Newsletter #473

Our run of form continues, and along with it, a bit of luck. Although we dominated large portions of the game last Saturday, it could easily have gone wrong thanks to several squandered chances which ought to have put the game beyond Millwall’s reach by half time. Then the luck kicked in, firstly with Millwall eschewing a couple of reasonable chances and then with Spink gifting us a goal and misjudging a second, possibly one of the worst and one of the best goals, respectively, scored at Maine Road for some considerable time. We have two match reports and a match view.

The good news continues with McVitee IFC, who recorded a resounding win over Huddersfield and are now off with – along with the first team – to the south coast on Saturday. There’s news of ex-Blues in action in the Third Division, the truth about Mick Peek, opinion, requests for help and another in a long line of good Why Blues.

This one reaches 2,334.

Next game, Bournemouth AFC away, Saturday 13th February 1999


MANCHESTER CITY vs. MILLWALL, Saturday 6th February 1999

Another game, another victory – this is all getting very predictable these days. Still, who’s complaining? Certainly not me. This one was particularly sweet, coming as it did against a Millwall side whose wonderful “fans” had set such a shining example of how to behave when we met at the New Den last year. Millwall (or Miw-waw to give them their proper pronunciation) brought about 2500 up from Larndon for this game, bet they don’t have that many travelling fans normally. I wonder how many of them have been to more than one home game this season?

Anyway, I digress. Crooks had recovered from the arm injury he suffered against Stoke and apparently was hurting more from the teasing he’d been suffering for being such a wimp than from anything else, so Joe could keep the same team as had started against Stoke, with Morrison returning for a spot on the subs’ bench. City lined up as Weaver, Edghill, Crooks, Vaughan, Wiekens, Horlock, Brown, Pollock (capt), Taylor, Goater and Cooke, with Morrison, Whitley and Dickov on the bench. The only Miw-waw players of any note were Nigel Spink in goal and Neil Harris, who’d scored against us at the New Den, up front.

City were on fire in the first ten minutes, with all the possession and all the chances. The conditions were awful, it was obviously extremely windy as no-one could control the ball (I’m being charitable here and blaming it on the conditions rather than any lack of skill!) and the pitch was really heavy due to the torrential rain that had been falling since Friday evening. Spink made a good (lucky?) save from Goater with his knees as City piled on the pressure without any success. It was cold. The bloke behind me didn’t stop having a go at Goater all the way through the game and it wasn’t justified – his scoring rate is indeed appalling at the moment but he’s working so hard and covering so much of the pitch that I’ll forgive him. For now.

The first half soon degenerated into a really scrappy affair. Our midfield was almost non-existent – Brown was obviously holding himself back from doing anything, and with Horlock being, once again, almost anonymous, Pollock was having to do the work of three men. The only flashes of flair – or even interest really – came from Cooke who was managing to cross the ball from almost impossible angles time and again. There was one almost-chance about halfway through the first half when Cooke put a lovely ball through behind the centre halves, which was just crying out for someone to run onto it and welly it into the net. Unsurprisingly, there was no-one anywhere near it and the ‘keeper collected safely. Weaver had a couple of catches to make and did so competently, there’s no rattling him these days although his kicking wasn’t quite as safe as usual. I think I’ll blame it on the wind. Wiekens and Vaughan were linking up well again, as were Crooks and Cooke up the right hand side – it’s been so long since we’ve seen players passing the ball then continuing their runs that we couldn’t work out what was going on for quite a while!

The worst misses of the first half came from… guess who… yup, Gareth Taylor. The man is not a striker. Cooke had crossed a ball into the area almost at Taylor’s feet, and from about two yards out he pushed it so wide it nearly hit the corner flag – not dissimilar to Edgy’s at Stoke the week before! We were cursing Spink for making another good save ‘cos we couldn’t believe Taylor hadn’t hit it on target, until we worked out why they’d got a goal kick – doh! OK I thought, be nice to him, maybe it’s because it was with his feet and not his head, I’m sure he’ll do better when he gets a headed chance. Right? Er, no, actually. Someone (Horlock?) crossed the ball into the area at a perfect height for nodding into the net… and… he headed it high. Hmm.

Miw-waw did have the ball in the back of the net just before half time (just after I’d said “bet we let one in just before half time”, ahem I apologise and promise not to say it again) from Neil Harris. but it had been flagged offside about three years earlier so no danger there. Their best chance came a few minutes earlier when one of their players hung around on the touchline about 17 miles offside until he got the ball, then put a good cross over for Harris to score from. Luckily for us he’d been swotting up on the “Goater and Taylor Deadly Finishing Techniques” training manual and hit it well wide. Edghill had gone off to be replaced by Morrison (his first touch was a foul, oops) which was OK except that Vaughan was pushed out to full back again, and that most definitely wasn’t OK. He scares me at full back, despite the good performances he’s been putting in at centre back.

Half time came and despite the fact that we weren’t winning the team weren’t booed off. Actually they seemed to go off in almost complete silence as everyone was far too cold to cheer anybody. Three gallons of coffee and a couple of chocolate biscuits (ooh I live a wild life, me) I was ready to watch the second half… and out they came. For more of the same. Spink made a great diving save from Goater to push his header around the post and Taylor had another “oh my God it’s the ball at my feet, mum what do I do?” moment when all he had to do was kick the ball at the goal and he would have scored. It was quite surreal actually – everyone including the Millwall defence thought he was going to score so stopped and watched him looking at the ball, until they realised that he really didn’t know what to do with it and kicked it away. Goater was subbed for Dickov – I hope this was because he was injured as he didn’t deserve to be taken off (that honour goes to Mr. “score in a brothel? What’s a brothel?” Taylor). Dickov gave away a free kick for diving the first time he tried to get to the ball – it was a bit unfair but that’s what you get when your reputation goes before you. Millwall never looked like scoring but unfortunately neither did we.

Until… One of the funniest moments I’ve seen at Maine Road for a long time. A kick upfield from Weaver was headed on by someone (Horlock?) and came over Dickov’s shoulder. He stuck a foot out and kicked it weakly goalwards, straight at where Spink was standing. There must have been one of those space-time continuum fluxes or something because at Spink watched the ball it bounced straight past him and in the net! Cool! I’ll blame it on the wind, bet Spink would love to be able to do that…

I’m afraid this cued a lot of the Millwall fans into trying to invade the “neutral zone” in the North Stand to get at the City fans, but I’m not going to waste any time saying anything about the neanderthalithic (is that a word?) morons who were involved so I’ll get back to the game. One-nil in your cup final…

About ten minutes later Cooke ran forward down the right and put a good cross over, which eluded the ‘keeper as well as the advancing Taylor, and was about 3 feet too high for midget Paul to reach. The ball came back to him almost immediately in almost exactly the same position so he tried the same again. This time the ball bounced off the upright and into the net behind the hapless Spink – I’ll blame it on the wind! I can’t believe he meant to do it, I’m sure he was aiming it at Taylor for him to miss again but I am most definitely not complaining. Two-nil in your cup final…

Five minutes later it was three. Cooke again (ooh the pesky varmint, gets everywhere he does) crossed the ball again. This time Taylor managed to head the ball goalwards and it really was the simplest of headed tap ins for Horlock to score. Three nil in your cup final… we want four… you’re scum and you know you are… I’m glad I don’t sit in the North Stand any more.

