Newsletter #427

With no midweek match and a dearth of news from Maine Road, this issue is filled with match views of last week’s fixtures against Wrexham and the reserves’ outing against Oldham. There is also news of a mailing list derby, a new mailing list and a taste of fame for our very own web page. Though they are hard to come by, it seems every Why Blue I have received so far has been very interesting and this week’s is no different. Thanks for all the contributors. However, we still need someone to do the News coverage. Any takers?

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



Saturday morning was very wet and quite cold, so much so in fact that we had the central heating on for a couple of hours. However, by the time we left for Maine Road the weather was nice and hot enough for T-shirts.

Another excellent attendance at Maine Road something over 27,000 and to be fair a good turn out from the Wrexham fans who went on to make themselves heard throughout the match.

Right from the kick off it was clear that Wrexham were always going to be happy with a draw or getting a goal on the break. They played with only one up front and managed to frustrate a lively City attack, by a combination of some good defending, some lucky defending, some fine goalkeeping, the woodwork and some outrageous decisions from the officials.

It’s a long time since I’ve seen a City side play as well as they did yesterday, particularly in the first half. Lots of good build up play from the back and to be honest everything right except put the ball in. We listened to Joe Royle on the radio as we drove home and think he summed it up pretty much as we had seen it – he said that it was just one of those days when the ball was never going to go in, and he’s right, it really was one of those days.

Probably as one sided a 0-0 draw as you’ll ever see. We really enjoyed the game, there was some great football and if City play like that for the rest of the season we can be very confident of success. Equally, although Wrexham played with 10 men behind the ball, they did look good on the break and I suspect at other grounds and at home when they play a more open game they will go on to win a few matches.

Players who impressed us – well Sarah, Richard and I are clear that Dickov was our man of the match; he had a great game and was unlucky not to score. His booking was an outrageous travesty by a referee who I suspect drove home singing men of Harlech and with a couple of sheep sandwiches for supper.

Pollock looked good and strong, Bradbury is just lacking confidence but he is popular with the fans. Yong Mason looks good and will blossom when we start winning; he’s a skilful player rather than a hard battler. Goater was not as sharp as he had been against Blackpool but came close a couple of times and the City goalie Weaver looks very, very good.

Biggest disappointment of the day – well three really and they are to play so well and draw, to be denied a blatant penalty for handball and the disappointment of West Ham not being able to take all three points in the all London derby.

Tony Burns (



I came away quite pleased really that we ran all over a team that has for the last 2 years been on the edge of the play-offs.

I was in the Platt Lane Stand and there were 2 definite penalties at the end; there one was from a certain goal from by Mason where the defender dived and saved with his forearm bur the ref. indicated he used his chest.

I thought Bradbury, Dickov and Goater linked up really well in the first half although was surprised that it was Bradbury that was taken off in the end, but then is he still up for sale?

Mason looked very good but unfortunately also slow.

Fenton very good but Edghill and Whitley some good stuff and just as much bad.

Anyway what odds that Notts Couty give us a right stuffing in return?

Justin Hanson (



I wrote this just after the reserves played at Oldham on the 12th August, but couldn’t send it because of modem problems.

City opened the season in Pontin’s Division One with an uninspiring defeat by Oldham. City lined up:

Crooks Morley Fenton Beesley Jeff Whitley
            Brannan Brown Heaney
               Allsopp Conlon

Subs: Greenacre, Brown, Phillips, Reilly and Bailey.

The first half was pretty grim. Allsopp and Conlon made little impact againt an Oldham team containing only one player I’d previously heard of – Doug Hodgson who I think was signed from Sheffield United by Neil Warnock.

On the evidence of the first half not too many of Tuesday’s first team need worry about competition from this lot. Half time 0-0.

At half time Brannan, Heaney and Allsopp were replaced by Reilly, Greenacre and Phillips. Whitley moved into the midfield to accommodate Reilly at left back, Phillips occupied a spot on the left wing and Greenacre played up front with Conlon.

