Newsletter #431

This issue has a match report from the Bournemouth game, news of the Tribal Gathering (tickets going fast), much opinion, blue humour and a Why Blue from South Africa.

My recent appeal for help with MCIVTA produced a good response, which sees us welcome Dorien and Will James, who’ll be doing the results and league tables on a regular basis – thanks to all those others who volunteered. As a bonus, Patrick Alexander offered to send in a table of the top scorers in Division 2, and as a City player actually appears on it (!), I snapped his hand off! A second appeal is in this issue; please help if you can.

The only news of note is that Barree Conlon has gone to Southend for £100,000, understandable considering the number of strikers we have, but he did look pretty useful to me – one to haunt is methinks. Chris Greenacre is also ready to move to Macclesfield for £10,000, but the move is being held up as Sammy McIlroy needs to sehd a player to make room!

Next game, Macclesfield Town away, Saturday 12th September 1998


Firstly, just to remind you, here is the introductory blurb which I wrote for the first appeal:

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be asking for help with MCIVTA, both to improve the quality and to spread the load. These two things go hand in hand, as the current team are already doing as much as they can, and any attempt to improve the newsletter must of necessity come in the form of extra hands. At the moment, I (Ashley) do the editing, Paul does all the technical stuff (plus some match reports), Steve does subscriptions and bouncers, and Jeremy helps out with running the distribution software. What we are looking for is people who can spare time to do a regular job (whatever that might be) in addition to those mentioned above. If we can get a few people to help out in this way then we can hopefully improve MCIVTA for the benefit of all without it leading to a personal tragedy!

So, onto this issue’s request:


Initially, the news in MCIVTA was submitted piecemeal, by whoever happened to read it or hear it. We used this format for a couple of years, the advantage being that many people send in items so coverage is good, but the disadvantages being that there is much duplication, and the news tends to be rather factual and dry. About a year ago, Paul felt that a News Summary would be better and started to collate news items into one piece, adding his own opinion to make it more readable. Eventually, Paul had to give this up to concentrate on other aspects of running MCIVTA. Steve McNally took over and wrote some excellent pieces, adding in plenty of humour; unfortunately, Steve’s work commitments have meant that he can no longer continue.

Ideally, we would like someone to collate news items for each issue and summarise them (can be long or short), adding in a bit of their own opinion to make it more readable and less like a list of facts (remember Steve McNally’s words of wisdom on Brannan!). This of course will take time, probably between 30 minutes and an hour per issue, depending on the number of news items. If no one is willing to do this, then a more simple summary would suffice, or failing that, we’d have to settle for the original method of everyone sending bits and pieces in.

I honestly believe that writing a news summary could be real fun for someone who fancies it, and rewarding too. These days you don’t have to live in Manchester, as the news items can be read at the official City site, the M(U)EN site, and several other sites. GMR is a good source, but I’d rather have someone from outside the GMR area than no one at all.

Please consider volunteering, as the news is really a key component of MCIVTA and it is much the poorer without it!

Ashley (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. AFC BOURNEMOUTH, Tuesday 8th September 1998

On a night when getting the points was always going to be more important than the way we played, I suppose it’s fair to say that we achieved the objective. Not only did we achieve it but we did it in front of a crowd of 26,696, not bad for a midweek game and boosted I believe by the ‘kid for a quid’ event.

At a personal level the night started with a real rush, not from any illegal substances or dazzling play but from the sheer practicality of having to drive a little quicker than the permitted speed to get to the match after leaving Denton at just after 7.30! The reason for the late departure: my son’s teams had played a league match, they lost 1-0, and he had the difficult job of changing from football kit to Robe di Kappa in the back of a Nissan Micra as I hurtled maddeningly to the Academy; we got to our seats at 8.01. My daughter, who had arrived on time informed me that we were doing OK but it was about even in terms of play and chances.

Onto the match. Well, as in previous home games we looked OK but still missing a lot of final touches, Dickov doing lots of running, Vaughan playing some useful balls and Pollock getting stuck in. The main difference was the opposition, who looked the most credible of teams to visit the Academy so far.

Not long after we had been there Allsopp who had replaced Bradbury in the starting line up scored; someone else will have to tell you about it as I just didn’t see it, although I will look for it on Soccer AM on Saturday. Allsopp, who had impressed last week and gone on to score a hat trick in the reserves, just didn’t look as sharp or that he was going to get more than the one he had just bagged. I’d guess that the chances were about even, the Bournemouth attack looked sharp on occasions, the City attack alternating between possibly sharp, not so sharp and a little bit blunt. Still, half time was welcome as it allowed me to visit the Dennis Tueart bar to purchase one pint of bitter and two lemonades for the princely sum of £1.90, surely some mistake, but what the heck. The beer was crap, but I was thirsty so a quick scoop and then back to watch the second half.