That was it really. Millwall never looked like scoring – or we never looked like letting them score to be more accurate. This was a game of low quality but high commitment and another extremely professional performance. The only slightly negative point was the number of free kicks we conceded, especially after going ahead – a more accomplished team than Millwall could well have made us suffer from that. Still, who cares?

Off to Bournemouth on Saturday, let’s see if we can make it 6 wins out of 8 shall we?

Sharon Bennett


MANCHESTER CITY vs. MILLWALL, Saturday 6th February 1999

The day the booing stopped.

I am not by nature a booer though perhaps I do fall into the category of nervous critic. When I watch City, even when we dominate and are leading comfortably, a part of me feels that a twelve-goal lead can be thrown away even as the referee is putting the whistle to his lips. Therefore I can understand why fans boo and I find myself agreeing, when through this and other fanzines, they lay out their case for booing. We pay their wages – blah! blah! blah! We remember great City sides of the forties, fifties, sixties, seventies – blah! etc. We remember great City managers – Reidy, Allisony, Mercery, – blah! etc. This side is crap and the management incompetent etc. All of which is true and of absolutely no relevance what-so-bleeding-ever.

I am not a fan of Joe Royle. I believe, that in no small measure he is responsible for us being in the Second Division. I think Gio should still be here along with Quinn, Summerbee, Flitcroft, Lomas and a handful of others. But, and it is a big but, City fans cannot spend the next twenty years alternately booing players, screaming for managers’/chairman’s’ heads with equal passion as sighing for ‘stability’ and the hope of investment and progress that stability might tempt.

So here goes. I now pledge that I will put my boots back in the shed and not pester Joe with demands that he play me (or my grandmother) and drop Wiekens or Edghill or Pollock or Goater etc. I further pledge that I will never publicly utter a negative statement against Joe or even harbour a negative thought about the team. I make these pledges in the full knowledge that I am a direct descendant of the most infamous Donegal cattle rustlers – the Glenties’ McFibbers. Wise up Joe, your comments about people that phone radio stations was a little out of order (Oops! There goes one pledge). They care and have few outlets for their opinions and feelings unless, of course, you want a return to booing.

Well, what was my particular ‘Road to Damascus’?

Manchester City 3 – Millwall 0

Not that result in particular, but rather the month or so that preceded it. I believe that there is now a large body of evidence that on the playing side at least, great strides have been made in putting right some of the major cock-ups of the last 2-3 seasons. Furthermore, JR and his team must take credit for this turnaround. Let me own up in advance to the fact that I never made the Wrexham or Blackpool games but was at the others (er – Stoke on the telly).

My wife and I went to the Wimbledon game even though we had both become simple devices for converting Christmas Dinner into mucous in all its known forms, thanks to the ‘flu. City acquitted themselves well and on another day (or another set of officials) should have progressed.

Fulham – we made them look very ordinary – ‘nough said!

Walsall – what a friendly place. Our coach driver took the wrong exit on the motorway, drove around for half an hour and still managed to drop us at the ground fifty minutes before they opened the gates. We stood outside the club shop swapping stories with Walsall fans.

The game could have been six – all. To borrow an old footballing cliché, it was end to end stuff. Jamie’s celebration at scoring his first goal (in the right net) earned him a right telling-off from the ‘primary school teacher’ hired to supervise the day’s proceedings (if he had gone any further into the crowd, he could have had one of my mints – the chocolates and crisps having been dispatched a good deal earlier).

Stoke City – my wife works with some Stoke fans who openly admitted their position flattered their performances. The feeling that their season was beginning to unravel was confirmed by the antics at the Britannia Ground. I was watching Brown trying to bring a ball under control when, from half way up the left hand side of the screen, entered what appeared to be an Exocet missile disguised as a giant boiled sweet. Brown was left on the ground leaving some of us to wonder how characters like Robinson can continue to earn a living in football.

This brings me to the Millwall game. For many, the followers of Millwall represent all that is wrong with football, a hangover from a previous dark age when football was a flimsy excuse for inarticulate, Neanderthal, macho-posturing inadequates to meet and knock lumps off of each other. Where the game itself was of no great import, but where the saddest little fart could acquire a hard man, good lad reputation that swelled with repetition and lager. Whilst Millwall are not alone in this outlook they do thrive on this anachronistic view of what a football fan is, and whilst I will accept that they are a minority, they are a minority that seem to prosper unchallenged by Millwall management.

Anyway, to borrow a phrase from the late, great Glenn Hoddle ‘don’t get angry, get even’ and this City did in spades.

We started off at a great pace and apart from the nuisance value created by Millwall’s No. 10 Paul Shaw we looked on top and in control. Our problem, once again seemed to be where was the goal to come from. Shaun Goater seemed up for the cause, chasing and making a pest of himself (earning a booking for what I can only assume, is a new bookable offence – showing enthusiasm) and was denied by Nigel Spink on a couple of occasions, a good low shot in the first half and an even better header down in the second. Paradoxically enough, when Shaun was substituted City converted their possession into points. His replacement Paul Dickov was forced to stretch for a ball and, unable to get any real control on it, intelligently used the subtle nuances of the pitch to confuse Nigel Spink into thinking that his feeble no-account flap at the ball was in fact a – feeble no-account flap at the ball. However, he failed. Nigel Spink thought it was a 70 m.p.h. rasper destined for the top right-hand corner of his goal and acted accordingly. The ball trickled into the bottom right-hand corner of his goal.

Over the last three or four years City fans have had to swallow some bitter pills. But the bitterest pill of all was to have a Red come to Maine Road and prove what many have been saying for so long. We need pace and we need width and I can think of no better purchase, if the reported £20 million materialises (or any part thereof), than on that little ex-Red Terry Cooke if he and the Fergie Alexson are willing. If not, then let me thank him for his contribution to this particular season and hope he continues to perform for us and help get us promoted.

Enough eulogising – Come on Terry did you mean it? No matter! – I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt as there was no other City player in the penalty area so it couldn’t have been a cross.

City’s third was a real cross from TC from the right, deep to Gareth Taylor who headed it back across goal for Kevin Horlock to head in from very close range. Taylor’s header was superb and possibly goal-bound but Horlock was right to make sure.

Millwall had a period of pressure or at least ‘menacing possession’ after Dickov’s goal whilst a small section of their fans sought to find seats with a better view, which, unfortunately were occupied by police and stewards. Words were exchanged and there seemed to be a rather one-sided flurry of truncheons by policemen and several Millwall delegates were ‘positively’ invited to voice their requests in a calmer, more conducive environment and to this end were escorted away.

At this point I did boo, and every fan who objects to people who want to turn football stadiums into bear pits or toilets should make their feelings known whoever the culprits are.

As I said earlier, over the last few weeks I have seen signs that City are going somewhere, somewhere in the general direction of up that is. We have a crop of capable youngsters that have shown they can play in the first team and which Joe Royle to his credit has not been tempted to over use and burn out. We have a crop of senior players that form an experienced ‘spine’ around which a team can be built. Wiekens is class and even now is my player of the season. Morrison is dominating and I don’t think he would know fear if the opposition came at him in Centurion tanks. Horlock – well Horlock is a revelation for me, as much as Jamie Pollock is fire and drive, Horlock is rock solid and calming; between the pair of them a lot of sound work is done and a lot of ground is covered.

Keep up the good work and if (when) we get back to the First Division let’s write off this season as an aberration, as a warning of just what can happen to any organisation when its members are constantly at each others’ throats.

A story that falls into the ‘Who’s winding up Who?’ category. My wife and I spent a few days in Italy in late November. In St. Mark’s Square in Venice there was a man selling souvenirs from a stall, you know the sort of stuff, jesters’ hats in local team’s colours, scarves and T-shirts. My Wife asked did he have anything in City’s colours. No he replied but there was a Kappa shop on the Rialto Bridge, try there – he proffered to the daft tourist and freezing spouse. Several hours later we find ourselves on the Rialto and spot a Kappa shop – Hello! In goes the wife and I, too embarrassed to follow, stay outside taking pictures of the Grand Canal. Several minutes later she emerges. “Well?” – says I. “Oh Yes!” – says she – “They’ve sold out!”

All the best and take care.

CTCESSSOFOIGMHOTSBTSTWOSOTLTTA – City ’til Chris Evans sayssomething sensible or funny or I get my hands on the silly B* that startedthis way of signing off, that’s longer than the article, Peter Capes (c/o


Another promising performance. We didn’t play particularly well, but playing under par and winning 3-0 against a good side is not a bad sign. Taylor missed a number of good chances before we scored, but he otherwise played well and held the ball up well. Goater worked hard, also culpable of profligacy, Spink made a good save aginst him.

At 0-0, I was concerned at the misses of the front two; I saw Cureton and Roberts scoring for Bristol Rovers earlier – if we had one of those 2 we would be unstoppable. The defence wasn’t quite its usual rock solid self, with that quick and skilful bald bloke looking very dangerous for Millwall. Wiekens had a dodgy (by his standards) 1st half, while Crooks had his worst game for a long time. Vaughan looking uneasy at left-back.

We got the luck with Dickov’s ‘pass’ somehow going under Spink’s legs, while Cooke’s ‘shot’ also somehow found its way in. Cooke now says he wants his move to be made permanent, he loves it at Maine Road, and doesn’t want to return to reserves at OT. After scoring that goal, saying that, as well as remarks about OT having no atmosphere, and Maine Road having real fans, I think we are ready to adopt him as one of our own. He is total class, having the width and pace that the team has been crying out for all season. It was his pinpoint cross that Taylor headed back across goal for Horlock to score the 3rd.

Weaver had one of his busier days, making 2 or 3 brilliant saves (England’s Number 1). All in all, we are top of the Division’s form guide, winning 5 and drawing 2 out of 7 games. We have conceded 8 in 18. And if we beat Bournmouth (not easy) then we will be in a really strong position.

Finally, message for Co and Woolfie, who think I am sad for watching City so often: We are going up

Weaver 8, Crooks 6, Edghill 7, Wiekens 7, Vaughan 7, Pollock 6, Brown 6, Horlock 7, Taylor 7, Goater 6, Cooke 8
Morrison 8 (a goal-saving tackle at 1-0), Dickov 7, Bishop (not used)

Mark Braude (


Good Run Continues

City’s unbeaten league run stretched to seven matches on Saturday with a 3-0 home win against Millwall. In front of almost 30,000 fans, second half goals from Paul Dickov, Terry Cooke and Kevin Horlock saw the Blues end up winning comfortably. However, Millwall manager Keith Stevens was left lamenting the error made by his veteran goalkeeper Nigel Spink around the hour mark which allowed substitute Dickov to turn in City’s favour a match which Millwall felt was finely balanced. “The first goal was vital,” said Stevens. “At that point we were on top but it put us under tremendous pressure and we all saw what happened.” Joe Royle agreed that it was a lucky break, but in contrast felt it was one City’s play had merited. There may have been an element of fortune about City’s second goal, too, with some observers feeling Terry Cooke intended his scoring effort as a cross. Fortunate goals or not, City are now officially the division’s form team, the seventeen points we’ve amassed from the last seven matches eclipsing the efforts of every other team in their last seven outings.

We’re still, however, not in a play-off berth – our 47 points put us in seventh place, only a point behind Gillingham and a Stoke side which seems to have gone into free fall, losing six of its last eight games. And ironically, we’re two points further behind second-placed Preston than we were at the start of the run – they’ve played an extra game, so have taken nineteen points from eight matches since Christmas. Of the teams who looked like they might contend for the second automatic promotion spot (I feel twelve points is too big a gap for us to overhaul Fulham, especially as they have a game in hand), we’ve made up seven points on Walsall since Boxing Day and have closed the gap between ourselves and Stoke by thirteen points in the same period (though they’ve played one fewer game). We need to keep picking up points at our current rate in the hope that maybe the pressure will eventually get to Preston too.

FA Wait For Police Reports

The FA is awaiting reports from Greater Manchester Police before deciding whether to take any action over the crowd trouble while quite predictably materialised at the Millwall match. According to the Press Association, eight Millwall and three City fans were arrested at the match itself, and I believe they’ve today been charged with public order offences. Nine police officers suffered injuries, the most serious being a broken wrist. Outside the ground there were skirmishes between rival fans, while seats were thrown from the Millwall section after the first City goal and there was fighting in the North Stand. There were also incidents in Stockport (where a group of Millwall fans alighted from the London train) before the match and according to the Daily Mail, “groups of hooligans [including, according to the police, City thugs] rampaged through business and residential areas” after the match.

It’s hard for me to know without being there, but I found the tone of the Mail’s reporting slightly sensationalist. It talks about “designer hooligans” who are “behind the football violence which is threatening to send the domestic game plunging back to the dark ages.” Even so, I’ve always found football violence a sickening phenomenon, and it has no place at Maine Road or anywhere else. The details of Saturday’s trouble together with reports of what went on at the New Den and various subsequent comments made extremely unpleasant reading, while I also found a little distasteful many of the outpourings from both sides this week on Blue View. Obviously I want us to gain promotion for other reasons, but it would also be a major plus not to have to play Millwall again. If games against them will always be like this, never would be too soon.

Cooke to Stay?

Terry Cooke, according to many reports, was the inspiration behind the victory on Saturday and there’s no doubt he’s made a big difference since his arrival at City. I’ll probably come across all smug here, but I actually phoned my dad in October and said this was the player we should sign – a week later he was off to Wrexham on loan. In my view, we’d be crazy if we didn’t try to sign him permanently, and on the face of it there seems a realistic prospect we could do so. The player himself has revealed he’s out of contract in the summer, but I’d recommend us to try to sign him before then rather than see him snapped up by someone else from under our noses when he’s a free agent. A fee in the region of £300,000 is being mentioned. Would Cooke want to come to Maine Road, though? The portents would seem to be good, with the player quoted as saying, “I don’t want to go back to reserve team football at Old Trafford. The City fans have been excellent and I’m really enjoying my time at City.”

Limpar Linked

A Stockholm-based poster on Blue View on Saturday claimed Swedish TV had run a story that the former Arsenal and Everton winger Anders Limpar may sign for “a Manchester club”. Limpar is currently with the Swedish champions AIK, but is reckoned to be past his best and reportedly doesn’t figure in the club’s plans for a campaign in which they’ll be in the qualifying rounds of the Champions’ League. With Limpar no longer rated as a top-level force, with United already having Giggs and Blomqvist anyway and with the player having played under Joe at Everton, there’s no doubt that Maine Road is the more likely Mancunian destination. If there’s any truth at all in the story, presumably the rationale is that barring the transfer-listed Neil Heaney (who looks unlikely ever to play for the club again), City would currently have no alternative source of width should Terry Cooke be injured.

Brown Looking For New Deal

Michael Brown, out of contract at the end of next season, has been talking in the Manchester Evening News about his desire to earn a new, long-term deal. Believed only a few weeks ago to be a player Joe Royle would be prepared to off-load for the right price, Brown has earned praise for his performances in the last few weeks. He still doesn’t seem to be convinced that he figures in Joe’s plans, though, claiming that, “I am worried that if I don’t play well in every game, then I will be dropped again.” From what I can gather, Joe would face quite a public outcry if he decided on this course of action at the moment.

Tskhadadze Back In Training

After undergoing surgery on the knee he first injured at Fulham last August, Kakhaber Tskhadadze has returned to training. He’s now building up his fitness in the gym and doing some ball work. Given that he’s already broken down once, it seems that the policy is to take no chances this time, and since we’re pretty well off for centre backs just now, the caution seems sensible. There’s no estimate as yet of when ‘Peepo’ might be ready to return to first-team action.

Academy Thriving

This story actually surfaced early last week. I didn’t run it then, but I think it’s still of interest to any fans who take an interest in the youth set-up, which certainly declined after being unquestionably one of the best in the country in the 1980s (at the risk of reopening a debate which has already featured fairly prominently in MCIVTA, I hold Peter Reid largely responsible). There have been a few signs recently that maybe the tide is about to turn: we’ve already read about positive results at under-14 and under-15 level and seen reports of City’s success in securing the signatures of sought-after young players, the latest of whom are Steve Elliott from Dublin and Welsh schoolboy Ryan Jenkins, both apparently coveted by Premiership clubs. Now Academy director Jim Cassell has been talking about the strides which have been made.

Said Cassell, “Boys are coming to City and liking what they see. There is a great deal of competition for the best young players but we have many things in our favour. The club is showing a real commitment to youth development which is coming right from the top. Joe Royle and David Bernstein could not be more supportive. They are restructuring the club from top to bottom and the Academy is a very important part of the jigsaw. I believe we can now pose a threat to every club in the country when it comes to recruiting youngsters.” With the success of the Academy, the prospect of a cash injection in the near future and the anticipated sealing of the Eastlands move, it all looks pretty promising off the field. Now all we have to do is get out of this godforsaken division!

Trautmann in Flying Visit

Bert Trautmann, one of City’s undisputed all-time greats, made a brief visit to Maine Road last week. Now 76 and living in Spain, Trautmann said he still keeps in touch with events at the club, and reflected on our recent decline, saying he could never have imagined City playing against Macclesfield. Neither could most of us, Bert! Trautmann was also musing over the sky high salaries earned by modern footballers, noting the difference from his own playing days. His son, who lives on Anglesey, apparently came across one of Bert’s old pay slips from 1956, the year his Wembley heroics earned him an everlasting place in football history. His weekly wage was a princely £15. Even allowing for inflation it’s a fairly startling contrast – imagine what Trautmann would be worth today.

Blackburn Watching Weaver?

The legendary goalkeeper also spoke about Nicky Weaver, saying that he’d been told about the potential of his young successor and even reflecting that Weaver may turn out to be as good as if not better than Trautmann himself was in his prime. From what I’ve heard from older City fans about Trautmann, I’ll be more than satisfied if Weaver turns out to be half as good! As has been reported recently, other clubs are coming round to the realisation that he might just attain this goal. Several scouts were reported to be at Saturday’s match and the word is that Blackburn, having received a transfer request from Tim Flowers, want to take Weaver initially as deputy to John Filan (the man currently keeping Flowers on the bench) and to groom him as the long-term successor.

Cash Injection – No More News

There’s still no official word from Maine Road on when, with whom or on what terms a deal is likely to be concluded for the purchase of the late Stephen Boler’s shares in the club and an accompanying cash injection. One name currently being mentioned as the prospective investor is the UK sportswear company Pentland Group, where David Bernstein used to be managing director. Whether there’s any truth in this is anyone’s guess.

England Caretaker Evokes Memories of Mercer

As England go into this week’s friendly with France under caretaker management, The Independent newspaper on Thursday 4 February recalled the previous occasion on which the national team was under temporary stewardship (thanks to Brent Lees for sending me the piece). It was, of course, in 1974, after the sacking of Sir Alf Ramsey and the man who filled in for the seven games before Don Revie took over was none other than City’s greatest ever boss Joe Mercer. The national team lost only one of seven games with Genial Joe at the helm, and not surprisingly he’s best remembered for putting the joy back into the England set-up – the article refers to his brief stint as the time “When smiling came back into fashion.” I don’t know if The Independent has an on-line archive, but if it does, the piece is well worth looking out, and it also contains an interesting quotation from Malcolm Allison’s autobiography. Gary James’ biography of Mercer, by the way, is also a must-read for all football fans, but especially Blues.

Loan Players Impress

Saturday saw City players Alan Bailey and Jeff Whitley in opposition when their temporary employers Macclesfield and Wrexham clashed at the Moss Rose on Saturday. Both by all accounts gave impressive displays, Bailey being rated one of the few bright spots to emerge from his home-town club’s sixth successive defeat. Whitley, meanwhile, has made such an impact in the three games at Wrexham that they’re already keen to make his move a permanent one. After scoring on his début, he was rated by Wrexham’s web site as having been “by miles our star man” when they crashed 5-0 at home to Preston and then he had another good game at Macc in his third outing. It should be a good sign that players who can’t get close to our first team at present can still impress at this level.

Peter Brophy (


From the Sunday Telegraph’s finance section:

Apparently the club is in talks with two ‘venture capital backers’. Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday have this type of backing, from NatWest Equity partners and Murray Johnstone Private Equity. The report confirms that the investors are willing to spend £20 million for a 30% stake. The article also states that some shares belonging to Franny and John Wardle are also likely to be involved. It says that the investors are keen to complete the deal before transfer deadline day.

I must admit to not knowing what venture capital backers are. Are they just money people with no actual interest in the club? If so it’s great to have £20 million but what happens if we do fail to get promotion this time around?

Gareth Thomas (


Bournemouth vs. Manchester City, Saturday 13th February

This fixture is now sold out. Supporters are advised not to travel without a ticket.

Chesterfield vs. MCFC, 27th February 1999

Supporters are advised that all tickets for this fixture are now sold out. There will be no cash admission on the matchday. Supporters are advised not to travel without a ticket.

Manchester City vs. Northampton Town, Saturday 6th March

Tickets for this fixture will go on sale to postal applicants from Saturday 6th February.

Burnley vs. Manchester City, Tuesday 9th March (kick-off 7.45pm)

Tickets for this fixture will go on sale to Regular Season Ticket Holders from 9.00am on Saturday 6th February on production of voucher ‘EE’ from their season ticket books. The allocation is 4,245 seats.

Manchester City vs. Notts. County, Tuesday 16th March (kick-off 7.45pm)

Due to popular demand the Club is repeating its successful “Kids for a quid” scheme for this fixture. Supporters paying full price will be able to purchase up to 3 junior tickets for £1 each. This offer applies to the Platt Lane and J.D Sports Family Stand. Furthermore Junior Blue members can take advantage of this offer in North Stand Blocks K&L. Supporters are advised to purchase tickets as soon as possible as demand for this offer is expected to be high.

Reserve team fixture change – the away game at Sheffield Wednesday has been moved from Tuesday 16th to Thursday 18th February.

Ticket Office – Manchester City


McVitee IFC 10 Huddersfield IFC 2

The game was due to kick-off at 10.30am. Normally our matches start at 11am but with Huddersfield having to trek to Port Vale afterwards it was arranged earlier. Come 10.15am the Huddersfield lads were all warming up on the pitch and we still only had about 5 – cue my ringing round trying to find everyone. 10.30 we had 9 and then 2 more arrived so we could start – without a decent warm up. Also I wasn’t supposed to be starting after just recovering from ligament damage in my right foot so had to put myself on the left wing as going in defence would be a bad idea. The starting line up was:

                     Richard Savage
Martin Ford    Lee Grime     Peter Singleton  Gavin Hodge
Rob Hodge  Spenner Grady  Mark Whelan     Dave Barker
            Jonathan Jones        Lee Hanson

Huddersfield won the toss and opted to play with the wind on their backs. The lack of warm up on our part told in the first 15 minutes as Huddersfield came out strong, passing well and putting a lot of pressure on our defence. Our lads fought well and managed to keep them out with a couple of excellent saves from Richard keeping us in it. We then found our form and started pushing Huddersfield back into their own half. Our passing came together and we managed to start weaving through their midfield and having shots on goal.

Then Dan Rigby arrived (thinking it was an 11am kick-off) – Lee Grime was moved to the Left wing with Dan Rigby taking up his Andy Morrison style rôle in central defence and I brought myself off until the second half. With the team now settled down and more in control of the game, Lee Hanson scored an excellent goal from about 30 yards out, a curling right foot shot easily beating the goalkeeper. Five minutes later he scored his second after Jon headed the ball forward for Lee to slip the ball underneath the diving ‘keeper. Mark Whelan came off with an injury to be replaced by Colin Surrey in midfield. McVitee FC were coasting to half-time, until a lapse in concentration left their striker in a free position to beat Richard and get their first – 30 seconds later the half-time whistle blew.

I came on for Lee Grime and went into midfield with Colin Surrey moved over to the left wing. The second half started with McVitee attacking well and within 10 minutes we were 4-1 up with 2 goals by Jonathan Jones. Huddersfield rarely got through our midfield and defence to worry us and with 4 more goals by Jonathan, another by Lee Hanson and Colin Surrey scoring his first goal we finished the match 10-2. We’d hoped to mimic the result 10 years ago of Man City beating Huddersield 10-1, but they managed another goal near the end of the match.

This win makes it 5 out of 5 so far in the PSINet league – the league leaders QPR have let slip their 7 out of 7 run with a draw at Aston Villa leaving it in our hands to try to win the league (makes a change eh?).

If you want to find out what it is we are involved in, tournaments, league etc. you can look at a web-site for the IFA. The address is:

This will give you a good idea of what’s involved and you may be interested in joining us for future matches.

Dave Barker – Manager, McVitee FC (


McVitee’s next league match is away at Bournemouth this Saturday – we are travelling down Friday night and coming back Sunday afternoon. If you are going to be be down there Saturday morning, you are welcome to come and cheers us on. Also, we will be staying Saturday night so if you want to join in the double celebration of a McVitee win in the morning followed by Man City winning in the afternoon you can come and join us.

My mobile is 0966 455 934 if you want to contact me when we are down there.

Directions to the game in the morning are:

Slades Farm Directions

To Bournemouth via A338 (Ringwood Spur Road)

After crossing the river and passing sewage farm and “BOURNEMOUTH” boundary sign, take first exit and follow signs for Wimborne (A3060), turning right on roundabout under flyover – Harvester pub will be on your left coming off roundabout.

Stay on main road (A3060) going straight over at any roundabouts and traffic lights.

After about 2 miles you will come to 2 sets of traffic lights. Bristol Street Motors will be on your left. Take the middle lane for the second set of lights.

After traffic lights Horse and Jockey pub will be on your left. Stay in left hand lane.

At next roundabout take the second exit A347 (the first exit is a small residential road).

Follow main road for about three quarters of a mile. At traffic lights by Fire Station take right hand lane. Follow one-way system (Cherries Drive – named after AFCB) to next set of traffic lights. Take middle lane and exit past Ensbury Park pub onto Columbia Road.

Take 2nd exit on left – Ensbury Avenue.

Carry on until you come to Winton School and Slades Farm School.

Entrance to playing fields car park is on left immediately after Slades Farm School.

Dave Barker – Manager, McVitee FC (


End of Stock sale.

To make room for the forthcoming arrival of the ‘Jamie Pollock for England (player/manager)’ design. The remaining MCIVTA T-shirts are available for the knock down price of a fiver plus P&P. This means £5.61 for U.K and £6.50 overseas. If anyone wants one please send a cheque or IMO to:

K. Foster
105 Clifton Drive
FY4 1RS.

Stocks remaining as follows: Small 2, Medium 1, Large 25, Extra Large 47.

Ken Foster (


Whilst surfing for some information on this summer’s solar eclipse, I found an article that caught my eye. Apparently, if there are two full moons in a calendar month, the second one is called a “Blue Moon”. January 31st was a “Blue Moon”, as is 31st March. To have two Blue Moons in one season is a rare event indeed. Is this what City have been waiting for to put a good run together?

I will continue to research the possibilities of Hell freezing over, but until then, sing on… “Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart…”

More details:

Rich Furniss (


Hello, it’s Rotherham fan here again. Being one of Andy Noise’s muckers here in downtown Derby (boy, his anorak does need a wash), I’m always on the look out for ex-Blues players who the Millers have the (mis)fortune to play against. A couple of weeks ago, we played Mansfield live on Sky and a certain David Kerr left his mark on our midfielder Steve Thompson (ex-Leicester and Bolton). The rest of his performance was less than remarkable, though I have to admit that with the pitch covered in fog, freezing temperatures and 3 lovely Rotherham goals at our end, my eyes were not particularly trained on him.

Onto this weekend. We played your second team Sarfend United at home, who with 10 men on the pitch following a first half sending off, managed to peg our two goal lead back to 2-2 by full time. The revival was sparked off by one Barry Conlon, who was put on at half time in order to basically disrupt our fancy dan midfield and defence. This he did to great effect, and having seen him in City colours for your reserves a time or two, I wasn’t surprised. In fact I said to my dad just after half time that if Bazza was as good as I remember him, then we were in for a bit of a sticky second half. And so it bloody well proved. He didn’t score, but he caused panic throughout our team so much so that the 10 men of Sarfend looked more like 13.

Your other ex-pat, Mr Margetson had a relatively quiet afternoon. After spilling a couple of long shots and getting nut-megged for our second goal during the first half, he had nowt much else to do. Apart from a cracking save from a 20-yarder in the second half which was our last chance of note, he still looked a bit unsteady on crosses but again judgment has to be reserved until he comes up against a better team than ours.

News of Stephen Rimmer. As announced in Mcvitee recently he is on loan to our local ‘rivals’ Donny Rovers. An article on him appeared in a local Sunday Sports paper, in which Stephen admitted to enjoying the cut and thrust of Conference football, forming part of a back 3 with among others, Steve Nichol. He doesn’t believe he has much of a future at City particularly when you consider that there are around 9 centre halves at the club, though Joe will talk to him about his future when he returns from Donny after his month’s loan. He claims to be learning a lot, and more importantly, enjoying his football.