Soon after half time City conceded a strange goal – in many ways like one Niall Quinn scored againt Oldham when City won 1-0 – a header from many yards out, along the floor through a forest of legs. Wright saw it late and didn’t have much of a chance.

Conlon hit the post with a screamer just after but it was only in the last 15 minutes that City stepped up the pressure and Conlon scored with about 3 minutes to go.

In true City fashion they had chances to win the game, the ‘keeper made two very good saves before Oldham pinched a winner with a header in the 93rd minute.

Wright Can’t kick to save his life. Made a couple of very good saves.
Crooks Played like he was sleepwalking. No urgency.
Morley Steady but didn’t look first team material.
Fenton Looked OK in the Wiekens rôle at the centre of the defence.
Beesley Steady. Obviously the organiser.
Whitley Not a left back. Looked more at home in the midfield.
Brannan Crap – surprise! When does his contract run out?
Brown Didn’t look like he wanted to make an impression on anything but his opponents’ shins. Won’t get in the first team (or any other club’s) playing like that. Should have been able to run the match once Whitley joined him in midfield, but didn’t.
Heaney One to sell ASAP. Might have to settle for giving him away.
Allsopp Big disappointment after reading about his exploits pre-season and at Notts County.
Conlon Worked hard and looked useful – probably better than Bradbury now.
Reilley Nothing to commend this one for. I thought the comments about him after the Lancaster match were unkind. Having seen him I realise they probably weren’t.
Phillips Didn’t have any idea about beating a man and crossing the ball. Very disappointing after a good write up againt Lancaster. Perhaps that’s his real level?
Greenacre Looked a better prospect on the night than Allsopp, however he is a bit lightweight.

If the aim is to get rid of another seven or eight players to get the squad to a more manageable level then my votes are for:

Clough – Any argument?
Brannan – He can’t have been as bad for Tranmere can he?
Heaney – No wonder Charlton didn’t want to keep him.
Phillips – Should rejoin Alan Ball.
Crooks – Just hasn’t progressed over the last three years.
Jobson or Beesley – Keep one to organise the reserves. Sell the other.
Morley – Fenton looks a better prospect.
Reilley – Is he part of the squad?
Bradbury – Would we get much for him?

Roger Haigh (


On the 19th September, McVittee FC (football team for this mailing list) will be playing Manchester United’s mailing list team in a football match in the Internet Football League. This will be our first match of the season and will be held at a venue in Manchester. We are still looking for more players who would like to take part in matches when they are held, and also people who fancy a kick-around once a week.

I am on holiday from 26th August to September 9th so you can contact Mark Whelan at <> and he will give me your details on my return.

Take a look at our team web-site for more information about McVittee FC:

Dave Barker, Manager McVittee FC (

(I wonder if T-Shirt Jon will be playing 🙂 [Ed])


I am a HK Blue visiting Singapore on business from Sunday evening, August 30th until Friday lunch on September 4th.

Any Singapore Blues fancy a beer? All my contact details are below.

Creative Medical
Mobile & Direct: (852) 2804 2140  (HK & Int'l)
Mobile & Direct:  0138  259 4772  (PRC)
Hong Kong Office              Singapore Office
1704 Universal Trade Centre   3rd. Floor
3a Arbuthnot Road             43 Tras Street
Central                       Singapore
Hong Kong                     078982
tel: 852 2804 1933            tel: 65 3232 625
fax: 852 2804 1317            fax: 65 3236 598

Vincent Docherty (



Just a couple of points:

If anyone’s got the latest issue of PC Magazine (October Issue, Vol 7 Issue 10), have a look at page 32. Under the new applications section, reviewing Office 2000 (bottom left of page), there in full technicolour is Svenn’s MCIVTA site! Fame! So nice of Microsoft/PC Magazine to highlight our very own site!

Secondly, just for info. Maine Road is 75 years old today (Tuesday 25th August).