It seems to me that our second-half tactics at home this season are going to be along the lines of ‘play really crap, without composure or shape for the first 20 minutes of the second half and see what happens’. We just looked a different team, quite poor really. The Bournemouth goal was well taken and I was feeling a little nervous, Goater was playing his usual style of football, I’m not sure quite how to describe it but it’s not pretty and not quite in the style of Del Piero or Ronaldo. We were making fewer chances than in previous games but nevertheless Dickov was able to score number two for us after a good cross from Pollock. The rather naff accompanying tannoy announcement informed us that it wasn’t in fact Paul Dickov who had scored but rather Paul ‘the Destroyer’ Dickov. If you can imagine that said in a sort of Gladiators introduction type way you’ll know how daft it sounds.

The game stayed at 2-1. a fair result really. I thought Allsopp was a disappointment, I would have taken Goater off and put Bradbury on earlier. When Bradbury did come on for the last two minutes he could almost have scored twice as well as setting up a great through ball (for Vaughan I think). My view on Bradbury: give him a chance, and I think he is genuinely appreciated by most City fans, which is more than can be said for Mr Goater. Finally, Allsopp didn’t influence the game in the way we had perhaps anticipated but there’s time. The result has moved us up nicely, it was helpful that Stoke lost to Fulham and another month like we have just had will see the sun coming from behind the clouds and the First Division beckoning, well maybe not, we’ll see.

Anyway we held on, got the three points and are now only 0.7 points behind target. We’ve been watched by 135,128 people with only 24,600 of those being at away grounds, the rest at the Academy. We’re on target but there is more work to be done, mainly around positional play and ball control.

Finally, I have to say it is with a smug satisfaction that I have listened to the Reds’ distress about their potential sale to Mr Murdoch. The local radio had fans describing it as ripping the heart out of Man. Utd. My view? I think they deserve each other a marriage made in heaven. No longer a football club just a brand HA!

Oh and by the way, why does the match progamme show the City vs. Chesterfield game as being at 7.45pm on Saturday 19 September?

IBIB – I believe in Bradbury, Tony Burns (


We will be joined by three City greats for the Friday evening bash in the Oasis Suite in the Platt Lane Stand: Colin Bell, Dennis Tueart & Gary Owen will be joining us at the Friday Tribal Gathering thanks to the efforts of Chris Bird at MCFC. It will be a wonderful opportunity to meet these three superstars and have them answer our questions. Colin Bell was my boyhood hero and I’ll never forget watching him dominate many a match. Sadly, I was also there when Colin’s career was effectively ended by a rash challenge from a certain U****d defender in a game in which we sneaked past U****d 4-0… those were the days!

Many of us can also remember Dennis burning down the wing and cracking the ball into the net… and then Gary set our midfield alight with his battling displays. If you haven’t already done so, send 20 pounds to Bob Young for your ticket for the Friday Tribal Gathering. Once again, if you need Bob’s address, email me on

The Friday bash will include food, disco, late bar, comedian, chance to meet Colin, Dennis & Gary plus the other Tribal Gatherers. It’s going to be a great start to the TG weekend! Please note that this is separate from the £20 you have sent for the matchday gathering in the Kippax. Tickets are almost sold out for the matchday gathering in the Kippax so if you were considering joining us, now is the time to make your move. Send Bob Young 20 pounds and you can join us in the former M(UPLC)EN lounge. The price includes use of the lounge and bar from 1pm till 6pm, programme, seat ticket in the Top Tier Kippax and chance to experience GB’s celebrations after Goater’s goal in the 2nd minute!

On Sunday 22 November, there will be two events taking place. The Wookie is organising a 5-a-side comp… details to follow. If you are interested in playing footy with the other gatherers, let me know on the above email address so I can pass the info on to Wookie. Last year was great fun but some of us were struggling with Delhi-belly and could only run to the nearest rest-room… no names, no pack-drill. The other event on Sunday should be great fun. Don Price has invited all the gatherers to join him and the other Prestwich & Whitefield Blues for a quiz afternoon. Undoubtedly, it will be as much fun as last year’s meeting which some of the TGers attended. Many ex-City stars have been invited (but I’m not sure if Bobby MacDonald will be up to answering too many questions after his efforts last year!). Don always puts loads of effort into his events and I know this will be great fun. I understand there may also be beer on sale!? Teams of 4 people are expected to enter, so again if you fancy it let me know so we can gauge numbers. I really would be grateful if you would let me know which events you are expecting to come along to so we can plan. Also, if anyone needs accommodation during the TG weekend, let me know. Now is the time to sort everything out.