So there you have it, ex-Blues still alive and kicking. Rotherham’s very own Chris Beech who I wrote about back in Sept, has been out injured since October, so I can’t give you an update on him. His form up until then had been pretty good, and having read a couple of Cardiff fanzines, there was total amazement that he had been released at the end of last season. I’ll keep you informed of any further ‘sightings’ as and when!

Up The Millers!

Steve Exley (editor – Moulin Rouge fanzine)


As far as City fans around Manchester are concerned: I think you are right, but the question in my mind is what makes a foreign City fan?

Being a City fan for about two years now it is all beginning to get worse (or better depending on the way you look on it; in the beginning I only followed City because our local hero Gerard Wiekens plays at City. But as the year gradually went by I was sucked into the club, one way or another you can’t help yourself but fall in love with the club. The admiration and passion for the club of the City supporters is heartwarming and that might be a possible explanation as why a Dutch person like me can become a City fan. Being a former Reading supporter I’ve almost completely forgotten about them (they were spending like hell and still go out and buy crappy first division Dutch players). Also I’d like to know if there are any more Dutch Blues out there (or a fanclub)?

I also read on the City homepage that Gerard Wiekens was from Tolhuiswijk that’s not entirely true; his hometown is Oude Pekela and he and his parents lived in a street called Tolhuiswijk.

André Pathuis (


The reason I’m writing is to correct an oft-repeated slur on Mick Peek (note correct spelling) which has again surfaced, this time in MCIVTA 472. Mick Peek did indeed design the new logo, but in conjunction with Kappa. He was not poached, repeat not poached, by JD. He left City of his own accord. I have known Mick for nearly 15 years, since our days on City Life magazine. He is one of my best friends. My season ticket in the Kippax is next to his. The nonsense that he was poached by JD or walked out on City was first aired in King of the Kippax. Need I say more? I’ve no idea who Chris Griffiths is, but I can only guess he is a King of the Kippax reader. Any inference in Chris Griffiths’contribution to MCIVTA that relations between Mick and the club are strained, however unintentional, are entirely groundless.

Mike Barnett (


Just a quick suggestion in belated response to the current discussion regarding the now-subscription web casting of City matches.

I, like most of you, have been experiencing problems getting a good level of service from match commentary service from my ‘fairly modest’ PC equipment.

I work for a computer and video games developer and, therefore, have a large amount of technology available to me. It seems to me that it should be possible to mirror this real-audio service and re-distribute it in an easier-to-use, more reliable format.

I’d be interested to hear from anyone with any thoughts on this – and particually from anyone that might be able to shed some light on the legal implications.

I feel that making this service more available to ‘real fans’, especially those unable to support the club regularly is in the interest of the club and I would be delighted to dedicate some time and resource to a practical solution.

Please send your thoughts to:

Simon Jones (


I’m writing this on Firday the 5th. Looking at today’s table, I noticed that only Fulham and Preston (the top two) have better away records than us. Think about it, we have a better record than 21 out of 23 teams in the Division. This means that our home form is our problem. Obviously our current form is brilliant, and hopefully it will continue tomorrow and forever more, but we’ve got to make it a pleasure for City to play at home. All of the teams above us and Reading below us have better home records. We’re too good for this Division. Teams are shi**ing themselves when we come and play them, but when they come to Maine Road it’s their cup final and they’re going to relish every moment. Let’s make Maine Road a fortress, success will surely follow.

CTID, Benjamin Bloom “Benny Blue” (


Thank you to all who were there, and supported my view that nothing happened at the Stoke game that would warrant the attention given to the fans. Vociferous it was, but no more than you’d see at any game.

This game has probably run its course but one thing I would like to add, which I forgot to mention originally, is what an influence Ian Bishop had on the game when he came on. He was the only player from both sides who seemed to have the ability to hold the ball, slow the game (which was much needed) and pass a telling ball. I am not professing that he should play every week from the start (sequels never are as good as the original), but based on his input at Stoke, he makes a bloody good sub.

M-O-M Wiekens (the only player we have who is Premier League quality, my Rag B-I-L actually agrees).

CBIC, David Kilroy (


Don’t. Yes you heard right. Assuming we get the lotta lolly that is being mentioned, the worst thing we can do is go on a spending spree.

We should:

  1. Take advantage of the Bosman ruling to the fullest and sign out-of-contract players.
  2. Occasionally, as Spurs just did with Freund, pay a reduced fee for a soon to be out-of-contractplayer and get good value on the cheap.
  3. Try to hire Parks (or whatever his name is) – the guy who started Leeds’youth program and is now at Nottm. Forest – and have him run our youth programme.
  4. Go looking for good, young, UK born players who can’t make it through theranks at the multi-nationals (Chelsea, Arsenal – yeah even Man U etc.). I’veseen a good 3 or 4 quality players moved this year because they can’t make itinto the first team. Huckerby for £1 million was another example a couple of yearsback of Newcastle offloading a very good youngster because his way wasblocked.

Combine the above and we should have a good quality team that can be very strong in the First Division and a youth policy that will allow us to stay up once we get back to the Premiership.

Wallace Poulter (



Only being a recent recipient of this fine newsletter, I don’t know if what I have to say has already been said on the subject of City managers. Being so distant over the last 10 years will no doubt lessen the seeming validity of any judgements made. I never saw Kinkladze play live for instance. The obvious has to be stated that I was shocked when Peter Reid was sacked and nobody better has replaced him since. Maybe it was all down to politics, that is one part of City I am glad to be unaware of. A false dawn appeared with the arrival of Francis Lee, who according to my sources, got the financial side well sorted (sort of) but whose selection of Alan Ball can only be put down to sentiment. Ball – a world cup winner, so was Nobby Stiles and Martin Peters, he might as well have chosen one of them. If Ball was picked to do his dirty work then Lee is clearly to blame for City’s relegation. Ball was bad enough but Frank Clark not much better.


On another issue, transfers, why is it that City have been the worst player in this field over the last 20 years? We sell off our best players cheaply and up shelling out big dosh (not any more of course) for mediocrity. The purchases over the last 10 years have been dreadful (Kinkladze apart). Out to Premier League teams have gone, just to name a few, Hughes, Hinchcliffe, Lomas and Flitcroft, all good, young players. Indeed, one of these (was it Lomas or Flitcroft?), was sold at transfer deadline time when we were struggling (unsuccessfully as it turned out) to stay in the Premier League. The logic of that sale escaped then and even more so when we were relegated by 1 point.

Any views on the above?

Anthony Prince – Adelaide (


I wrote a piece on how the cash injection could be a poisoned chalice, you know, Joe goes out and buys another couple of Steve McMahons and Nigel Cloughs, morale plummets, the youngsters stop coming through, other clubs see our fat wallet coming and suddenly Steve Sedgley is worth £6 million and we buy him for £8 million – you know the score.

But it sounded boring – much rather read Andy Noise on Joe’s tactical genius and Pete Brophy who knows more about what’s going on at the club than the whole board.

Just to say it’s good when the humour returns and if we get a cash injection we should clear a sizeable chunk of the debt with it, so that the slate is clean when we scale those giddy heights.