Martin Ford (


It seems strange that when we should be able to look forward to modest success in the third level of English football, we get a diatribe which is merely a distillation of all the accusations made against City over the past few years.

While many of the accusations about incompetence appear true it is surprising that Simon has only just noticed. Is he a bit slow on the uptake?

I can only assume that Simon is so angry because he’s just noticed something we’ve all known about for years.

My only hope is that in a few years time, when the club is playing to a full house of season ticket holders, he can’t get one.

Roger Haigh (

Unless we get a violent disagreement from the readers, no further contribution on the above issue will be published on this list. Let’s bury the hatchet and move on to cheering the team to greater heights.



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Dennis ? (


It’s been a long journey to being Blue. I had the misfortune to grow up in Hartlepool and the first memory I have is of the guy next door giving us Hartlepool United junior kit. Didn’t mean much to me at the time but years later I was told it was Gus MacLean (McLean?), the Hartlepool manager. Seems the guy who lived there (and was the manager) before him (I don’t remember him) was a certain fellow by the name of Brian Clough! In fact I think Peter Taylor and Les Gray (H’pool and Derby ‘keeper) lived opposite too. Such is my brush with greatness <ahem>

Anyway, this kit got me into football and I started playing and watching. A year or two later, Chelsea and Leeds are all the rage (70 Cup Final etc.) and I start as a Chelsea fan before quickly following Leeds (days of Alan Clark, Lorimer etc.). However, my Leeds infatuation only lasted a while and was probably more to do with our school team running away with the town league and being compared to Leeds in the process, than any true allegiance.

Growing up in Hartlepool is weird, in more ways than one, but there is no natural club to follow. Of course everyone keeps tabs on the local team but it is more the vicarious thrill of watching the clean up of a major traffic accident, than any true support. ‘Boro, Sunderland and Newcastle are fairly close, and close enough to celebrate a victory over Leeds in a Cup Final (Ian Porterfield anyone?) yet also close enough to be “rivals” in a weird way. So most kids support one of the big clubs. My brother decided it was Liverpool for him and has followed them ever since. Interestingly Man. Utd. were not one of the main choices, even with Best et al, but rather Chelsea, Leeds, Liverpool and the odd (very odd) Wolves or Arsenal fan.

Being the bloody minded sort I was not particularly drawn to being a true fan of these teams even though I enjoyed watching them. And so I came not to City but to Crystal Palace. I have no idea what drew me to them, although their giant killing run of ’76 was probably it. Malcolm Allison was around at the time. And so Palace it was. I got the kit (couple of them) and followed them through thick and thin. And I had to have a very thick skin because lo and behold Palace draw Hartlepool in the 3rd round of the Cup, at ‘Pool! I somehow manage to get tickets and watch in horror as lowly ‘Pool kicks Palace’s butt for a 2-1 victory. Place goes nuts. You have no concept of what it was like for me at school the following week, although going down in flames on the Hindenberg is probably close. “Oh the humanity!”

No, that didn’t turn me away from Palace, in fact it made my commitment deeper and I have followed them since. However, in the mid 70’s various things happened around City. Dennis Tueart, one of my favourite players left Sunderland for City, Allison was around I seem to remember and most importantly my grandfather gave me a book. I’ve never found a City fan to this day who knows the name of the book. It was a hardcover history of City but each chapter was about a player rather than a specific team etc. Bert T was given a lot of coverage of course and I really got a sense of the history of the club. Anyone have any idea what that book was? Rumour has it that it is in my mother’s attic but I’m about 6,000 miles from that! So really I was Majoring in Palace and Minoring in City, if you get the idea. That book more than anything started my love of City. Just the flavour of the club and the history, especially the 50’s.