I’m looking forward to meeting everyone again in November… by which time City will be top of course!

CTID, Clive Tysoe a.k.a. GB (


A very big thank you must go to the promotions team at Maine Road. The “kids for a pound” promotion last night was the perfect opportunity for me to introduce my six-year-old son Jack to his first game at the Academy. And what a game… it had everything, lack of ideas or presence in the box, bad passing, a sqaundered lead… but if anybody saw Jamie Pollock’s face as he ran like a runaway express (yes ran!), to set Paul Dickov up perfectly, to score what would be the winner and end up somewhere amongst Row 2 of the Platt Lane stand, all of the above are forgiven. From Row 2 of the Platt Lane stand Jack and I saw all of what is “Manchester City FC” in one determined expression… but I found another, just as rewarding, after the final whistle had gone: “Dad? Have we won?”“yes Jack”

P.S. All credit to the coachloads of Bournmouth fans… God knows what time they got home.

P.P.S. Ian… I told you I would.

CTWD, Michael Pullin (


I sent the following message to Sky earlier today. Don’t expect it to be published, but stranger things have happened. The teletext page is 242.

I’ve just watched the 12 noon Sky News. 20 minutes of the half hour bulletin were about Man United? I understand that the deal is valued at approx £625m, a drop in the ocean compared to most city deals. Is it any wonder that United are hated by millions of soccer fans! Oh! Surprise.

The Sports news has just got back on the subject. News must be scarce at the moment.

P.S. I’ve just seen another ‘spokesperson’ for the so called MUISA. How many do they have? In the last 24 hours I alone have seen 6 individuals paraded on the media, crying into their share certificates.

Graham Jones (


It’s finally getting to me. I’ve been watching Sky News all day and the anger has been boiling up inside me; despair is taking over. I love City with all my being, I’ll never lose faith and will still surf the Net and even the local papers on a daily basis to save any articles about my beloved club or my fellow City supporters, and excitedly listen to the live broadcasts like a little boy getting the birthday present he always wished for. But I’m scared, very scared. The Rags are so f***ing good at selling their s**t to their mass of gullible sheep they consider fans. I can’t see how they’ll ever be put back where they belong. I know I should concentrate on my passion for City and them getting back into the Premiership in 2 or 3 years, and I will, but at the moment this bitterness I feel is too powerful. I see the Rags discussing whether or not the Sky deal is good or not, and I feel myself filling up with rage and asking God why we are not where they are. We won 2-1 on Tuesday night and for the whole night I was the happiest football fan in Tel-Aviv. A 2-1 home win in the 3rd Division fills me with pure joy and pride. The outside world sees me smiling like an imbecile for no apparent reason for at least a couple of days. I know I am part of the best supporters of any club in any sport, I see that every time I come back to Maine Road, but I need some support here. I don’t want to see the club I despise more than any other become a world power. I feel helpless… can anyone help me?

Cheers from Tel-Aviv, CTID, Benjamin Bloom (


I think I read this somewhere, or else it just might have been a dream.

“We did not have sex,” said Clinton in a terse, carefully worded press statement. “We made love. Sweet, sweet love.” Clinton, who in the past has emphatically denied ever having sexual relations with Lewinsky or telling her to lie about it, held fast to his earlier remarks. “I said that I did not have a sexual relationship with that woman, and I stand by the truth of that statement,” Clinton told reporters. “We did not, I repeat, not, have a mere sexual relationship. What the two of us shared that fateful year we spent in each other’s arms was so much more than that.” According to Clinton, between December 1995 and April 1996, he and Lewinsky did not merely have sex. Rather, he said, they lounged luxuriously for hours in the Oval Office, reading each other poetry, feeding each other strawberries, and tenderly caressing each other about the face and neck before surrendering to desire and consummating their heartfelt passion.

When asked to respond to charges that he advised Lewinsky to lie, Clinton insisted that he never did any such thing. “Let me make this perfectly clear,” Clinton said. “Never at any point did I tell Ms. Lewinsky to lie. Neither, for that matter, did I ever tell her how or where to lie. I may have said, ‘Honey, could you shift your leg over a little bit here?’ or ‘Sweetie, try arching your back a little more,’ but that is certainly not the same as telling her to lie, or advising her as to what specific position to lie down in. Every time she did so,” Clinton said, “she did it completely of her own volition, opening herself to me out of the deepest love and devotion.”

“We do not have any more time to waste on this lurid tabloid journalism,” Clinton said. “I have to put this behind me and get on to the far more urgent task of running and loving this nation and Man City.”

You know I understand all this, as do I’m sure all Blues supporters. I have this love for them, selfless, immortal, an all consuming love that burns in my heart like a diamond flame and swells to crescendo with a mighty sound of trumpets. I feel the full flush of true love beating in my breast, fluttering like the wings of a caged songbird yearning for that equisite moment of release. Yes, sex and love are two very different things. But who the f— cares at the moment when City score?

Harry CTID – As long as I’m not around when it happens (


After my recent visit to Great Britain from the USA, I came away from Maine Road with a positive attitude. They beat Notts Co. 7-1 and although there were no goals against Wrexham, City could have scored another 7 on the day!

City have a team that will get us back to Division 1 (one step at a time), and with Joe and Willie at the helm they will do it. It was great to meet up with a lot of old friends at City: Les Saul, Frank Horrocks, Stan Gibson (Head Groundsman, retired), Helen (with her famous bell) and many other great City fans.

Thanks to everyone for making my visit special.

P.S. Man City have some exciting days ahead and with a move to a new stadium, it’s wonderful that the Club still has a great support, Fans will be rewarded down the line. Stick with this great club!

CTID, Ernie Barrow (


Decided at the last moment to go to the Bournemouth game last night. You know how it is – can I be bothered going down on a Tuesday to see Bournemouth… what if we win etc. So of course, we decided to go.

We knew you could pay on the gates in the Kippax, so we turned up and fought our way against the crowds to get there. We found stewards directing people over to the ticket office – it seemed you couldn’t get in the Kippax after all (had it sold out? Were kids allowed in for a quid?). So we fought our way back over to the ticket office which had huge, hideous queues at every window! We then saw a queue of people at a turnstile in the Main Stand: one sign said Main Stand £15 and another said Main Stand Closed but we presumed that we could pay in! So we waited and waited in the queue, listening to the tantalising sound of the crowd and trying to guess what was happening by their reactions. We finally got in at 8.06 (thank God we didn’t miss the goal!), and there were loads of people waiting behind us so I shudder to think what time they got in.

This got me wondering whether the situation would improve if we move to the new stadium. Assuming we do move, we can expect the same, if not more, number of fans coming down so is the ticket office finally going to have to get organised? I don’t think every window was open last night and the number of people waiting to collect or buy tickets was a joke. I noticed that they still charged the full price to get in despite the fact that I missed 20 minutes of the first half and the people behind would have missed at least half an hour. I would imagine that some people will have got fed up with waiting and cleared off to the pub. If we move to the new stadium, I hope the ticket office is (a) bigger and (b) more efficient!

Just something for you to chew on as a break from thinking about the Rupert Murdoch Trafford BSkyB Rovers plc ltd (or whatever they’ll have to change their name to).

By the way, I was amazed at the number of people there last night: nearly 27,000, including an impressive number of away fans who’d made the long journey!

Right, that’s my moan over with. Until next time …

Christine Haynes (


Was this the pretentious drivel section this week or what?

  1. We need to accept that all Rag fans are not just following the winners,my wife’s family, though ashamed as I am to admit it, have been Red for 3generations. All born and raised in Manchester.
  2. Who cares who buys them?
  3. We need a team not a new ground, but if a new ground will generate theincome for a team then so be it.
  4. Niven, Swales et al are businessmen and they need to make money from us -they can only continue to do it if we win!

N.B. no pretentious use of French (a detestable language including 5 wasted years of it at Chorlton Grammar School), just a little Latin OK!

J Heavis (


I have met the above on several occasions, he runs a pub in Marple Bridge and once in a while I’ve had the odd pint there. For those of you who have never been there, it’s a shrine to Manchester City and pays homage to our glory years, even naming a room after Malcom Allison. I don’t know Ian well but we have had a few lengthy chats, solely about the club we love. Ian Niven is deeply passionate about City and I’ve witnessed how low he gets when things are not going well. To suggest that he was instrumental in trying to bring the club down is verging on the slanderous. This is a man who, if memory serves me right, has only missed one game in forty years and his hatred for all things Reds is legendary. He once got one of his barmaids to paint a Martini optic blue because he didn’t like the original colour.

My purpose for submitting this posting is not because I have any personal crusade to fight on Ian’s behalf nor any personal axe to grind with the “insider”. However, having met the man I find these allegations hard to believe and I think it unfair that he has been denounced so vehemently by someone who for whatever his reasons hides behind his annonymity.

Ian will probably never see this and I hope he never read the original posting which led me to speak up on his behalf. He’s a good bloke, always has time for fellow Blues regardless of his once “privileged” position and never forget his tireless commitment to the Junior Blues.

Democracy is priceless but sometimes the postings I see on MCIVTA are purely poisonous.

A Dixon (


Just my two penn’orth on current City form…

I really appreciate what people are writing. Amazingly, we (mum and I) have been to 5 out of 6 league games, the only one we’ve not been to was the Fulham match (and thank goodness for that, if the 5 Live commentary was anything to go by!).

In general, I’m optimistic. City are playing like a team this season and are making chances, even if sometimes their inability to put those chances away is proving very costly.

Our defence is reasonably sound, I think. We’re really pleased with Nicky Weaver in goal – he seems so much more in command of his defence and his penalty box than previous goalkeepers. It’s nice to feel such confidence in your ‘keeper, particularly as he can only get better!

I would echo the person who asks why Richard Edghill gets himself into so many forward positions but then can’t do anything with the ball. His crossing needs some work for definite… it’s a shame as he does get up into some useful positions. Perhaps he should stay back a little more.

My main gripe is with the forward play – it’s sometimes agonising watching the ball being played around at the edge of the penalty area – it’s almost as if they’re wanting to let someone else take the responsibility to go at the defence. They pass it and pass it – sooner or later you’re going to lose the ball and the attack will break down.

We need to get into the habit of finishing teams like Bournemouth off in the first half. This is now three times we have gone in at half time deserving a good solid lead and then given away the initiative in the second half. Against Bournemouth and Notts County this was with almost fatal consequences; we got away with it against Walsall. Shaun Goater for his six goals, could quite easily have double that, and Paul Dickov for all his enthusiasm (and isn’t it nice to see someone really giving all he’s got for City – you have to like him for that) isn’t getting on the scoresheet as often as he should.

As for Lee Bradbury – I feel desperately sorry for him. He has a heap of expectation on him, but on current form, he’s not up to the job. If he can start showing some incisiveness and can start setting up and scoring goals, then great. Otherwise I think he’ll just end up spending the season on the sub’s bench.

Danny Allsopp impressed me when he came on. At last! Someone who runs at defenders and creates chances! Hopefully we’ll see him on for 90 minutes soon if he carries on playing like that.

I’m concerned at what will happen if Jamie Pollock does get suspended. He has a great way of galvanising the team, I hope sincerely that someone can pick up on that rôle. He will, I’m sure, be missed.

Two more comments:

  1. Does anyone know who rings the bell in the North Stand? It’s notHelen is it (we’d spot her from a mile away)? Perhaps someone would be kindenough to say who it is!
  2. I know that U****d are not really on topic, but I did want to saythat this Murdoch United plan is a disgrace – clearly your decent fandoesn’t count for anything! My granddad was a genuine United fan throughand through. During the 30’s when he was out of work, he’d walk from Gortonto Old Trafford for three-quarter time when he could get in for free so hecould at least see something of his team. I suspect he is the sort of fanthat United couldn’t give a damn about nowadays, and I think it’s terrible.
TTFN… Euan Bayliss, in sunny Leeds (


Please could somebody post the reserve team’s results and scorers etc either to me or the list. I find it hard to keep in touch with the reserves not currently living in Manchester. An added bonus would be the team fielded as well.

Thanks, Sie Barlow – City forever (


Now that Sky own United you’ll notice a few changes:

  1. Page three of programme suddenly becomes more interesting.
  2. Season ticket now known as ‘direct pay-per-view scheme’.
  3. As a cost-cutting exercise, first team squad replaced with cast of Sky’s Dream Team.
  4. Half-time entertainment: Back-to-back episodes of Friends, plus an all-new ER!
  5. In tribute to Michael Knighton, Murdoch plans to juggle figures in front of Stretford End.
  6. Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer given free transfers to Sky Strikers.
  7. Fred The Red out, Bart Simpson in.
  8. Bobby Charlton, Denis Law etc. forced to play 90 minutes each week under guise of ‘Man United Gold’.
  9. Paul Scholes goes topless.
  10. All Man United games to be shown live on Sky. So no change there, then…


Apologies to Oasis – re-work of “Cast No Shadow” off ‘What’s the Story Morning Glory’ – in honour of Rupert.