CTITOSF (City till I think of something funny), Tim Edmondson (


Noting some of the comments about what we are going to do with Morrison after his suspension – is this a crazy thought? – until the midfield position is settled – try him out up front. His goalscoring average far outweighs all the others!

John Yates (


At this moment in time I am extremely upset with my Maine Road heroes. No, not for the football, but for the backstage staff, in particular the ticket office. At present, I live and work in Cyprus and very rarely get to UK, but when I do, I really want to see City! For the first time in a year I am getting back to UK and immediately looked up the fixture list to see what game I could see, the only one being the Bournemouth game on the 13th. So 6 weeks before the match I wrote off to the ticket office, explaining that I understood about the arrangements for season ticket holders getting first stab at all the away tickets, and that they do not usually go on open sale until the Saturday before the following game, but requesting, due to my circumstances they allow an early postal application from me as it could not be guaranteed that if I ordered on the 6th, they would arrive here before I fly on the Thursday.

So wait and wait I did, checking the mail box everyday and locking it up with a forlorn look on my face. Thursday came, a week before I fly to UK and still nothing from Maine Road, not even a reply to say that they cannot send me any tickets. So at considerable cost to my already huge phone bill, I called Dial-a-seat! The chap at the end of the phone was very very helpful… are you a season ticket holder? … No I live out of the country, well I can’t issue any open tickets yet, they are not on open sale. So I explained my predicament and was told sorry we can’t send tickets out of the country! So once again I explained my situation and he then said OK, I will try to find your postal application. My phone bill – rising rapidly – I waited with hope in my heart, he returned and said my application had not been received, but he will issue me two tickets early (my Aussie fiancee is going to her first Blues game), and post them straight away. Great I thought, some progress at last. So to the lad in the ticket office I would like to thank you for your help and slight bending of the rules for me.

To the main ticket office I would like to thank you not for processing my postal application (you know the one that never arrived… yeh really). This morning I got in the post an envelope from Maine Road… I thought yes my original has been done… but alas that was not to be. My application that never arrived was obviously just passed on to the City shop as I received a lovely catalogue of the City merchandise but no tickets!

Hopefully in the next day or two I will receive my tickets for the game and will see those that are traveling in one or two pubs there. But I’m not counting on it anymore!

CTIDBED (City till I die but extremely disappointed), Graham Hibbert – Herbie (


Undeniably excited by the news of the proposed investment in the club. That this will result in £10 million being made available to Joe for squad strengthening is staggering. This will apparently be made available before deadline day to boost the squad for the final push. Can’t be bad. Or can it?

Cast your mind back just two years. We had the dawning of a new era, Clark was in and, as a result of the new share issue, £10 million was made available for squad strengthening. So how did he spend it?

Wright         £450,000
Weaver         £100,000
Beesley        £500,000
Vaughan      £1,350,000
Wiekens        £500,000
Horlock      £1,500,000
Brannan        £750,000
Bradbury     £3,000,000
Total        £8,150,000

In reality we also received £2 million for Lomas so only £6 million of the £10 million actually materialised. Already half the fees of Bradbury and Brannan have been written off and all of Beesley’s. Wright will hopefully be next! Horlock and (especially) Vaughan were expensive and neither have been exactly consistent. That leaves only £600,000 that was really well spent (being a little hard on Horlock here, who had a great first half season).

Why do we show our hand like this? You can hear it now. Wherever a City scout is spotted at a game, the Michael Robinson factor is applied to all players values.

Quick digression. Does anyone else remember hearing that the somewhat deaf, then Preston manager Nobby Stiles (t****r), mis-heard Malcolm’s initial offer of £400,000 for his donkey centre forward Michael Robinson. Hearing the offer as £40,000, he told Malcolm to up it a bit, to which Malcolm replied OK, £750,000. He bit Malcolm’s hand off.

Back to the plot. I’m not sure much needs spending at the moment. We’ve still got too large a squad for this level and even indeed for the 1st Division, so adding more players without a large further clear out is not an option. Royle has stated that up to another ten can go. With seven on the list (Brown, Shelia, Morley, Heaney, Russell, Whitley Jeff, Greenacre) and the likes of Jobson, Wright and a few ageing juniors, he’d only be able to buy another two players and achieve his squad target of twenty five.

However, thanks to Royle’s previous game plan the squad still has the wrong balance. We are awash with centre halves and central midfielders. Hence, we’re still short of a left back, a left winger and a goalscorer and our right winger is only on loan. Then again Goater is a goalscorer and Tiatto is a left winger so maybe getting them back to health will save us another handful of beans.

Terry Cooke:

He’s on a three month loan, right? This started on January 12th and consequently ends on April 12th, after the transfer deadline. Now assuming he continues as he is currently playing and that our season is still alive, the timing here is not good. At this point we would have five league games left, and assuming our season is still alive, possibly three play-off games. it would be a potentially appalling time for him to go back to the Sty. Once the transfer deadline has passed, no further deals/extensions can be made, so a decision has to be taken in the next six weeks.

A couple of points:

Can loan deals be longer than three months or is that the limit? i.e. do we have to sign him permanently or send him back?

Cooke’s contract is up this summer, but at 22 isn’t he too young for a Bosman?

Will Ferguscum try to screw us on deadline day as our need would be greater than his? Remember, by then we may have pennies in the pot. Or can we extend the loan period and get him on the cheap in the summer?

Any ideas?

Andy Noise (


PWe have three spare tickets for the Bournemouth game. If anyone is interested please e-mail me with a contact number.


Sharon Marsland (


Does anyone have any info on City Supporters’ Clubs in northern Europe? Anywhere in Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and especially Estonia, if possible. As you can imagine, the only team people have heard of in Tallinn (Estonia) is the Rags, and the only British football fans are Hearts, drawn from our local Scot populace.

Anything, God anything! Even if you know a local who’s heard of City will do; if I have to hear ‘Beckhams is good players’ in what passes for a football discussion out here I’ll go insane.

Any info: Dave Johnson (


I live in the US, upstate New York to be exact; I was wondering if you can post a plea for me. I’m looking to join a Man City Supporters’ Club in the US and am unable to find one, any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Armando Testani (


Having arrived in Melbourne in January, I am suffering from major withdrawal symtoms, as this is the longest I have gone without my “fix” of seeing the Blue Shirted Heroes, for many a long suffering year.

I have just finished a three month trip around the US and the Pacific, where without MCIVTA, we might as well have been on Mars, for all the news we could get of happenings at the Academy.

I understand the Blues have a lively following in Melbourne and would appreciate any information, on the Supporters’ Club, meeting venues, dates etc. At this distance from Moss Side, any information or intelligent conversation is most welcome.

I am heading for the England vs. Oz match at the MCG on Friday 12th, and if any Blues out there are meeting up for some beers, perhaps you could e-mail me back at the address below, as by the time MCIVTA comes out later in the week, Gough should already be storming down the crease. If you see a drunken shambling mess of a Mancunian in the ground sporting the shirt, then that’s me, so have a word.

Incidentally we are moving on to Sydney later in the year and I heard that there are about 50 Blues who meet up regularly in the city centre… again has anyone got any details?

For all you fortunates who have the privilege of attending the Academy at present… keep out of my seat… it’s been bought and paid for (as it will be wherever I am in the world) and I don’t want anyone else’s sweaty ar*e on it, despite the fact I probably cannot grace it with my presence for the next twelve months.

Keeping the faith, and spreading the true (Blue) word, Macker (


Here in Rome, life proceeds normally and it gets better since Tom Lee sent me many programmes and reviews about Man City, so my distance from you is more short.

Hey Tom Lee, I lost your e-mail adress… can you send me an answer please?

I want to give you my thanks in some ways…

ity Till I Die, Simone (


Please forgive me if this topic has been covered in an earlier edition, but I may have missed it.

I’ve just been mailed by a friend of mine who supports Northampton Town, and they have just received their ticket news for their game at Maine Road in a few weeks time. He is surprised that they have only been allocated 1,400 tickets, and that it is all-ticket.

Is this the same for all visitors?

Martin Haworth (


Watched the Definitely Maybe City video recently several times and apart from enjoying the goals/games shown, marvelled in the clips shown of Dave Watson… big, strong and not short of some skilful passing. Whatever happened to big Dave… can anyone enlighten me? I would also be interested to know where his partner from the good old days Mike Doyle is now.

Are they both still involved in the game?

Hope all of you attending the match vs. the “Neanderthals” tomorrow are taking a leaf from Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name spaghetti westerns and are wearing your boilerplate vests!

P.S. Can anyone tell me what it costs per letter/number to have a replica shirt named and numbered at the City club shop?

Chris Loveridge – Hawkeye of the “Bay” (


My father still swears that he took me to watch both City and the Rags, but my only memories are of Maine Road. Being a contrary child (for MCFC were in the old Second Division just starting under the guidance of Joe and Malcolm), I choose MCFC (in hindsight a bit like choosing a betamax video over a VHS). Of course, I was lucky my early years were the glory years. I was well and trly sucked in. I believed we would terrify Europe. All the old fogeys in the crowd slated the team as not being as good as… …, so I guess some things haven’t changed.

I was naïve and obsessed. I hated the Rags with a vengence, the hatred just happened naturally like your first adolescent spot. You were outnumbered in school, everywhere you turned it was Munich this, Munich that, the Busby Babes, George Best, Denis Law and that old baldy Bobby Charlton. Like an angry socialist awaiting Thatcher’s demise you knew City’s turn to be the best would come. How can one forget Mick Doyle’s shake of his fist at the Stretford End as City walloped United again. This ‘inciting’ of the crowd would today result in a fine. We stuck it right up ’em again and again. At this point life as a City fan could not have been any sweeter. You take the rough with the smooth, it is a lifelong commitment, not a fashion statement.

As luck would have it (or did I make that decision unconsciously?) my best mate turned out to be a Blue and now through all the dross we are still dedicated to the cause. It would have been easy for me to switch allegiance having emigrated to Australia in 1989, all I had to do was to say I was from London and buy the current shirt in vogue.

P.S. I have a two year old boy, blond and stocky, knicknamed Lee Two Pen, as he too has been known to through himself to the ground when things aren’t going his way. He has the full City kit, he will carry on the faith and his teddy is called Colin after City’s greatest ever player.

Anthony Prince – Adelaide (


Does Taggart have any more unwanted reserves?

Second Division Results, Saturday, February 6 1999

Bournemouth               4-0  Stoke City             7,637
Fletcher, S (21, 39)
Robinson (71)
Hayter (76)
Burnley                   1-2  Luton Town            10,285
Mellon (29)                    Fotiadis (34)
                               Doherty (88)
Colchester United         P-P  York City
Macclesfield Town         0-2  Wrexham                2,578
                               Connolly (6)
                               Griffiths, C (90)
Manchester City           3-0  Millwall              29,862
Dickov (61)
Cooke (71)
Horlock (75)
Northampton Town          0-0  Blackpool              5,592
Oldham Athletic           2-0  Lincoln City           5,220
Thom (70)
Mardon (81)
Preston North End         2-2  Bristol Rovers        12,170
Cartwright (6)                 Cureton (28)
Nogan (71)                     Roberts (45)
Reading                   0-1  Walsall                9,481
                               Keates (44)
Wigan Athletic            P-P  Notts County

Second Division Table, Up to and including Saturday, February 6 1999 (5:04pm)

                              HOME            AWAY
                         P  W  D  L  F  A   W  D  L  F  A   Pts   GS
Fulham                  28 11  2  1 27  8   7  3  4 14 13    59   41
Preston North End       29  7  4  3 30 16   9  4  2 23 13    56   53
Walsall                 29  9  4  3 24 16   7  2  4 16 16    54   40
Bournemouth             27 10  3  0 30  7   4  4  6 17 20    49   47
Gillingham              28 11  3  2 31 11   1  9  2 14 15    48   45
Stoke City              28  8  3  3 21 11   7  0  7 16 17    48   37
MANCHESTER CITY         29  7  5  2 21  9   5  6  4 15 14    47   36
Chesterfield            29 11  1  3 25 10   2  5  7  8 16    45   33
Millwall                30  5  7  3 21 16   6  3  6 13 19    43   34
Wigan Athletic          27  6  3  3 18  7   5  4  6 20 20    40   38
Reading                 28  6  6  4 21 19   4  3  5 12 19    39   33
Luton Town              27  6  3  3 16 12   4  5  6 21 24    38   37
Blackpool               29  5  6  3 18 14   4  5  6 13 19    38   31
York City               30  4  7  4 20 19   5  1  9 18 30    35   38
Bristol Rovers          27  5  6  3 23 18   2  6  5 16 14    33   39
Burnley                 30  5  5  5 14 16   3  4  8 21 33    33   35
Oldham Athletic         29  5  2  7 16 19   4  4  7 14 20    33   30
Colchester United       29  4  5  5 13 20   3  6  6 18 23    32   31
Wrexham                 28  6  3  6 15 19   2  4  7 12 24    31   27
Northampton Town        28  2  8  2 12 12   3  3 10 12 21    26   24
Notts County            26  4  3  6 17 18   2  4  7 10 20    25   27
Lincoln City            28  5  3  6 18 20   1  3 10  9 27    24   27
Wycombe Wanderers       29  5  3  8 19 17   0  6  7  7 21    24   26
Macclesfield Town       28  2  4  7  9 16   2  5  8 11 21    21   20

Second Division Top Scorers, Up to and including Saturday, February 6 1999

                                     FA   Lge
                                Lge  Cup  Cup  Euro   Other  Total
Stein (Bournemouth)             13    1    5     0      4     23
Asaba (Gillingham)              15    0    1     0      1     17 (1 for Reading)
Cresswell (York)                14    3    0     0      0     17
Payton (Burnley)                14    2    1     0      0     17
Cureton (Bristol Rovers)        13    2    1     0      1     17
Nogan (Preston)                 13    3    0     0      0     16
Rammell (Walsall)               14    0    1     0      0     15
Barlow (Wigan)                  11    1    1     0      2     15
Roberts (Bristol Rovers)         9    6    0     0      0     15
Hayles (Fulham)                 12    1    1     0      0     14 (10 for Bristol Rovers)
Horsfield (Fulham)              11    2    1     0      0     14 (8 for Halifax)
Harris (Millwall)               10    0    0     0      3     13
Connolly (Wrexham)               6    5    1     0      1     13
GOATER (MAN CITY)                9    1    2     0      0     12
Davis (Burnley)                  8    2    2     0      0     12 (10 for Luton Town)

Dorien James (
With thanks to Soccernet


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[Valid3.2]Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #473