Newsletter #329

As I surely knew it must, life has paid me back for opening my big mouth; after railing against invented press stories, it seems that Rösler is almost certainly on his way, and to Everton! All that’s needed for a slice of humble pie of impressive dimensions is for FC to nip out tomorrow and do a double-deal for Johnson and Saunders!

There are several match reports and match views, diary of a madman, opinion, a good Why Blue and an interesting fancy dress appeal!

This one reaches 1,623.

Next game, Norwich City at home, Saturday 20th September 1997


BURY vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Friday 12th September 1997

Seems like ages since I saw City live, having missed Charlton and Forest, but off I went on the short trip to Bury, for what was to be their biggest home League game of the last 30 years, if not ever (excuse already found in case of defeat). Arrived at the ground 7.15. Not a bad ground, all seater from what I could see, City had both ends. The team lined up as follows:

        Edghill         Morley             Symons        Van Blerk
        Summerbee       Brannan           Kinkladze      Horlock

Subs: Rösler, Dickov, Scully

As kick-off approached the sky went black, and just after kick-off the heavens opened and it pelted down for 10 minutes or so. City were attacking our end first half. It has to be said that the first half was pretty uneventful, with Bury hitting the post and Wiekens having a shot cleared off the line. City never seemed to get into any rhythm, and persisted in playing the high ball up to Bradbury, who was beaten every time by the Bury No 5.

It was weird for the City fans to be split at either end, but each responded to the others’ chants. The band who played pre-match had, unbeknown to me, came to sit just behind us during the first half. I only realised they were there when one cornet player suddenly started playing “Blue Moon”, which made everyone join in. He also played “When the Blues go marching in”. This was repeated throughout the half, along with lightning flashes all around the ground. I thought the weather was affecting the lighting in our stand, as I kept seeing these flashes under the roof. It turned out this was the scoreboard, hanging under the roof, which was invisible to us, as we were sat behind it.

The second half was more interesting, and Kinky continued to run riot. With ten minutes gone, he seemed to dribble through the entire team (from where I was sat/stood), only to be felled in the far area. Penalty! Call me sad, but I’d cut a load of lottery playslips into strips whilst waiting in the traffic jams on the way to the match, ready to chuck in the air every time City scored. So I put my hand in my pocket and grabbed a fist full, in anticipation of a successful conversion by the Little Georgian Maestro. In he skips… saved! B*****d! Confetti back in pocket!

With 65 minutes gone, a slip by Horlock (I think) let in a Bury player (I’d never be any good as a commentator ‘cos I only know the City names) to lob over Margetson. B*****d. To rub it in, the scorer stood in front of us with his hand cupped behind his ear, as if to say “you’re not singing anymore”, which was greeted by many V signs. **** Off!

Bury continued to look dangerous, and poor defending allowed a couple of close range shots on goal, both saved well by Margetson, which kept us in the game. City brought on Tony Scully for Brannan (I think), and what a change. This kid was brilliant! He is very nippy and literally ran rings round the Bury right back, getting many dangerous balls into the six yard box. He seemed to strike up an immediate understanding with Kinky, and City looked dangerous. With time running out, David Morley capped a fine début to score from a Scully corner. The lottery strips came out of my pocket and into the air. The game ended 1-1, which is a fair result I suppose, but if only the penalty had gone in?

My opinions on the individual performances:

  1. Margetson 8. It’s a pity he lacks height, as he struggles on crosses and corners.
  2. Morley 9. Made a great tackle early on, and scored the equaliser. At 6ft3in, he is the central defender we need, and he gets up for corners too. Veryconfident lad. Future City legend and England prospect? (Just noticed in theSunderland programme, his D.O.B. is 25.9.97, making him minus thirteen daysold!).
  3. Van Blerk (or Van Buerk as stated in the programme) 7. Worked hard, butI think he’s wasted at full back. Would like to see him in left midfield.
  4. Wiekens 8 Yet to see him have a bad game. Looks like being a great signing.
  5. Symons 6. Not the player to have as skipper at the moment as he lacksconfidence. The crowd got on his back at times.
  6. Edghill 9. Am I blinkered ‘cos he lives near me, or did Edgy play ablinder? 100% commitment, good passing, geat run that nearly ended in a goal(à la Phelan vs. Spurs). Disgraceful decision by the ref to book him.
  7. Summerbee 6. Never seemed to get going, or challenge for the ball. In and out of the game (more out).
  8. Horlock 6. Seemed to get lost in midfield, but was unluucky to give away the goal.
  9. Bradbury 6. Desperately needs a goal now. I just don’t think we’replaying to his strength, which is running onto the ball, as he did whenscoring twice against Burnley. Might help him having Scully on the wing.
  10. Kinkladze 9. Full of confidence, great to watch, even tackles back now.The fans got behind him when he missed the penalty (why don’t we do that withthe rest of the team?). What are his thoughts tonight, I wonder? Wednesday:World Cup Georgia vs. Italy, 2 days later, Gigg Lane, Bury! How much longercan we expect him to perform at such grounds without winning?
  11. Brannan 4. Cannot remember him being involved in the game once. Musthave been confused wearing the 11 shirt? Substituted in the second half.
  12. Rösler. Unused substitute.
  13. Scully 8. Brilliant. Looked City’s most dangerous player when he cameon. Another mouthwatering prospect. If Buster is worth £10 million, this ladis worth £20 million.

As I left the ground late (see my Rösler piece for reason why) I waved at Kinky in his chauffeur driven Black Merc, P10 GEO, who was already changed and queuing to get away from the ground.

Memorable chants of the night:

Bury: “Championeeeee, championeeeee, oh ah oh ah oh ah”

Bury: “What a waste of money” (referring to Lee Bradbury)
Response from City: “At least we’ve got the money”

A note to the writer of the piece “Tonights Visitors” in the Bury programme, who is obviously not very good at maths. I qoute “Manchester City pay their first league visit to Gigg Lane tonight for twenty-one years…” That was in 1966, which was 31 years ago!

City ’til I die, Steve Kay (


BURY vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Friday 12th September 1997

“Blues are here, Blues are there…”

It’s a dark, wet Friday night in Bury, thunderstorms nearby, the Sky TV cameras beaming coverage of the game to houses and pubs the length of the country (and further), yet the ticket touts are out in force at Gigg Lane. Yes, the City boys are back in town after a wait of 31 years and the biggest crowd for 17 years has converged on Bury’s neatly revamped ground. With City fans at both ends as well as being dotted along both sides of the ground, Kappa shirts clearly visible, it’s clear that the visitors outnumber the home fans. However, on the back of a 28-game unbeaten home run in which only 8 goals have been conceded, the Shakers’ fans are at least as optimistic as those of the Blues, who have seen their team struggle against “direct” sides recently.

Frank Clark, keen not to disturb the side that played so well at Nottingham Forest, made only one change, bringing in the lanky young defender David Morley for his full League d