Here’s a thought for every Rag
Who tries to understand what is in his head
He walks along the Old Kent Road of love and life
Surviving from a can
Bound with all the weight of Murdoch’s gold he’s never seen
Chained to that one place up in the North he’s never been
Bound with all the weight of all the crashing Euro dreams
As he faced the sun he cast no shadow
Murdoch’s took his soul and stole his pride
As he faced his son he heard ‘go to hell!’

Paul Banzai-Burns (brother of Tony ‘Match Report’ Burns) a.k.a. Dolphin in a Tutu (


There’s a Blue, a Rag and Claudia Schiffer sat on a train. The train goes into a tunnel and it all goes dark, there a kissing sound and then a smack. When the train gets out of the tunnel the Rag is holding his face.

Claudia thinks “The Rag must have tried to kiss me and kissed the Blue by mistake, so the Blue hit him.”

The Rag thinks “The Blue must have kissed Claudia and she’s gone to hit him, missed and hit me.”

The Blue thinks “I can’t wait for the next tunnel so I can make a kisssing sound and hit the Rag b@st@rd!”

Andy Holgate (


Why anything else?! I think it all started back in 1972. I was 4 and supported the Blues before then, but that was ‘cos my dad told me I did, and every time City won something, he would throw me in the air shouting “We love City, yesss.” Let’s face it, in the late 60’s, early 70’s, there was a lot of “throwing” to be done, especially when I’d just had my dinner and City had won, again!

But something happened in 74. My dad had tickets for the League Cup final, he decided (my mum really) that I was too young, so he took my 2 elder brothers, both apparently City fans. We all know what happened as far as the match goes. I had this feeling of complete and utter remorse (not knowing what it was at the time) – my God how that feeling has kept coming back. I felt so sorry for my dad, his/our super Blues had lost. I don’t remember them coming home, but the next day I heard him telling my mum how he, and my 2 brothers, sat on terraces crying their eyes-out. My brothers never said much about it but they had red eyes for ages. Not long after that, neither of them spoke much about City at all, and then horror of horrors, the truth reared it’s ugly red head: my eldest brother uttered those words: “I support United now”, or something like that. A turncoat! Then, my other brother piped up something about really liking the Leeds kit, and the cool tie-ups they had, and that was that. Just me and my dad. They maintain that they didn’t want to go through the tears again and that it was best to stop supporting City. I still reckon it was done just to p**s my dad off – it worked. For the record, John still supports the scum and Richard has rediscovered his roots. He now supports Bury.

Of course glory days were still just around the corner for City, a good season in 75 – I think, and a cup final win in 76. No I wasn’t there, but as soon as City had lifted that trophy, I was in the park, doing my best Dennis Tueart kicks (my sister now in the goals, ‘cos my turn-coat brothers didn’t want to know me). Life was great, City had won a cup, my brothers left me well alone -jealous, ha!- and most of the kids in my class supported the Rags or Bolton. Although, my dad didn’t throw me up, he made sure that he drank enough home brew so he could throw up, and my mum ironed a number 10 on my black and red striped City top. Now that was ace.

I can’t remember much about 77, runners-up? It was hot, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee (most people still liked the royals then). All the street was decked out with Union Jacks. But most of all I remember getting my first full City home kit. I looked like a tiny Peter Barnes, long sleeves with Umbro logos running down either side. I loved that kit, I honestly even went to bed in it a couple of times. While all this was going on, my dad was still going to see City whenever he could but I still hadn’t seen them ‘live’. All I knew about my beloved City was the programmes my dad had saved from the late 50’s ’til now (being then). Then my chance came; it is still quite a blur, it may have been before 77. I’m not sure, but City were playing a reserve game at Gigg Lane, Colin Bell was making his much-awaited comeback (again), I think we played in a white kit with a red and blue stripe from shoulder to hip, or was that the opposition? Palace. At some stage in the game I looked at my dad; I was sure he had tears in his eyes. He looked at me and mumbled something about how Nijinski was struggling. I thought why is he going on about horse racing? He pointed to Colin Bell and started to tell me what utter class he was; of course I already knew this, who didn’t? After a moment of silence, I began to get that 72 feeling all over again. My heart hurt! My dad was sad, Colin was bad, and I just stood there. I felt s**t. So I started shouting “come on City, come on City” in my high-ish pitched voice; other people were also shouting and the more I did it the better I felt. It got louder, I felt great, even Colin seemed to get a lift. I knew from then that if you cut me through it would say “Blue”.

Things seemed to move slowly after that, the World Cup came and went, I actually had a copy of the theme music, City looked good but we were winning nowt. Then in 80/81, a certain J Bond arrived, there had to be something in that name. The cup run had started and City looked good. I don’t think Norwich had any idea of what City looked like, we were too quick for them. I was desperate to see some of this cup run before it ended, but my dad had been staying away from footy ’cause of all the violence around that time, there was no way I could get to a game on my todd. Then, I don’t know how, but we got tickets for the semi at Villa. What a day. That was my first big away match. Loads of people with red and black checkerboard flags, with a big City badge in the middle – I’ve still got mine, have you? I don’t know what end we were in but it was full of City fans. I think it was the one opposite to the Holte End, we were standing right in line with captain Power, when he swerved that beauty in the goal. What a goal, what a day, what a team, Wembley here we come.

We didn’t get tickets for the first final, me and my dad cried when Tommy scored his first, then cried when he got his second. We was robbed! The scramble was on. Tickets were hard to come by but you could get them. We did. We got to Wembley late, the match had just kicked off. Most of all I remember 2 things, Wembley looked much bigger on telly than in real life, and Manchester City were absolutely brilliant. We lost, I cried. Two Spurs fans in front of me shook my hand and told me that I should be proud of City etc. I was. But I was gutted, bitter, p****d off, dreading having to face the classroom full of Rags but I still didn’t have that 72 feeling, I waited for it, but it didn’t come. All I knew was that I supported the best team in the world. They were to me and loads of others. It felt like supporting City was something only the chosen few (or should I say he chosen loads) could have, it still does.

I don’t support City because it’s trendy, or ’cause we win things, yet, but I think, I’m not sure, it could be that City are as much me as I am City – was that a bit heavy? Anyway, when I got back to school the next day, there was only one kid that didn’t give me a hard time, also a City fan. He said something like don’t worry we are a top side, we’ll be back. His name was Paul Moulden; if they had held on to him, he might have been half right. In 1983 we emigrated, so did City – to the old 2nd Division. It was pretty difficult to keep track of what City were doing but I was aware of the roller coaster ride they had embarked on. I hoped we would sort ourselves out. Good job I didn’t hold my breath on that one! I moved back to England, the south, in 89, and set about finding out where the grounds were that I would be visiting to watch the mighty Blues. First off was a freezing night at Millwall, we all stood at the corner of this crappy ground, enclosed by metal caging, being pelted with 1p and 2p coins by 10-year-old kids – morons. Clive Allen scored I think. Did we lose? After the match we were herded to the station, behind some fat-arsed police horses. The s**t was everwhere, and that was not just the Millwall fans. Then it was Wimbledon at Plough Lane. I standing in this portaloo-type thingy, it’s pouring with rain, I’m having a p**s, loads of City fans pile in to keep dry, we’re all looking out of this tiny window, trying to watch the match, singing songs and I’m bone dry – until someone knocks my elbow that is. Wimbledon got an iffy penalty but we equalised, was it Beckford or Allen again? I’m not sure of dates and scores at this stage, it was just a case of seeing City whenever possible.

The last match of the season at Palace was great, Blues brothers everywhere, the whole ground chanting anti-scum songs (Palace were to play them in the cup final a couple of weeks later). We drew 2-2 but that was secondary; being in that ground on that day was what it was about. I went to Q.P.R. a few times – we seemed to play them on a regular basis. Great little ground that. You could get really close to the pitch. I’ll never forget Vonky Vonky’s face after he scored in the cup game against them (Les Ferdinand should have had a hatful). By now, my wife (girlfriend at the time) had started coming to the matches (a converted Bolton fan – she used to stand on a milk crate at Burnden Park using her dad as support, not ’cause she was short but ’cause she was about 8 at the time). After the Q.P.R. game I think, she pretty much made up her mind that City were the team for her. Unfortunately for her and the rest of us, that winning feeling was becoming a bit of a rarity. We ended up moving to South Africa in ’93, I left the same day as City played Q.P.R. – again. Moving to Cape Town, I had no idea when I would see the Blues again. I had only been in the country a couple of weeks when I found out City would be coming here on tour. I couldn’t believe it, watching City under Table Mountain. Unfortunately they played as if they were trapped under a mountain. Dave White couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo – nowt new there then! I had to convince my new found mates that City had had a long, hard season. The real reason was something to do with the local brew. Anyway that is about that, although I could find loads more stories, this Why Blue has dragged on a bit – sorry about that.

Michael Bayliss – Cut me through and it’ll say Blue – CTID (


September 8, 1998


	       Blackpool       - Notts_County     1 - 0
               Bristol_R       - Chesterfield     0 - 0
               Fulham          - Stoke            1 - 0
               Gillingham      - Northampton      2 - 3
               MAN CITY        - Bournemouth      2 - 1
               Oldham          - Macclesfield     1 - 2
               Walsall         - York             2 - 3
               Wigan           - Colchester       1 - 1
               Wrexham         - Luton            1 - 1
               Wycombe         - Preston          0 - 1


Second Division Table

Up to and including Tuesday, September 8 1998


                                HOME            AWAY
                          P  W  D  L  F  A   W  D  L  F  A   Pts   GS
 Stoke City               7  3  0  0  6  0   3  0  1  8  5    18   14
 Preston North End        7  2  0  1  8  4   2  2  0  8  6    14   16
 Luton Town               7  2  1  0  4  1   2  1  1  5  5    14    9
 Fulham                   6  2  1  0  4  0   2  1  0  3  1    14    7
 Bournemouth              7  2  1  0  6  1   1  1  2  3  5    11    9
 MANCHESTER CITY          6  3  1  0  8  2   0  1  1  1  4    11    9
 Blackpool                7  3  1  0  8  3   0  1  2  1  7    11    9
 Wrexham                  7  3  1  1  9  6   0  1  1  0  4    11    9
 Bristol Rovers           7  2  2  0  9  5   0  2  1  2  3    10   11
 Walsall                  6  1  1  1  5  4   2  0  1  4  4    10    9
 York City                6  1  1  1  5  3   2  0  1  4  5    10    9
 Colchester United        7  1  0  2  1  2   2  1  1  7  6    10    8
 Chesterfield             7  3  0  0  3  0   0  1  3  0  5    10    3
 Notts County             7  0  1  2  2  4   2  1  1  5  3     8    7
 Wigan Athletic           7  1  1  2  5  5   1  0  2  3  4     7    8
 Oldham Athletic          7  1  1  2  5  6   1  0  2  3  6     7    8
 Millwall                 5  1  1  0  2  1   1  0  2  2  5     7    4
 Gillingham               7  1  1  2  6  4   0  2  1  3  4     6    9
 Northampton Town         7  0  2  1  2  4   1  1  2  4  5     6    6
 Burnley                  6  2  0  1  4  3   0  0  3  1  5     6    5
 Lincoln City             6  1  0  2  5  7   0  2  1  0  2     5    5
 Macclesfield Town        7  0  1  2  0  2   1  1  2  3  5     5    3
 Reading                  4  1  0  0  3  0   0  0  3  1  8     3    4
 Wycombe Wanderers        6  0  1  3  2  5   0  0  2  1  5     1    3


With thanks to Riku Soininen


Up to and including Saturday, September 5 1998


                                     FA   Lge
                                Lge  Cup  Cup  Euro   Other  Total
Hayles (Bristol Rovers)          5    0    1     0      0      6
Goater (Man City)                4    0    2     0      0      6
Barlow (Wigan)                   5    0    0     0      0      5
Crowe (Stoke)                    5    0    0     0      0      5
Kavanagh (Stoke)                 4    0    1     0      0      5
Nogan (Preston)                  4    0    0     0      0      4
Thompson (York)                  3    0    1     0      0      4
Thorne (Stoke)                   3    0    1     0      0      4
Clarkson (Blackpool)             3    0    0     0      0      3
Davis (Luton)                    3    0    0     0      0      3
Harris (Preston)                 3    0    0     0      0      3
Hendon (Notts County)            3    0    0     0      0      3
Macken (Preston)                 3    0    0     0      0      3
Allott (Oldham)                  2    0    1     0      0      3
Battersby (Lincoln City)         2    0    1     0      0      3


Patrick Alexander (
With thanks to Soccernet


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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]Ashley Birch,
Newsletter #431