still apparently interested in Uwe Rösler, a player-plus-cash swap deal has been mooted in some papers. I can’t see Frank Clark selling Rösler at the moment though IMHO.

City’s reserve game against Burnley on Tuesday night has been switched from Witton Albion to Maine Road, 6:45pm kick-off.

Paul Howarth (


This year’s City Internet Player poll has started. Votes will be accepted until May 1st. More info may be found at:

I’d appreciate it if people submitting their votes could include the “POTY” in the subject.

Oh, and please rememeber to vote for the young player too!

Thanx! Svenn Hannsen (


Moonchester – Reply in Disgust

I read with disgust at the treatment my son Moonchester (all 1 word) received from Mr. Mottershead in the last issue of McVittee.

Does Mr. Mottershead actually attend any games?

My Moonchester has become a cult hero amongst many of the Junior Blues and always attracts much attention from the kids (even if it’s just scallies trying to pull his ears off – which are now starting to look quite battered).

I believe that the idea behind Moonchester is quite clever and he is a unique mascot amongst football clubs.

For those of you who don’t know, my son Moonchester is an alien who lived with me on the ‘Blue Moon’ and was a big football fan who watched many clubs on inter-galactic television. Manchester City was his favourite club because they played in his colours, sang about his home (Blue Moon), because he admired the players’ skill (particularly Phillips and Clough .. mysteriously) and because there was “no problem with the atmosphere.”

So when he got the chance he departed for your fair shores and took up residence at Maine Road. His name of Moonchester is very suitable as it is an amalgam of Moon and Manchester (quite difficult to work out that).

So lay off my son.

Moonchester’s Mum

P.S. Does anybody know where I can get an adult sized t-shirt of my darling son, as they only come in small sizes and I’m a right big lass.

c/o Ben Brookes (


We’re now officially accepted as a team in the EURO 97 competition. Here’s the latest details of the event. Please read the note from the organisers and could any interested parties (players!), give me notice of their intentions, for accommodation etc. As you can see from the message below, I might need to know exact numbers quite soon.

Awaiting a flood of applications.

P.S. Any chance of anyone associated directly with MCFC lending us the new kit to play in (very cheeky I know but we never know)?

Dear all,

I will send out sporadic updates to all competitor contacts (i.e. you laddie/lassie) with any news, requests etc. Please set the steam control on your computing machinery so that you read these updates immediately they come in as we may need to move fast on some things.

Right, here we go.


We have negotiated with Bradford University to get rooms in their Hall of Residence (right next to the venue for the Satdi Neet bash – the Communal Building).

The tournament will start at 9.00am on the Saturday so some of you might want two nights’ accommodation. Rooms will cost no more than £17 per person per night with shared catering facilities and bathrooms on a basis of six per unit.

We will be asking for firm numbers for this very shortly as we have to make a block booking. If enough people are interested the price will drop. Can you pre-warn your teams about this? I am convinced that this is the most difficult part of the job.

Evening Do

We intend to have an evening bash on the Saturday when we will draw the teams for the knockout. We will look at a footy quiz and there will be live music plus a late bar (so you can play really well on Sunday).


A number of people have asked about the size of teams; the answer generally is that we have no problems with you all bringing an appropriate squad – the ideal number last year was about 16 players.


We have no problem with gender and if anyone brings a mixed team we will ensure that they get a fair crack of the whip. This is supposed to be a fun competition, played in the spirit of the e-mail list (mind you if its anything like the Leeds list you’ll need asbestos knickers).

Web Site

We will have a web site and we will have the draw for the groups on IRC before the event.


Spectators are more than welcome – it helps actually as anyone who saw the Leeds vs. Man U semi final jobbie last year will know.


We want a high powered media job on this just like last year. Please check with your list to see who has any good local/national media contacts and then pass the info onto – we want details of the contacts and the person who gave you the contact.


We hope to make an announcement about this over the weekend. If it is as good as last year’s it will mean that we don’t pay for the footie 🙂

Martin Ford (


Shirts R Us…

As one of the Sunday papers noted the only thing City will have in common with Juve next year is that they will share the same shirt manufacturers. It looks like the deal has been finalised, so Kappa will be making the City shirts for next season. City will be the first English team to wear their shirts.

One thing that did worry me was that the paper mentioned that the Italian company (Kappa) has the most expensive shirts in Europe. And thinking about it, the local sports shops do sell Juve (and Barca) shirts for nearly fifty quid (£49.99). I just hope that the prices aren’t reflected on City shirts for next season. If so I would fully advocate a boycott of buying the shirts; how could they justify a price hike to 50 quid? Talk about ripping the fans off.

Martin Ford (


I received a call from John Maddocks concerning the grossly out-of-date Birmingham programmes that were flogged to the faithful at St Andrews. John wrote to Karren Brady expressing his disgust at this cheap trick and suggesting that perhaps only City fans had been the victims. It seems Miss Brady was only too happy to confess to taking her own fans in as well, but did try to say that it had been an oversight. However, she then went on to say that future rearranged games – where programmes had already been printed – would have a flysheet inserted! John has also heard that this is a not infrequent occurrence at St Andrews – amazing to think what negative publicity has been created for the sake of a couple of thousand quid.



Let me tell you a story. There’s this big industrial town with two football teams. One plays in red and is known as the Red Devils, the other in sky blue and white, and is known as The Academy. Fans of the Red Devils are always taunting their rivals about The Academy not having won the Championship for thirty years. The Red Devils have won it a couple of times in the 90’s already, and have won international club honours too.

The worst moment came in 1983, when The Academy were relegated to the Second Division, while the Red Devils celebrated trophy winning glory. Part of the problem was that the big cheese at the Academy kept changing his mind as to who he wanted as team manager. It became like a revolving door, as various types were engaged – big names, unknowns, promotions from within. Eventually, fans of the Academy got so sick of this that they removed said big cheese, in favour of someone who promised stability.

Unfortunately, the first managerial appointment of the new regime was a failure as well, and was soon replaced. At last though, the next team boss finally looked like the answer. Mind you, he had an unfortunate past, having shared in some of the Red Devils’ greatest triumphs, but fans forgave him this as it finally seemed as though the club was going somewhere.

Regrettably, this was but a brief mirage. Even this ex-Red saviour walked out and the Academy were back in turmoil. Just recently, though, yet another new boss has got them playing again. Much of the fan adoration revolves round a football genius (honest) who plays in the No.10 shirt. He was the only success of the last boss but one, and is worshipped by the fans. Trouble is, other clubs that think they are bigger than the Academy are sniffing round hoping to tempt this No.10 away from his kingdom.

Where is all this happening? Manchester? No, Avellaneda, an industrial town across the Rio Riachuelo from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Academy, or La Academia, is Racing Club; the Red Devils (Diablos Rojos) their hated rivals Independiente. After the disaster of ex-Independiente man Miguel Brindisi walking out on them, Racing are recovering thanks to that god-like No.10, whose name is Ruben Capria: a midfield genius with a left foot that could open a safe. Where the parallels part is that Brindisi actually guided Racing to 2nd place in the Argentine Championship during his brief tenure, qualifying them for South America’s version of the Champions’ League, the Copa Libertadores (why all the hoo-haa about 2nd placed teams qualifying for the Champions’ Cup? It’s been accepted in South America for years… mind you, they only have ten countries, so they need 20 teams to make it interesting).

Racing now need to win at home in their final group game against some Ecuadorean nobodies to qualify for the Libertadores knockout stages. The point is this: if Racing win the Copa, the nightmare of the Rags becoming European Champions might just have a twist in the tail come December. Waiting for them in Tokyo for the World Club game would be this Sky Blue Academy with their No.10 genius and hatred of all ‘Red Devils’.

There was a lot of talk about City ‘twinning’ with Torino a while back, but this seems to have gone on the back burner since the Rags started playing Juve every other week. Watching Argentine futbol on satellite TV every week, though, I’ve kind of adopted Racing Club, and have sent off for my Racing Club souvenirs from the Argy football web site.

Their fans have some great songs too, many on the theme of ‘The Academy’. These include ‘Vamos Academia’ (‘Let’s Go, Academy!) to the tune of Bonnie Tyler’s ‘It’s A Heartache’ (I’m not making this up), adaptations of the hits of late 50’s Rock n’ Roll band The Coasters (‘Charlie Brown’ and ‘Poison I-I-Iiiivy’) and others with radical new tunes even Rags fans won’t have heard before.

Maybe we could use some of these next season, as the Blue Moon and City Till I Die (the H-A-P-P-Y original was supposed to be ironic you know) begin to sound a bit passe. City were the first club to repair Anglo-German relations after WW2 by playing the great Bert Trautmann, so why not give reconciliation with the new Argentina (no juntas there, now) a push by making Racing a ‘twin club’?

I took my O-Level Spanish into the Futbol Argentino chat room on the net, and the Racing contingent were a friendly bunch, interested in the parallels with City – the 83 relegation, the arrogance of the Red Devils, waking up each morning expecting a new manager, etc.. A bloke called Fabian also reminded me that when Racing played in the World Club Championship of 1967, they beat (in every sense) the Rags’ favoured twins, Glasgow Celtic, including one William McNeill. In addition, they are mighty proud that the king of the Buenos Aires tango scene in the 30’s, Carlos Gardel, was a ‘celeste’ (Sky Blue) – step forward Noel and Liam to record a few tango songs. Of course, the Rags won’t win the European Cup… but I’ll still be rooting for Racing for that all important safety valve in case Doomsday Scenario does come true (Dortmund don’t turn up, for instance, and then several top Juve stars get injured in a freak accident during training ground leapfrog). Feel free to get in touch for tapes of me singing some simple ‘Academia’ songs, so that they can be passed round during the summer for people to practice on the Costas and ready to roll out in response to ‘Keep Right On…’ for the umpteenth time at St Andrews… or wherever. Now excuse me, but I’m off to the Borussia Dortmund site.

Vamos Academia! El Gauchito Celeste, City of Chester. DM Gilabert (


Listening to the World Service Saturday morning (SportsWorld 14:00 GMT), when a segment was presented called “Magical Moments” where members of the BBC staff discussed their most memorable football experiences. Simon Hill came on and discussed the ’89 derby between the Rags and Man City. He noted how City were not given a chance, and how a certain local commentator had said that he would give away his house if City won. Well, City won, and Simon reported that “the Blue two-thirds of Manchester” celebrated all night! He further indicated that even though City have not done very well against U****d in the interim, he would have been perfectly happy if the grim reaper came for him that night!

BTW, who is the local commentator with the bold prediction, and does he still have his casa?

On a personal note, I finally received my xmas present of a City T-shirt (Oasis style) and the Soccer Legends videotape from the City shop. It only took 6 months of wrangling (note, the visa charge went through on the credit card last November) for the package to finally arrive, and when it did, they sent the wrong colour. Nonetheless, I am quite happy and have worn the T-shirt all weekend. My poor wife had to deal with making the transaction happen (she wanted to keep it a surprise), and given that she is only used to dealing with responsive American vendors, she is quite upset with the lack of market commitment (my words, hers are not printable) by the City Shop. BTW, did you know that the orders are not on computer … they had to look them up manually from stacks of orders! Given that I have two laptops and two old desktops in my house, I find this hard to believe. Finally, she tried ordering a home jersey, but they were out (around Xmas?).

Oh well, the Lee, Bell and Summerbee video is outstanding. every City fan should have a copy (BTW, was it the translation from PAL to our video standard that made the 68 match with Newcastle look so grainy?).

Hunter Sheridan (who was forced to take off his City T-shirt before going to bed 😎 ) (


I’m trying to get Info for Mr Worrell in Dubai, but I did one of those “Format” things and lost his address; can you publish a request for his address in the next issue. Thanks.

Still fumigating my cat! Dave Lees (


This may be an old one… but still funny:

There was a City fan with a really crappy seat at Maine Road. Looking with his binoculars he spotted an empty seat on the half way line. Thinking to himself “what a waste” he made his way down to the empty seat.

When he arrived at the seat, he asked the man sitting next to it, “Is this seat taken?” The man replied, “This was my wife’s seat. She passed away. She was a big City fan.” The other man replied, “I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. May I ask you why you didn’t give the ticket to a friend or a relative?”

The man replied, “They’re all at the funeral.”

Stay Blue, keep smiling and keep writing great match reports! Phil Gregory (


Heard on the radio that all the Merchandise Unlimited customers who were shot/crushed by the police in Portugal on Wednesday night have been taken to hospital in Manchester to recover. What’s the point of taking Merchandise Unlimited clients to a hospital in Manchester? How on earth will they get home!

It was also mentioned on the radio that some of the Merchandise consumers claimed to have been hit in the head. The police said that they did not hit any vital organs. Good to see that they agree on that one then…

Stay Positive, Pete (


ull-time score and scorer for Sunday, March 23 1997

OLDHAM ATHLETIC         0-1    CRYSTAL PALACE             5,282
                               McKenzie (3)

Full-time scores and scorers for Saturday, March 22 1997

BIRMINGHAM CITY         1-1    SHEFFIELD UNITED          14,969
Legg (53)                      Katchouro (64)
Edhino (45)                    Goodman (55)
Pepper (51)
GRIMSBY TOWN            0-0    TRANMERE ROVERS            4,500
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN       0-0    BARNSLEY                  14,754
MANCHESTER CITY         2-0    STOKE CITY                28,497
Atkinson (65)
Lomas (68)
NORWICH CITY            0-1    BOLTON WANDERERS          17,585
                               Sellars (24)
PORT VALE               1-0    SWINDON TOWN               6,142
Mills (52)
QUEENS PARK RANGERS     2-1    PORTSMOUTH                15,746
Murray (45)                    Bradbury (18)
Spencer (77)
READING                 1-0    IPSWICH TOWN              10,058
Lovell (90)
SOUTHEND UNITED         2-2    OXFORD UNITED              4,102
Boere (34)                     Jemson (82)
Lapper (47)                    Aldridge (88)
Hunt (32)                      Robinson (17)
                               Balmer (58)

Up to and including Sunday, March 23 1997

Team                  Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Bolton Wanderers        40     24   12    4     86    48        84
Wolverhampton Wanderers 39     19    8   12     55    41        65
Barnsley                37     17   13    7     60    43        64
Sheffield United        39     17   11   11     66    47        62
Crystal Palace          37     16   11   10     68    38        59
Ipswich Town            39     15   13   11     54    47        58
Port Vale               40     14   15   11     49    47        57
Norwich City            39     15   10   14     55    59        55
Stoke City              38     15    9   14     44    48        54
Tranmere Rovers         38     14   11   13     50    48        53
Queens Park Rangers     39     14   11   14     50    51        53
Portsmouth              37     15    8   14     46    42        53
Swindon Town            39     15    7   17     51    55        52
Oxford United           39     14    8   17     54    55        50
MANCHESTER CITY         38     14    8   16     48    49        50
Reading                 37     13   11   13     48    52        50
Charlton Athletic       38     14    8   16     46    54        50
West Bromwich Albion    39     11   14   14     61    64        47
Birmingham City         37     12   11   14     42    45        47
Huddersfield Town       39     11   12   16     42    55        45
Bradford City           38      9   11   18     40    61        38
Grimsby Town            38      8   12   18     50    70        36
Oldham Athletic         37      8   11   18     38    50        35
Southend United         39      7   13   19     37    71        34

Russell Town (
With thanks to Soccernet


Contributions: Ashley –
Subscriptions & Club Questions: Steve –
Technical Problems: Paul –

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 #283