Comes 1981 I get on a plane for the US and have been here ever since. I live in Windsor, California (but hey, our Castles don’t burn down) which makes a nice change from ‘sunny’ Hartlepool. And so, although I hate to admit it I lost touch with the UK game. You probably all remember that your school year had one snotty-nosed kid who could tell you not only who won the cup final in ’33, but who scored the goals and the name of the guy’s mother. Well yes, you guessed it, that was me. I followed, and still do, just about every sport. Once I got over to these shores I became enthralled by Baseball, US style Football, Ice Hockey and Basketball. Baseball in particular has a sense of history about it that is very similar to the stories of the old teams. Just as old timers would whistfully remember Stanley Matthews, Danny Blanchflower, Duncan Edwards (yeah he was a Man U player, but still the best we have ever seen), and the great teams of the 20’s and 30’s, so I would hear stories of Rogers Hornsby, Jimmy Foxx, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. For those who love the old stories in football, I would recommend that if you ever get the opportunity, read the stories of old time baseball. Something magical in both.

Anyway I digress and prattling on, as is my wont. So for about 15 years I didn’t really keep track of Football at all. And then a couple of years ago I started to follow occasional bits of information online. I found, much to my shagrin that my overall tendency to follow a sport in its entirity rather than concentrate on one club had now transferred back to football and while I kept track of Palace, it just wasn’t the same. Like a girl you knew many years ago and have that same image, yet time has passed you both by.

So really I wasn’t following anyone until last season when Man City started to go through their trials and tribulations and there suddenly it was back. I had a team I wanted to support, to follow, to try to arrange my next business trip to the UK around a Maine Road home game. Strange, but there it was. And so I joined the suffering ranks as the season wound to an end. Last game of the season and I was online frantically keeping track of each goal scored. Alas it was not to be and we find City in the old 3rd Division. And yet, City gains another fan. As I said, strange but it feels right. So no, I’m not a City fan from my boyhood days and no I don’t remember some near religous experience centred around Francis Lee and Mike Summerbee (I was going to say Joe Corrigan but I couldn’t remember how to spell it!).

But as one of the other City fans said to me: “Well at least no one can claim you jumped on the bandwagon.”

And so that is why after being dark blue, white and having funny maroon bits all over me, I’m now Blue.

Wallace Poulter (


Frank Swift together with two elder brothers who were Reds. I didn’t need any other reasons!

Bryan Clarke (


M.U.T.V. – First Programme Schedule Revealed Today!

Dieting the Brian Kidd Way.

9.00 am. BLUE PETER
What is Schmeichel actually saying when he’s shouting at his defenders?

Teddy Sheringham on filling Eric Cantona’s shoes.

Popular quiz with Alex Ferguson and his stopwatch.

A look at local rivals Man.City – Comedy.

Bryan Robson explains what possessed him to sign Gary Pallister.

Rolf Harris looks at how the surgeons helped Roy Keane back to full fitness.

David Beckham talks about the one he sat in for most of the second half against Argentina.

Ben Thornley, Graeme Hogg and other “new George Bests” reveal all about their exciting new careers at Accrington Stanley.

United’s traditional fan base have their say.



Highlights of United in the Champions League knockout stages, with Andy Cole and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.

Jaap Stam talks us through his Charity Shield performance.

9.00 pm. RED DWARF
The Paul Scholes story.

Starring Norman Whiteside and Paul McGrath, with a guest appearance by Tommy Docherty.


A big-hearted tribute to Arsenal’s 1997/98 season.

11.00 pm RED NOSE DAY
More laughs with Peter Schmeichel.

I could add a few more to this:

An in-depth view of United’s poor performance in all Euro competitions.

A boring, repetitive moan by Alex Ferguson about all sorts of excuses why they shouldn’t be playing so much, so often, so badly and how they would cheat as often as possible if only the last 2 remaining referees were on their side, like all the rest.

As above but add Martin Edwards, David Beckham…

The sorry tale of Alex Ferguson’s inability to sign a quality striker and a new programme “out on your ear becuase you’ve lost it mate” – catalogue of recent diasasters by Fergie which will explain why this will be his final season in charge of United.

Justin Hanson (


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 #427