Newsletter #500

Firstly, let me thank all of you out there who wrote to me (us really) congratulating us on reaching 500. However, MCIVTA wouldn’t be MCIVTA without the quality articles and opinion, all of which comes from you, so in true ‘luvvy’ style, please give yourself a firm pat on the back! Also, I’d like to thank all the other ‘behind the scenes’ people who’ve consistently given of their time to make MCIVTA work, namely: Paul Howarth, Steve Bolton, Jeremy Poynton, Peter Brophy, Geoff Donkin and Dorien James, and of course… to anyone I might have forgotten, particularly those that helped in the past and have moved on (are you still out there Adam Houghton?).

The major news concerns Andy Morrison (see Peter’s news summary), and two impending finals. The MCFC U-17s defeated Newcastle on Tuesday to reach their final, whilst McVittee FC defeated Stockport to reach theirs, meeting QPR shortly to decide to fate of PSINet League – congratulations go to both teams. This issue has much stats concerning our play-off chances, as well as some opinion (negative) on the way ticketing has been handled. Lastly…

Some months ago it was pointed out to me that it would soon be Issue 500, which considering MCIVTA’s rather modest aims back at inception (none whatsoever really), represents quite a major milestone. I was asked whether there would be a ‘special’ issue, or if anything along those lines had been planned. To be honest, I hadn’t really thought about it, but recognising that 500 is a fairly significant number, I did wonder what we could do to make this particular issue somewhat different. In the end, I decided to do this by asking people their thoughts on how MCIVTA had evolved over the last 5 years, and in particular, what it means to them. Naturally, this request had to be directed at just a few people, as only a few would have been around ‘that long’. In the end, I approached four people who had not only been around ‘that long’, but who had all made major contributions to MCIVTA at some point in its existence.

These 4 are:

Paul Howarth – author of the MCIVTA distribution software; writer – at various times – of much-admired match reports and news summaries; MCIVTA html’er; co-creator of the Supporters’ Home Page; scorer of a goal for the Rags vs. McVittee FC; and the owner of a classic Rossendale accent!

Martin Ford – McVittee FC goalie; one-time predictions league organiser; first manager of McVittee FC; the man who made me realise that I wasn’t a pessimistic person at all (!), who diligently provided informative and well-written match reports during our first season, and much quality opinion since.

James Nash – one of the very first City fans on the Internet (pre-MCIVTA); key helper in the early days (MCIVTA’s fanzine letter writer, doubling the subscribership!), and regular contributor over the intervening 5 years.

John Pearson – early City internetter and regular contributor over the years. Has lived in California for more years than he cares to remember.

This one reaches 2,493!

Next game, Wigan Athletic away, play-off semi-final first leg, Saturday 15th May 1999


Without wanting to sound too melodramatic, I’d have to say that MCIVTA changed my life! I came across MCIVTA towards the end of September 1994 (Issue 7 was my first one) when there were just under 30 subscribers. It seemed to be a good medium for me to discuss City-related issues, as there weren’t many other Blues where I worked at the time. I soon became engrossed with the whole thing and started writing match reports for most of the away games, sending in news items etc. I was also able to apply my computing skills to produce a new distribution system for MCIVTA when the sheer volume of subscribers became a problem for Ashley’s email software. I think it’s safe to say that a very significant proportion of my spare time went towards MCIVTA and also helping out Svenn with the Supporters’ website that came along in October 1994. It all seemed especially worthwhile when we received emails from all over the world saying what an invaluable service MCIVTA was – in those days it was just about the only MCFC service on the Internet.

Nowadays, I just don’t have that amount of time to spare and so my contributions have regrettably dwindled almost to a halt. I don’t think I’ve been missed though, as many other people have stepped in to provide news, match reports etc. Special thanks to Peter Brophy for his excellent news reports, far better than mine, I reckon!

I still go to most of the matches (missed four this season, home and away – that’s quite a bad season for me!) and quite often meet up with people I’ve met through MCIVTA or Blue View. I’ve met a lot of good people this way, including of course Ashley and Steve the subscriptions man; my pre-match ritual for Saturday home games now includes a Rusholme curry with these two. However, out of the 2,500 or so people that now subscribe to MCIVTA, the one person I’m most glad to have met is of course … my fianc