Newsletter #426

We did not win at home against lesser opponents (nothing new there) but the fans kept urging the team on without getting annoyed or getting on the back of our own players (now that’s new). Hopefully the players will be more relaxed and improve their form without the “pressure” of playing at home. If the team can keep up the good work, we should do alright.

A very thin issue this. There is very little in the way of contributions. We only have one match view on the Wrexham fixture but no ‘live’ report. Instead we have a belated report on a City vs. Glossop North End fixture! Steve has also juggled the numbers and produced a list showing where all the subscribers are from. Another good Why Blue rounds off this issue.

Finally, the opinion entitled Insider Knowledge printed in MCIVTA 424 which was not named – due to my blunder – was actually written by Justin Hanson (

Next game, Notts County away, Saturday 29th August 1998



We were expecting great things again from City following that excellent performance against Notts County on Wednesday. So it was meet at the local pub, pile in the taxi down to the ground, purchase tickets (GG lower again – we really must buy our tickets sooner, but two of us never know until the Wednesday if we are working or not on Saturday) then round to the Parkside for several beers.

I won’t witter on too much about the match, as I’m sure there are many better suited to journalism than I, save to say that it’s the 3rd time I’ve seen Mason and really feel he has a bright future (hopefully with us) also Nicky Fenton, he was superbly confident at the back and I think that Jobson will struggle to get back into his place. I thought we showed patience with possession, created several good chances and were defied goals by a mixture of woodwork, saves and the odd misjudged shot (yes you Jim).

The defence looked comfortable and Nicky Weaver was dependable and confident – almost too confident, the backheel to outwit the Wrexham player had the old bowels twitching. So overall not a bad performance but it was disappointing not to be able to dispose of inferior opposition such as Wrexham. Two points definitely dropped. After the game whilst we were outside the Bee Hive on Claremont Road waiting for our return cab, the road was cleared by the police for the away coach convoy. The coaches streamed past to the usual exchange of V signs, waves and other gestures when, right in the middle of this convoy was the coach with the sign Man City Supporters’ Club, Caernarvon Branch!

After having said it was sad to drop 2 points like that it must have been far worse to have to drive down the M56 with a shed full of gloating Wrexham supporters alongside. Well done the North Wales supporters. See you at the Walsall game – work permitting.

CTID, David F Ball (


Glossop North End vs. Manchester City

Having successfully avoided the pre-season friendlies I succumbed to the lure of this under-publicised fixture when I heard that Asa Hartford and Willie Donachie would be playing. Seeing two of my ultimate Blue heroes in action was just the cover required for an ulterior motive for attending: to obtain a photo of Willie together with my friend, who used to be the boss of Willie’s son. She got on well with Donachie junior and has since kept in contact, so she was delighted when his dad came back to City and now gets inordinate joy from spotting him in the Maine Road dugout (girls are like that).

The match was played at Glossop’s Surrey Street ground and was the kind of match to which you take your kids, their friends and their friends’ friends. Indeed, more memorable than the match was the sight of around a hundred children playing a dozen impromptu games on the pitch at half-time, all chasing the ball like bloodhounds after a fox (they’re only aping the grown-ups, after all, as so helpfully illustrated by our post-Tskhadadze defence at Fulham).

No blow by blow account of the game here. I’m sure you can imagine the kind of occasion it was: non-league club grateful for the coppers a bumper crowd brings; programmes sell out early; inaudible tannoy announcements; the players close enough so that you can hear them shouting obscenities; the local lads play above themselves in an effort to impress the big boys but lose narrowly; the pros raise their game sufficiently to avoid the embarrassment of losing to a team three leagues and six divisions below them but the pitch is a bit awkward and it’s still pre-season…

It finished 2-0 but I missed the first goal collecting something from the car. Nobody around could tell me who’d scored, and my friend couldn’t even tell me how it was scored. She was still in a haze after getting so close to wing-back Willie in the flesh (girls are like that).

Twenty years on from the World Cup stage he can still hack it. I even had to point him out to her as there was no give-away gut or undue lung-heaving to distinguish him from the youth teamers.

I also had to finger Asa for her. He ran the midfield without running. Maria, a physiotherapist, was transfixed by Asa’s knees, which caused revulsion even in her hardened healthcare professional eyes. Still, his short passing game should give him another ten years at this level (if Bracewell can do it…).

Chris Greenacre – he looks barely old enough to be picked for his junior school side – slid in the second late on after Whitley (Jeff) had performed a dribble more like Whitley (Jim). Jeff, as you may have seen at Fulham, has now modelled his hair in the family style and subsequently spent most of the first half running around to shouts of encouragement for his big brother.

The team was, approximately: Brown, Porteous, Donachie, Anthony Fenton, Rimmer, Chapman, Morley, Jeff Whitley, Greenacre, Hartford, Reilly. I think young Jason Kneen came on as a second half substitute, for Reilly, not for any of the old lags. Les Chapman, on the coaching staff – aren’t we all – also played. He turns 50 next month and he didn’t look out of place either.

After the game, despite protestations that the embarrassment would kill her, Maria and I lingered in the drizzle until Hartford and Chapman appearded with the kit bag, and I mentioned my plan to Asa. “Nae problem,” and he went back inside to find his old McMucker.

Out popped Willie for a chat with the now rouge Maria and an invite inside for a drink. Graciously – on her behalf, although I was dying to accept – I declined the offer, but took the snaps of her with Willie and Asa and draped on either side. (My) mission accomplished, we walked back to the car. “I can’t believe you did that… I can’t believe you did that…” She was red and unforgiving.

At the Blackpool match two days later she forgave me (girls are like that).

Final Score: Glossop North End 0 Manchester City 2

David Butler (


It’s been a while since I’ve done this so here we go. The distribution of you MCIVTAers is as follows.

Of the 2,224 on the list at the time of writing:

England 691 – 31%
USA 93 – 4.2%
Sweden 50 – 2.25%
Australia 49
Norway 35
Ireland 26
Canada 22
Scotland 21
Holland 19
Wales 18
Germany 17
New Zealand 15
Finland 13
N.Ireland 12
South Africa 11
Israel 9
France, Japan and Singapore 7 each
Denmark 6
Iceland 5
Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and United Arab Emirates 4 each
Brazil 3
Belgium, Bermuda, Italy, Oman, The Philippines and Russia 2 each

The following all have one (that I know of) subscriber.
Austria, Azerbaijan, British Virgin Islands, Channel Islands, Cyprus, Egypt, Falklands, Fiji, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Malta, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sri Lanka, St Lucia, Thailand, Turkey, Turks & Caicos Islands, Uruguay and Vietnam.

From the top 5 countries, the most populated locations are:
England: Manchester 179 subscribers, London 86, Stockport 28, Leeds 11, Sheffield 10, Bristol 9.
USA: New York 10, San Francisco 3, San Diego 3, New Jersey 3, Miami 3, Fort Lauderdale 3.
Sweden: Surprisingly I’ve only got 8 people in Stockholm giving their location.
Australia: Adelaide 9, Sydney 8, Melbourne 7, Perth 5, Canberra 3.
Norway: Oslo 7, Trondheim, Sarpsborg, Kristiansand and Haugesund all 2.

This is only 53% of the list, I don’t know where you shy 47% folk are! Are you in a country not mentioned? Please let me know.

On a different note, I’d just like to say thanks to Clive (a.k.a. GB) for a magnificent holiday in St. Lucia. If any MCIVTAers out there need a great vacation I can recommend his place. It’s excellent.

Steve Bolton (


Before the Wrexham game, I decided that I would nip into Fred Done’s bookies. You know, the one who lost £50,000 last season on the Rags winning the League. My bet was, City winning the League, to remain undefeated at home, to score 100 goals and gain 100 points. I was told I could only have the 100 points and 100 goals. Still, I thought I would get good odds. Imagine my disgust when I was only offered 7-1. I thought no wonder he can pay out £50,000 to Utd fans. Anyway, I put a fiver on and come next May, I will hopefuly be £35 richer.

Steve Welch, courtesy of Bill Manning (


Logically I should have been a Bolton supporter as they are the nearest club to the part of Manchester where I was brought up. But it was in the heady years of 1965-66 when I first became aware of football and Bolton were never mentioned – neither for that matter were City, it was all United or England that we heard about as kids. Some first football memories:

First match seen (on TV) – the 1966 FA Cup Final, Everton vs. Sheffield Wednesday – kids in the school playground talking about United’s results in Europe (must have been Thursday mornings).

That led to the 1966 World Cup and the publicity given to Charlton and Stiles led to me taking the almost “automatic” route to becoming an embryonic United fan. But although I would tell people I supported United, I really knew next to nothing about them, or even about football in general.

Things stayed like that until the 1967-68 season. My best friend’s dad was a City fan and a season ticket holder. I heard all about City from them and so one day I just calmly announced to my friend that I was now a City fan like him! Now one thing I would always frown on is any supporter changing allegiance to a different club; it’s just not done, the phrase “City till I die” expresses this perfectly. But in my case it wasn’t really like that. I wasn’t a real United fan, but just a kid who had never heard of anything else.

One day soon afterwards they took me to Maine Road with them. It was October 14th 1967 and City were playing Wolves. To be honest I don’t remember anything about the game itself – City won 2-0 – but what sticks in the mind is that magnificent first view of the pitch, walking up through the tunnel at the corner of the old Platt Lane stand. Absolutely unforgettable, and from that moment I was totally 100% City and totally 100% hooked.

I was too young to go to games on my own so I was reliant on my friend’s dad to take me. Of course that season ended with City as League Champions. My main memory is of all the pictures of the City goals from that final match at Newcastle on the back pages of the Sunday paper. The next season I remember being taken to Maine Road for the FA Cup Quarter Final against Spurs, City winning 1-0.

The season after that of course ended with City winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup and the League Cup. To me as a “new” fan, this all appeared perfecty normal, winning different trophies every season. Little did I know that it was the feast before the long hunger. What has followed since has given me a thousand City memories, a mixture of highs and lows. I won’t bore you with them all but here are just a few mixed together… no prizes for guessing which were the highs and which were the lows…

  • Finding out that that you could get a bus at Aytoun Street from thecentre of Manchester to Maine Road, so I had the freedom to travel togames.
  • Getting to Maine Road for midweek European games to find that gateprices had been increased, so I would have to walk home.
  • Watching City lose 1-0 at home to Chelsea in the 1971 Cup Winners’Cup semi-final.
  • Another game against Wolves, this time midweek in the League Cup, Iwatched from the new North Stand (no seats yet). City came back from3-1 down to win 4-3 in one of the most magic atmospheres ever.
  • Standing on the Stretford End at Old Trafford to watch United takenapart by Bell, Lee & Summerbee.
  • The day sometime in 1968 when I decided to look up in RothmansFootball Yearbook what trophies City had won in their history.
  • A game against United at Maine Road, where Rodney Marsh wellied theball up through the players tunnel as the teams were just walking outat the start. It was a classic “statement of intent” from Marsh andpushed the atmosphere up several notches (but the game ended adisappointing draw).
  • A friendly against (I think) Australia, around the same time, whereMarsh scored one of the best goals I have ever seen, arriving in frontof goal airborne at a height of about 5 feet, to meet a perfect crossand volley it sideways into the net.
  • Another candidate for “best goal” – a header from Dave Watson from acorner. He was at the far angle of the penalty area and met the balldirect from the corner like an oncoming express train. It flewstraight as an arrow at 200 mph direct into the top corner of the net.Maine Road erupted.
  • Peter Barnes picking up the ball out on the wing on the halfwayline, then just dancing past about 3 defenders and scoring with a lowshot into the corner. From the kick off, City won the ball backimmediately and gave it to Barnes in the same position on the wing.He then danced through and did exactly the same again. Absolutelymagic!
  • Going to Chelsea by train to watch City play Norwich in a League Cup2nd replay (no forced penalty shoot outs in those days). City won6-1 in torrential rain.
  • Going along to Maine Road one bored Saturday to watch the reserves.After the first 45 minutes, I wandered around at the back of the MainStand but the place seemed very empty. When I went back to my seatthe whole stadium was totally empty. Finally it dawned on me thatkick off had been at 2pm, so when I arrived at 10 to 3 it was alreadyhalf time!
  • Taking my future wife-to-be on our very first date… to see Citybeat Birmingham 4-0 at St. Andrews.
  • Driving up to St. Andrews from Ross-on-Wye, where I was living at thetime, to watch City play Birmingham on another occasion, only to findwhen I got there that the game was at Maine Road!
  • Halifax 0-1.
  • Shrewsbury 0-1.
  • Luton 0-1.
  • The famous 5-1. No, not that one, the other one, against Charlton(top of the Premier League!) at Maine Road to guarantee promotion.Three things about this game will stick forever:
    1. When City went 2-0 up all 50,000 of us knew we would win and werepromoted. Dozens of people were just running in circles on the pitchwaving their arms, just totally high with the joy of it all. Youcould almost see the atmosphere rising like steam into the clouds.
    2. When Charlton scored their consolation near the end, their 200 fansstarted chanting “Here we go, here we go” and we all applauded them.
    3. Afterwards I walked back to the car looking forward to hearingall the interviews etc. on the radio on the way home. But it was theday of the fire at Bradford so City didn’t get a mention!
  • The infamous FA Cup Quarter Final against Spurs on the day theyopened the new Platt Lane Stand. It was a mistake to give the whole ofthe North Stand to the Spurs fans because a total wall of sound wascoming down from it. Terry Phelan’s majestic goal when it was too lateto matter.
  • Cardiff 0-1.
  • Barnet 0-1.
  • Lincoln 1-4!
  • Seeing City go down 0-4 at Coventry while Franny Lee was still apopular chairman. The City fans kept up a continual chant of “FrannyLee’s blue & white army” for over 15 minutes, during which timeCoventry even scored without them stopping.
  • A few years before that, at Coventry to see Keith Curle’s début in asmooth, skilful performance for a 1-0 win.
  • Kinkladze’s début at home to Spurs, class clearly displayed rightfrom the start.

If anyone ever asks you for a definition of an emotional rollercoaster, just show them the list above. Finally, because I’m an optimist I’ll finish with a nice, positive memory from the recent past:

  • Taking my 10 year old daughter to Maine Road for the first time,carefully shepherding her through the tunnel for her first view of thestadium, and watching her eyes light up at the sight, knowing that sheis as hooked as I was.

TANS – “There’s Always Next Season”, Steve MacLean (


Contributions: Nizam –
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.

[Valid3.2]Nizam Idris,

Newsletter #426