Newsletter #518

Another quiet week, but this time leading up to our first pre-season friendly against Bury. Apart from Kennedy, we’ll also get the chance to see the new shirt in the flesh! The only news this issue is the death of one of City’s favourite sons of the 50s, Dave Ewing. My dad always used to call him ‘Big daft Dave’; was this a general epithet or just one of my dad’s own?

Please note that we’ll need a guest editor shortly (see below). Meanwhile, if you’re going on Saturday, please consider sending in a match report.

Next game: Bury away, Saturday 17th July 1999 (Friendly)


I’ll be going on vacation in August, so once again it’s time to appeal for a guest editor, as I’ve run out of people who volunteered last time around (at least I think I have). If you fancy having a go, it probably takes about 3-5 hours per week, and just requires cutting out articles and pasting them into an email template, oh, and a bit of editing helps as well! We need someone to take over for the 6 issues from Monday 16th August to Thursday 2nd September (3 weeks’ worth). Ideally, it should be someone who can do all 6, however, if no one comes forward then we could split it into two shifts.

Please consider having a go, almost all those who have done in the past have enjoyed their stint; at least that’s what they told me!

Ashley (


Royle Chasing Mystery Man

Joe Royle is looking to make one more signing to give the Blues a hope of competing successfully at Division One level. Though the City manager has been giving strong hints that he’ll sell before he completes his next acquisition, he’s already identified the man he wants to add to the Maine Road staff. “I still believe we need to bring in one more quality player before we get down to the serious business of trying to make an impression on the First Division,” conceded Royle. “I know which position needs strengthening and I know the player I would like to see at Maine Road but for obvious reasons, I don’t want to give too much away at this stage.” It’s not clear which position Joe has in mind, though apart from wingers (a requirement which has now been satisfied) he’s been most strongly linked with left backs and strikers during the close season. Following recent indications that the current strike force will probably be given a chance to prove themselves at the higher level, the suspicion is that a left back is the priority. If, as has been rumoured, former Maine Road loan man Lee Briscoe is the main target, Royle may have to move quickly even if he hasn’t managed to offload any surplus squad members. Ipswich manager George Burley is said to be ready to move for the player, who’s available on a free transfer from Sheffield Wednesday. Meanwhile, Royle has denied any interest in another player who spent time on loan at City. Everton’s Michael Branch is back in talks with Portsmouth after rejecting the personal terms offered by Alan Ball earlier in the week. The City manager says he has no intention of offering Branch the chance to stay in the north west.

City Boss Optimistic

Royle is optimistic that if he does manage to land the right man, the Blues are capable of making an impression at Division One level next term. On the eve of City’s opening pre-season friendly, the Blues boss expressed his confidence in the team’s ability to make an impression in the higher section. “We will do a lot better than many people imagine,” he promised. “The team which finished last season was virtually unrecognisable from the one which started the campaign. As a unit, the team developed as the season wore on.” He feels that he’s remedied a major flaw from last term by adding winger Mark Kennedy to the squad, explaining that the acquisition of the Irish international winger “will give us the balance I have been looking for.” As a result, the City boss feels that his team are set to enjoy their highest-placed finish for some years. “I’m not going to be stupid and say that we are going to run away with the First Division’s title race,” he admitted, “but I do believe that we won’t have a season where we spend nine months worrying about relegation.” However, he also had a warning for players who fail to come up to expectations, promising that he’ll consider entering the transfer market again should he feel the need. “We will assess the situation again once the season is underway and if we think the team needs strengthening then those are the steps we will take,” he warned.

Morrison Wins Extended Deal

Captain Andy Morrison has signed an extended contract with the club. The player’s previous deal expired in the summer of 2001, but he’s now committed himself to Maine Road for an extra year, delighting manager Joe Royle. “Andy’s influence since he came here has been massive,” said the City manager. “He has been like a rock in our defence and he can continue to play a great rôle in the future.” Morrison arrived for a bargain £80,000 from Huddersfield last season, and quickly became a fans’ favourite. Not surprisingly, then, Blue Viewers greeted news of his contract extension with the same enthusiasm as the City manager.

Fixture Changes

The original fixture lists for the 1999-2000 season had City down for playing midweek league games on a Tuesday evening. However, this wasn’t indicative of a change of policy on the club’s part, and three scheduled home midweek games have now been put back 24 hours to the Wednesday evening. The matches affected are those against Ipswich (now scheduled for Wednesday 27 October), Barnsley (moved to Wednesday 24 November) and QPR (moved to Wednesday 8 March). Meanwhile, the Blues haven’t followed last year’s precedent of moving the scheduled August Bank Holiday home fixture. While twleve months ago, the club elected to face Walsall on a Wednesday evening rather than pay police overtime for a holiday Monday, this year’s match against Nottingham Forest remains scheduled for Monday, 30 August. This may well be because, with Mark Kennedy adding to the Blues’ complement of international players, call-ups for the following Saturday’s Euro 2000 qualifiers could ensure the postponement of a game played on Tuesday or Wednesday. As things stand, the match at Norwich on Saturday, 4 September is under threat for this reason, together with the visits to Maine Road of Portsmouth on October 9 and Stockport on November 13.

Dave Ewing – Obituary

Former City centre half Dave Ewing has died at the age of seventy after a long illness. The Scottish hard man spent nine years as a player at Maine Road and made over 300 first-team appearances, most notably in the two mid-fifties cup finals, before moving on to Crewe. At the end of his playing days, he moved into coaching, taking up posts with Sheffield Wednesday, Bradford and Crystal Palace in addition to a spell back at Maine Road, while he also briefly took the managerial reins at Hibs back in his native Scotland. He moved back to City in the mid-seventies, and in tandem with former goalkeeper Steve Fleet was responsible for then-unparalleled success at the reserve and youth levels. The pair were responsible for City’s maiden success in the Central League in 1978 and the club’s first-ever appearances in the FA Youth Cup final in 1979 and 1980. Ewing and Fleet were dismissed when John Bond elected to bring in his own backroom team, but each man returned later to work in the Platt Lane complex. Despite his brief associations with other clubs, Ewing will always be remembered as a City man, who served the club loyally over more than three decades. Condolences go to his family.

Bury Away – Preview

It’s less than seven weeks since the dramatic Wembley triumph against Gillingham, but the Blues begin their pre-season campaign this weekend with a visit to Bury on Saturday 17 July. With the Shakers having been relegated from Division One on goal difference in May, they in theory should provide a good yardstick for City’s prospects next term. However, these matches are rarely a reliable indicator of likely form once the real thing begins and the main interest for Blues will be the débuts of the new Le Coq Sportif home shirt and of recent signing Mark Kennedy. One thing which seems certain is that anyone hoping for a repeat of the drama and excitement of the Blues’ last game will be disappointed!

Peter Brophy (


The MEN Lounge (top of Kippax) price of £58.75 (incl. VAT) is for Silver Suite style luxury buffet and Bucks Fizz Reception, seat and complimentary programme. A signed ball will also be on offer for any sweep stake/raffle that we may like to organise on the day.

Please let me know if you are interested in these seats. Contact me on Further details will follow next month regarding other seats available to Tribal Gatherers for the match.

All TG3 updates will appear in McVittee and Postcards from the Edge message board.

Bob Young (


I take it none of us on MCIVTA will be signing up?! Yet another money-making machine of the Rags…

Paul Handley (


Having read Neil Bundy’s Why Blue in MCIVTA 517 about Teddy Gio… I hate to say this Neil but the Kippax has its own furry fan – a chimp!

I’ve had the Chimp for more years than I dare remember and he is normally dressed in the old type City mini-kit which was made of a nice material and not the shiny ones you get today! Like Teddy Gio he is a great Gio fan (like me!) and used to have a number 10 on his outfit, which used to come off in the wash and have to be glued back on again! Every home game (unless it’s chucking it down) the Chimp can be found sitting on the wall by Gate 6 in DD Lower in the Kippax. For match days he wears an adapted Kappa minikit and his scarves. Like Lisa, I’m asked “have you got your monkey?!”; at Barnsley when someone yelled that at me, I yelled back yes and he turned to his mate and said “she’s got the monkey!” Even at Wembley as I was queuing to get in, people seemed relieved he was there! Even Moonchester gives him a hug and kiss when he sees him sitting on the wall or at an away game and at Gillingham asked me if he was with me, I said yes, made me take him out of my bag and sit him on my jacket on the barrier so he could see the game! The Chimp has been tied to more railings by his scarves than he deserves e.g. Bradford when we got promotion, Old Trafford, when Mark Hughes decided it might be fun to spit at the City fans, he’s been relegated/promoted, I’ve been threatened with the RSPCA for making him watch (this was at QPR quite a few years ago!) but he’s now a part and parcel of travelling to watch City – he’ll be at the Bury and Stockport pre-seasons, the only two I can do due to work commitments. The funny thing is he never seems to age, although the fur isn’t so furry these days, and he doesn’t have grey hair or worry lines like me!

Perhaps Teddy Gio and the Chimp should meet up one day – hopefully the fur won’t fly!

Carol Darvill (


Our glorious boys, as some of you have noted, will be passing through the City of Bristol a week on Saturday (July 24th) for a friendly against Bristol City. As a longtime resident of said City, I shall be attending this game (in the “away” end, despite having a season ticket to Ashton Gate, to get my footy fix).

Any Blues heading this way are welcome to join me, and various members of the Bristol City mailing list, for a pre-match drink or two at a nearby pub. Weather permitting, this will probably be the Nova Scotia, in the Cumberland Basin, which is at the end of the harbour (to be found in the City Centre), over the smaller swing bridge. If you can find the centre, you need to head for the Hotwells Road, follow it round left at the first significant bend to the left, then head over the bridge and parking is easy. If not sunny, we will be in the Pump House, which is just before the bridge (hidden behind a hig wall). Park over the bridge for here, as well.

Feel free to email me, or call me on 0117 955 1393 (950 9003 work during the day) if you need further instructions. I can be identified by the fact that I am 6 foot 6 (in my shoes), with short grey hair, and more than likely nursing a pint of guinness in one hand, and a manky roll-up in the other. I may well make identification easier by wearing a (Man) City scarf – this should stand out amongst the many replica (Bristol) City shirts which will be around me. Look forward to seeing you there.

Jeremy Poynton (


I am somewhat pleased to report that after watching Australia’s second eleven play the Rags the best player on the field was a City player. Danny Tiatto had a blinder and was constantly putting the Rag players under pressure. I must say two things have made me physically sick. It is bad enough watching the Rags on the TV but having the ba$t@r#$ in Australia is pretty horrendous. I’d much rather see City out here and get some decent footballers to watch. Secondly, seeing Bosnich between the sticks for United instead of Australia is pretty damn disgusting. Finally, I’d just like to say that we enjoy the newsletters each week as it is great to get that extra bit of info on the best team in the world that is just not available anywhere else here in Oz. Hopefully I will be able to be able to comment on an Aussie victory next time.

Geoff Stretton (


I wish I could join you Noel – Terry Christian – God there’s a nightmare if ever there was one. Man Ure glory seeker (tosser) personified.

I never understood why he put on a false Mancunian accent to further his media career. Yes you heard me right – a false accent! While famous (or is it infamous) as presenter of the Word, our best beloved Terry lived in Poynton and in reality had quite a cultured near Cheshire-set accent – totally unlike the Manc twang that we all love (except when it comes out of his mouth).

How do I know – well I had the misfortune to have friends who lived near him and (unfortunately) used to see him quite a lot in the Bramhall Supper Bar queuing for his Fish & Chips! And guess what? – hHe didn’t have that trademark accent.

Now there’s a memory – come home from the match on the 157/158 bus and buy me fish & chips or meat & tatty pie & chips with gravy! Which reminds me to warn you all about moving South for a better paid job – you can’t get decent meat & tatty pies or gravy on ya’ chips south of Stoke!

CTID, Richard Mottershead (


Incredibly, there has been little or no mention of a very famous City goal in the ongoing MCIVTA lists of all-time greats. I’m referring to the Dennis Tueart overhead kick which won us the 1976 League Cup against Newcastle.

The Denis Law back heel against the Rags deserves a mention too. It still makes me laugh.

Obviously that Dickov moment is right up there with the very best now.

My other personal favourites include Peter Reid scoring from a rebound off the post against Aston Villa (89/90) which helped us avoid relegation and a strangely similar Paul Walsh goal in our great away win against Blackburn Rovers which also saved us from the drop (under Horton).

P.S. Does anyone know why Gillingham sacked Pulis?

David Gordon (


(still to be answered)

What enters the field of play in a football match at half-time, but doesn’t leave until the match is over?…

If it’s a Saturday match it leaves after the game, but if it’s a mid-week game it remains until the next day… and it only happens in the English Premiership, not in Scotland or the lower divisions.

I haven’t worked it out yet.

Peter Abbott (


Memory’s one thing – I couldn’t even read. Phillip Walker’s choice of goal was Paul Power’s in the 1981 FA Cup 6th round not the semi-final.

Steve Parish (


My wife accuses me of only contributing when I have something negative to say. She’s probably got it right, but I really have to put pen to paper on the new shirt. MCIVTA 517 contained a very emotional piece about this subject. Well, the shirt is very emotional! It goes a great way to reflecting the image, aspirations and sense of belonging to the cause. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting it assumes an importance far beyond that on the pitch. However, as the success of the last shirt demonstrates, get it right and it not only gives the fans a lift but also helps the coffers. As a Chelsea friend of mine observed to me, “I see a lot more people wearing the new City shirts, it has something about it”.

You see I’m a sad old marketing man, and one of the golden rules in marketing concerns a thing called branding. The issue that the old shirt addressed, was its simplicity. Forget the new laser blue on its own! Despite being an older fan who grew up with the sky blue, I thought the new colour was an inspiration for today’s younger fans who are the ones who generally buy the shirt.

So what do the powers that be decide? A major change to the design. A white sleeve! It looks like Ipswich with a different colour blue. So soon after bagging a winner, why depart from an all blue design? OK, so you have to have some changes. So put the crest in the middle, new sponsor, new shirt maker name, change the trims slightly. But don’t make a radical change as with the sleeve. There, I’ve got it off my chest, watch the supporters go and make a mockery of my sentiments and surpass the previous sales numbers!

Graham Jones (


I really do find this nostalgia, and the subsequent correcting of poor memories, quite interesting. It reminds one of the tricks memory can play. For instance, Steve Parish corrected me to say Keith McRae was in goal against Q.P.R. not big Joe. It’s just that I associate every great goalkeeping performance of the seventies with Mr Corrigan. Actually the ginger one was not the worst understudy we’ve ever had, and (oh God here we go again) if my memory serves me correctly was actually signed as first choice from Motherwell for circa £100,000 at a time when Joe was struggling because of a weight problem.

I agree with Simon Fink. Rodney Marsh was one of the last great (English) entertainers. I remember a game, also against Q.P.R. (couldn’t be the same one could it?). My friend and I used to stand quite close to the front of the Kippax in those days (Mike Pownall, are you out there?). I will try to describe what happened but it really had to be seen. Rodney was stood in front of Frank McLintock (who had moved from Arsenal to Q.P.R.) near the touchline in front of us. Frank had his legs apart and Rodney drew his left foot back as if to nutmeg him. Frank immediately closed his legs and Rodney changed his movement to draw the ball from the left and moved away with it to the right. Frank immediately opened his stride to cover Rodney’s move. As soon as he did this Rodney backheeled the ball with his right foot through Frank’s(now open again) legs. As Rodney rounded Frank to catch up with the ball Frank shouted after him “I’ll break your f***ing legs you c***.” What made it complete was the sight of Rodney laughing as he disappeared with the ball down the left wing. I often wonder if Frank remembers this and it is the cause of his constant arguing with Rodney on Sky Sports on Saturdays. I’d like to think so.

One more Rodney story. Can anyone remember a short, fat bald-headed referee known as Kojak (I think his name was Kirkpatrick). During one game Summerbee was having a real altercation with the linesman in front of the Main Stand at the North Stand end. Kojak went running over. Obviously fearing Mike would be booked (you didn’t get cautioned in those days) Rodney intervened as peacemaker. He put his arm round the little man and walked him back towards centre field. Suddenly we were in fits of laughter as Rodney (obviously unknown to Kojak) had lifted his arm and was doing imaginary Benny Hill slap-head movements with his hand above the poor bloke’s head. A true genius and entertainer.

CAISHTOHTGMRC(City, And I STILL Haven’t Tired Of Hearing The GMR Commentary), David Kilroy (


I’ve just seen the new home kit on the MCFC website.

I think it’s quite nice… but it certainly didn’t have the same impact on me as the Kappa kit did 2 years ago.

I’m not too sure about the white bands down the arms; I suppose it will grow on me though and I’ll no doubt be buying one as soon as possible!

Jon Walsh (


Five years ago, I returned from a spell living abroad to find a bunch of rubble where the Kippax once stood. As many people did, I went along and looked for bolts and bits of concrete etc, wondering who got the “Welcome to Maine Road” sign off the top. That day, I ‘accidentally’ came away with a large section of one of the crush barriers. It is about 4″6′ high, weighs more than 40kg and has remained in my house ever since, and its time has come. Someone wanted to melt it down and produce Kippax ingots. And there’s the simple idea of giving it back to the club. I can see Chris Bird’s face now …

Any ideas? Many thanks from Marc Starr.

Marc Starr (


I was wondering if there has been any news regarding a copy of the final for those of us here in the US? If so, I would greatly appreciate anything. I am very willing to cover any costs for the tape.

Armando Testani – Binghamton, NY, USA (


Also, I’m in error. we destroyed Liverpool on Easter Saturday not Easter Monday. We destroyed Blackburn Rovers away at Ewood on Easter Monday, when Coton gifted shearer two first half goals and Uwe led us to a 3-2 win.

Benjamin Cavanagh (


The year was 1964. At this stage of my life – being a young lad, I didn’t support any team. However, this was to change once my older cousin took me to see his team play – yes the one and only Manchester City. After that experience at Maine Road, I was instantly a Blue and I’ve never looked back.

Becoming a fan around this time was great – seeing them win promotion from the old Division Two up to the First Division championship in 1968. Which brings me to my most memorable match – March 27 1968 at Old Trafford. The atmosphere was electric for that midweek game, I was at the scoreboard end. The game went against us to start with, George Best putting them 1-0 via an error from Tony Book. I remember looking up to the sky and thinking here we go again (United had already won 2-1 at the Maine Road game in September). But this was the period where City was transforming into a great team – and the equaliser came from Colin Bell making it 1-1 at half time. The second half saw George Heslop make it 2-1. But the moment which brought tears to my eyes was the final goal – Colin headed for goal, only to be sent crashing to the floor. Bell was being carried off while Francis ‘Pen’ Lee scored from the spot – this time I looked to the sky thinking life wasn’t that bad after all.

Being True Blue, the games against Rags were always special (as we won most of them!). The match on 12 November 1975 was the only time I missed a game during this period (being away down the road at St Mary’s Hospital with my wife and our one day old daughter) – although I could heard the crowd roar 4 times – City winning 4-0 that night.

I arrived in New Zealand during 1982, the last big City games I watched were the two against Spurs in the 81 cup final (I can still see Tommy Hutchison at the end of the first game with the ball hitting his shoulder making it 1-1 and we all know what happened in the replay). On my last visit back home, Xmas 95 I managed to enjoy a couple of home games, and gratefully had my photo taken with Tony Book (which was published in the City Magazine, “City vs. Newcastle” February 24 1996, page 16).

Thanks to Steve Ewan from the City’s Supporters’ Club in NZ for all the info and his phone call regards the good news against Gillingham.

Finishing off by saying an extra special thanks to MCIVTA – and having read page 35 from the City Magazine April 1999 I can now put a face to the good efforts and writing of Ashley, Steve and Paul doing a great job with the City news.

Here’s to the Premier League – I can’t wait!

CTID, John Lim (


Contributions: Ashley –
News & Rumours: Peter –
Subscriptions & Club Questions: Steve –
Technical Problems: Paul –

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

[Valid3.2]Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #518