Newsletter #532

Running true to course, City cut down Nottingham Forest (sorry, it’s my last chance to do this) one nil on Bank Holiday Monday, and I’m pleased to say we’ve got two match reports on that one, plus another look at the Bolton game. And, of course, what would a McVittee be without a Why Blue, and a good one it is at that.

Ashley returns to your screens for Digestive 533, so all articles to him from now on please at Well, it’s certainly been a lot of fun doing this and I’d like to thank all of you who’ve sent in articles, words of encouragement and, err, corrections. And special thanks to the hundreds of you who wrote to say that it was an automatic e-mail answering service message you were sending me and that you’ll be on holiday until the 6th of September but giving me a contact person to get in touch with if it’s really urgent.

Here’s to our team’s continued resurgence, our management and all Blues everywhere. See yez.

Matt Rayner (

Next game: Crystal Palace, Maine Road, Saturday 11th September 1999, Nationwide League Division 1


BOLTON WANDERERS vs. MANCHESTER CITY, 28th August 1999, Nationwide League Division One

I’d been dreading this game ever since the results of the play-off finals involving us and Bolton back in May. My husband (of four and a half months and counting) is a life long Bolton fan and has had plenty of opportunities in the last few seasons to quietly smirk over City’s latest self-destruct crisis. I had a bad feeling that this was going to be another one. Still, I thought the Sheffield United game had nil-nil written all over it, so it shows how much I know doesn’t it?!

The Reebok is an extremely impressive stadium from the outside and once you get to your seats, but I cannot understand why they make it so difficult to get a drink or something to eat when you’re in the ground. If it’s any consolation, the facilities in the home ends are almost as bad. As expected, Bolton hadn’t sold all their tickets and there was a sizeable proportion of City fans in the Bolton ends – I’m sure there was some logical reason for not giving us the upper tier in the away end as well but it completely escapes me for the moment.

City lined up with Weaver, Tiatto, Edghill, Wiekens, Jobson, Horlock, Whitley, Kennedy, Cooke, Goater and Dickov. The main threat from Bolton was always going to come from one of Per Frandsen (candidate for the award for the ugliest midfielder in the division) and Claus Jensen (prematurely bald and a bit bandy legged). Dean Holdsworth (City aren’t the only ones to make mistakes when signing forwards for over £3 million) didn’t make the team as usual. City attacked straight from kick-off but the ball ran out for a goal kick, we then settled back for the most one-sided 45 minutes of football I’ve seen since the second half against Sheffield United. Unfortunately this wasn’t City playing the sweeping football we’d seen the week before, more an exhibition from Bolton of how to completely dominate the midfield and be completely ineffective up front. They were helped in this by two main things. Firstly, whenever City won the ball back from them we must have fouled them so the ref gave them a free kick. Secondly, on the odd occasion when there was no way we could have fouled them so got to keep the ball (usually these came when one of the Bolton players kicked the ball out) we were called offside as soon as we reached the Bolton half. I know linesmen do make mistakes but this one either didn’t understand the rules (it’s when the ball’s kicked, dumbo) or had such a low opinion of City’s attack that he couldn’t believe any of us were fast enough to reach the ball unless we’d been a mile offside already. I’ll assume he’s seen us play before in which case you can’t blame him for believing the latter.

Weaver made a couple of great saves in the first half hour, the best of which was from a one-on-one with Claus Jensen when the young baldy really should have scored – it wasn’t a particularly good shot as there was no power behind it, but we’ve seen many a dodgy ‘keeper let in easier shots than that over the last few years. He also saved well from a point blank header from Gudjohnsson. Bolton also had one shot that flashed just past the post and a free kick from Frandsen that hit the bar. They were getting closer and closer. Then, suddenly, a flash of genius. Bob Taylor lost possession about twenty yards out from the City goal and Mark Kennedy picked up the loose ball. And he ran. And ran. And covered the entire length of the pitch. Thirty yards out from the City goal he paused – he had Goater to one side, Dickov to the other, three defenders in front of him and nowhere to go. He skipped past the defenders and unleashed an incredible swerving, dipping shot into the top left hand corner of the net. Branagan had no chance of saving it and we went wild. Sadly, so did some of the City fans in the Bolton end, at which they were treated in a less than friendly fashion by the Bolton locals or the Bolton police. Haven’t seen people being kicked as viciously as that since we played Millwall.

Somehow we survived the rest of the first half and went in at half time 1-0 up. They showed the goal on the video screen in the corner of the ground so we could again appreciate quite how far Kennedy had taken the ball and quite how well he’d hit it. To be honest I was dreading the second half, I couldn’t see how we would continue to hold out against the sort of onslaught we’d had in the first half. Cooke had been replaced by Bishop as Royle too had noticed how we were being over-run in midfield. We were lucky then that Jensen also had to be withdrawn by Bolton, as the second half was then a completely different story. While my husband disagrees with me completely on this (but he would) I’d have to say we were the better side in the second half. We should have had two more goals. The first was after yet more good work down the left by Kennedy who crossed for Goater, who only had to tap it into the net but (you all know what’s coming here) hit it wide. The second was right at the end of normal time. Gareth Taylor, who’d replaced Goater with about 10 minutes to go, found himself unmarked in front of the goal and unleashed an unstoppable shot… which hit the corner flag. I kid you not, it actually did hit the flag. We were standing there shouting “come on, come on” as the ball approached, and the cheer that greeted the collision was almost as loud as the one when we’d scored. Superb.

The referee continued his fair and unbiased treatment of the game by playing 10 minutes of time added on at the end of the second half, but even with all his help Bolton couldn’t score. And we think we’ve got problems up front (yes, OK, I know, we have). I thought Bolton were a dirty team at times (this also has caused no small amount of marital discord). Tiatto had had to be subbed after a blatant nasty foul by Neil Cox, Wiekens was off the field for about 10 minutes for treatment after being clattered into, and Andy Todd got away with a lovely little elbow to the side of Dickov’s head. Mind you, Weaver did try to improve Frandsen’s looks by kicking him in the face – how he got away with that I’ve no idea.

This was a good win – as Royle said later, this was the sort of game that we always used to lose. Bolton were among the best teams in this division last year and, although they don’t look as if they’ll be the same threat this year, I can’t see many teams going to the Reebok and getting all three points. Especially as it was so undeserved on our point but who’s complaining? We only need another 40 points to be safe from relegation…

Sharon Hargreaves (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. NOTTINGHAM FOREST, 30th August 1999, Nationwide League Division One

A fine strike from Shaun Goater after only thirteen minutes took City into second place after today’s 1-0 home win against Nottingham Forest.

Goater’s third goal of the season was sufficient to gain the Blues all three points at Maine Road, but despite dominating the first half City had the woodwork to thank twice in the second half for maintaining Nicky Weaver’s record of six consecutive clean sheets in league and cup, a total of ten hours of football that City haven’t conceded a goal since Robbie Keane’s strike in the opening day defeat at home to Wolves.

A Maine Road crowd of 31,857 saw City move second in the table behind leaders Ipswich. An injury to Gerard Wiekens ruled the Dutchman out of this afternoon’s game, but his absence was countered by the return from suspension of skipper Andy Morrison, who partnered Richard Jobson at the heart of the City defence. Shaun Goater and Danny Tiatto were passed fit after picking up knocks at Bolton at the weekend, while Mark Kennedy had been cleared to play before reporting for international duty.

There was no Shaun Wright-Phillips on the bench for City, but his father Ian Wright was in the Forest attack, although David Platt had to do without the injured Carlton Palmer and Nigel Quashie, with Mannini and Melton coming into the side.

Forest started the brighter of the two sides, but it was City who had the first shot in anger when Cooke fired high over the bar. Scimeca then fired over for Forest from fully 30 yards before City took the lead on 13 minutes. Kennedy’s brilliant through ball should have been cut out by Mannini, it wasn’t, and Shaun Goater strode forward to the edge of the box before firing past Crossley into the corner of the net to chalk up the striker’s third of the season.

Mannini then limped off for Forest with a hamstring pull on the quarter of an hour to be replaced by Hjelde. On 24 minutes, Kennedy’s cross was headed clear by Matrecano only to Goater, whose volley went inches wide. A few minutes later City should have had a penalty when Hjelde held back Dickov when the striker was in the act of shooting, but Forest escaped punishment. Dickov then had a shot blocked before Tiatto’s long range drive went over the bar.

Ian Wright had a rare opportunity on the break for Forest as City appeared to take a five minute breather but the chance was snuffed out. Goater then shot straight at Crossley from an angle, as the half ended with Terry Cooke’s cross being cleared by a beleaguered Forest defence as David Platt’s side appeared to be more than happy to hear the half-time whistle.

City should have gone two up minutes after the break when, from Morrison’s long ball, Goater took it around Crossley and from a tight angle he took his time before seeing his shot cleared from close to the goal-line by Matrecano when he should have squared the ball to a furious Kennedy. Minutes later, a rapid Forest counter-attack was led by Rogers, who crossed for Wright, only for the striker to be denied by a brave block by Weaver with the ball going out for a corner. Jeff Whitley then had a great chance for City after a slick one-two with Horlock, but he shot hurriedly over the angle. Whitley missed with a couple of further shooting opportunities before Freedman nearly surprised Weaver with a volley which dipped over the bar.

David Platt brought on Marlon Harewood for Petrachi twenty minutes from the end. Minutes later, Scimeca’s free header from a corner should have been the equaliser but the defender could only glance it wide. Then Ian Wright chested the ball down and volleyed the ball against the outside of the post to come within a whisker of the equaliser. Joe Royle responded by bringing on Bishop and Crooks for Cooke and Tiatto before Goater nearly embarrassed Crossley following Scimeca’s backpass, with the Forest ‘keeper eventually collecting after Goater had knocked the ball away from him. The woodwork thwarted Forest again near the end when Chettle’s free-kick from distance clipped the outside of the post, before the City goalscorer Goater was replaced by Gareth Taylor.

With City hanging on to a certain extent, Andy Morrison and co. saw off any late Forest threat to make it three league wins on the trot for Joe Royle’s side and a current league position which only the most ardent of Blues fans could have dreamed of at the start of the season.

Duncan MAdden-Ross (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. NOTTINGHAM FOREST, 30th August 1999, Nationwide League Division One

This was the first game I’d been to since the opening day against Wolves and it was like watching a completely different team in the first half. City were full of confidence, obviously a team which is getting used to winning.

No more so than in Mark Kennedy. I was a bit disappointed with him against Wolves after all the pre-season hype, but against Forest he was awesome. Now, he’s full of a confidence bordering on cockiness, and he loves taking on players. He’s quick and skilful, and his touch at times was stunning, especially in the lead up to the goal. He turned his man inside out deep on the wing, then supplied a perfect pass for Goater. He played inside for much of the first half, while Tiatto played outside him, and this obviously worked in confusing Forest.

I’ve slagged Goater many times in the past, but today he was superb. He did some touches which I didn’t know he had in him. His close control was excellent, he did some neat lay-offs, and he actually won the majority of balls in the air. He never stopped running, helping in defence as well, and he took his goal brilliantly, receiving Kennedy’s ball in full stride and finishing clinically. He could have had a second when he went round their goalie well, but took one too many steps before shooting. It was really good to see him have such a good game as he seems such a nice bloke – and the crowd gave him a massive ovation when he was subbed.

This victory though, and probably the success this season so far, was built on two superb centre backs. Morrison for me is the best we’ve had since Doyle and Watson. He wins everything in the air and the opposition forwards seem scared to go near him. His heading is so powerful too, and he often sets up counter attacks with the force of it. He showed some lovely touches on the deck as well, even a couple of moves that Kinkladze would’ve been proud of. On top of this he can pass the ball inch perfectly over 30 or 40 yards, his favourite being the long ball to the left wing. Kennedy and Tiatto received lots like this. Morrison also commands the team and motivates really well. He was constantly talking and dictating the play. Jobson was also excellent. He’s the old pro who looked calm and assured in everything he did. With Wiekens always impressive as well, we’ve got good cover at centre back, which for me is vital to any successful team, as is a commander in centre midfield.

This leads me onto the place where we’re still lacking. Whitley did lots of running and tackling, as did Horlock to a lesser extent, but neither has it for me in terms of doing a Peter Reid, a Paul Ince or a Roy Keane, and really bossing the middle of the park. Horlock always looks like a clubfoot on the ball – as if he can’t control it. He’s so left footed it’s untrue – he’ll go round in a circle rather than touch it with his right – and when he runs forward with the ball he looks uncomfortable. I really think we need someone in the middle who can rule it like Morrison does at the back. Then I’d play them alongside Bishop, who for me is still one of our most creative players, who always looks comfortable on the ball and who makes everyone else in the team play better passing football.

Cooke had a reasonable game, but seemed to be lacking in the confidence to take players on. He was better last season – maybe Kennedy being the new hero has affected him – but I’m sure he’ll come back. He’s a classy and exciting player – when he gets the ball there’s that classic buzz of excitement that builds up round the ground.

I got nervous every time Edghill got near the ball as he seems so unaware of what’s going on around him. He was nearly caught in possession on a number of occasions. His passing and crossing are, and always have been, awful. I really think we need to replace him, but like Horlock he seems to be one of Royle’s favourites.

Tiatto was good – it’s much better having a left footer at left back – I can’t understand it when we have Edghill and Crooks at full backs. Weaver was good when needed, although punched when he should have caught on one occasion. Bit disappointed with Dickov – I usually really rate him, but didn’t do much today.

I think Joe Royle’s doing an excellent job, forming the nucleus of a good side. He seems to know just what we need, and the buying of Morrison, Cooke and Kennedy was inspired – the difference between mid-table Division 2 and the top of Division 1.

Steve Garthwaite (


Two More Wins Take City Second

City followed Saturday’s win at Bolton beating Forest by an identical 1-0 scoreline 48 hours later to leave the Blues a heady second in the league table. Nicky Weaver has kept five successive clean sheets and City have played more than ten hours of competitive football since Robbie Keane scored for Wolves on the season’s opening day. However, Joe Royle was guarded in his assessment of league progress so far. “We’re not getting carried away because it’s early days but it’s nice to see us second top at this stage rather than second from the bottom,” he cautioned. However, he was delighted at the maximum point haul from two high-profile games, admitting, “We probably would have settled for four points out of six looking at the fixtures but to get the maximum amount and keep another clean sheet is fabulous.”

The victory in City’s first ever visit to the Reebok Stadium came courtesy of a spectacular first-half strike from Mark Kennedy. Royle labelled the performance against the Trotters “our least effective performance this season” but was happier with his summer signing from Wimbledon, claiming, “Mark’s was a superb individual goal and it just shows what he is capable of.” Meanwhile, the City manager also had praise for his centre backs and in particular man-of-the-match Nicky Weaver, reflecting that telling contributions in defence had enabled the Blues to ride their luck. “At half-time we were obviously lucky to be in front,” he admitted, “and we had to change things around quick but Nicky Weaver and our two centre-halves had excellent games.” Meanwhile, Royle’s opposite number Colin Todd was left to reflect on his side’s failure to make the most of their opportunities. “When we create so many chances and dictate the game as we did today, I am very disappointed to get nothing out of the game,” was the verdict from the rueful Bolton manager.

Kennedy turned provider two days later when he laid on the Shaun Goater goal which separated City and Nottingham Forest in front of almost 32,000 at Maine Road. Joe Royle was pleased with a sparkling first-half display, and though Forest hit the woodwork twice after the break, the City manager was adamant his team hadn’t been fortunate to take all three points. “People may say we were lucky but I don’t agree,” he said. “We were slightly fortunate but we did defend well and you can’t go forward for 90 minutes in any game.” Forest manager David Platt disagreed, claiming, “We really should have won it in the second-half. We had the chances to win the game and hit the woodwork twice.” However, even Platt admitted that the game could easily have been beyond his side by the half-way mark, such was the extent of City’s dominance before the break.

Kennedy Stars in Irish Win

After scoring one goal and creating the other to give City their six-point weekend haul, Mark Kennedy took his club form onto the international stage on Wednesday. Joe Royle’s summer capture scored a stunning winner for the Republic of Ireland as they beat Yugoslavia 2-1 in Dublin to go top of their Euro 2000 qualifying group. It was Kennedy’s third game in five days, but this week’s exertions are only the beginning of a gruelling period for the ex-Wimbledon and Liverpool man. He faces a further two internationals in the next week as the Republic visit Croatia and Malta. Then between 11 and 28 September, the Blues face four League games and a two-leg League Cup engagement.

Saints Test for City

The Worthington Cup gives the Blues a chance to test themselves against Premiership opposition after Saturday’s second round draw paired the Blues with Southampton. City will be at home in the first leg, which will take place on Wednesday 15 September. The return visit to the south coast will be on Wednesday 22 September.

Disappointment for Young Blues

City’s under-17 and under-19 sides both suffered defeats in their away fixtures at Sunderland last Saturday. The under-17s went down 1-0, while the under-19s were beaten 4-1.

Greenacre Stars in Reserves’ First Win

Transfer-listed striker Chris Greenacre will be hoping to have impressed the watching scouts after he came off the bench to score a hat-trick for City reserves against Burnley at Hyde on Tuesday. Jamie Pollock added the fourth goal as the Blues earned a convincing 4-1 win, while the game was also notable for the Pontin’s League début of newly-arrived goalkeeper Richard McKinney.

Tskhadadze Set for Comeback

Georgian international defender Kakhaber Tskhadadze is back in light training as he bids to make a comeback from the cruciate ligament injury which has already kept him out for the last year. The ex-Eintracht Frankfurt stopper has now completed his rehabilitation period after undergoing treatment in Germany and will be keen to challenge for a return to first-team contention as quickly as possible. However, with Tskhadadze having already broken down once in an abortive bid to return to action, neither player nor club will want to take any chances this time round.

Pollock Rumours Rumble On

After being strongly linked with City’s Jamie Pollock in recent weeks, West Brom’s Brian Little is set to make a bid for the 25-year-old midfielder – at least according to weekend newspaper reports. The price being mentioned is £350,000, though whether Joe Royle would be prepared to take a loss of almost two thirds of the £1 million he paid for Pollock remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Wolves manager Colin Lee is said to have watched Pollock in Tuesday’s reserve game.

Peter Brophy (


Further changes missed last time:

Steve Rimmer Free Transfer to Port Vale on 2/6/99
Andy Porteous Free Transfer to Berwick Rangers on 22/8/99
Neil Morley and Kavalashvili released on 31/5/99

Stuart Reynolds (


To Stuart Reynolds: Please do keep the information coming in on a regular basis Stuart as it is very useful.

Rob Kerr (


The Bank Holiday match programme contained an ad asking for people to sponsor City’s junior teams and women’s teams. The ad asked for a contribution of £25, which looked eminently affordable. However, when I phoned the club I discovered the catch – the figure shown in the ad was a typo and someone, somewhere, had omitted a zero, and the real cost is £250. Three sponsors are wanted for each team.

Are there any other MCIVTA readers who would care to chip in a few pounds to help with the development of young players? Ten lots of twenty five pounds shouldn’t be too hard to raise, should it? Please contact me directly if you’re interested.

Roger Haigh (


Many would be forgiven for thinking the Club’s main switchboard would be awash with the number of the devil this morning. After all, the Blues took a maximum 6 points over the weekend, also making them 6 games unbeaten, and 6 clean sheets as well. Of course, one can also be forgiven for thinking that the Blues would simply phone the devil just to gloat at Man Ure’s inability to overcome Lazio last Friday.

However you look at it though, things are certainly looking a whole lot brighter at Maine Road. Many questioned the club’s ability to produce in this division. Many also questioned the manager’s decision to bring in a player who in the eyes of many had failed at both Liverpool and Wimbledon. However, those who know would say that Kennedy has always been an immense talent, and he is finally beginning to add consistency to his game as well now. While it is only early on in the new season, definitely too early to get carried away, City are certainly proving they can cope with the best, and long may it continue.

This weekend also saw the draw for the Worthington Cup second round. This sees City face the task of overcoming Premiership side Southampton if they wish to continue the cup run. Although the days of Kinkladze running the Saints’ defence ragged and then scoring an equally brilliant goal are gone, what price Kennedy attempting and perhaps scoring a spectacular strike in his own right? Indeed it was Kinkaldze who got both goals the last time we played the Saints and came away with the 2-1 victory.

Next up in the league sees the visit of Crystal Palace. The last time they came it took an own goal from David Tuttle to ensure City took a point. However, this time it will be a very different Palace side that the Blues will face. Crippled by financial difficulties, the Eagles have lost many of their players and were on the end of a 7-1 defeat at the weekend. One face very much still there though is that of Lee Bradbury, the most expensive misfit in City’s history. What price him to score against us at Maine Road? Hopefully though, City should conquer the “super” Eagles and continue to keep their heads right up there at the top of the league.

Sie Barlow (Mail: ICQ: 22276065)


Now that City have made a solid and promising start (“pace” the initial Wolves result) and, like us, can take a breather before the next challenge, I reviewed a number of past issues of MCIVTA going back to the Brian Horton days. And very depressing – though very well written – were the contents.

The criticism of the numerous management teams is a constant theme and, from this distant exile, I am not competent to judge whether it was merited. I note that, up to the arrival of Kennedy and Cooke, Kinkladze notwithstanding, overall the squad has been mediocre at best. To be realistic, there are some pretty nifty teams in this division and our current automatic promotion place – after a mere five games – may prove difficult to sustain. In other words (and to paraphrase the Australian version of foreplay: “Brace yerself Mabel!”) – we are certainly going to lose a few. I do hope that, in that event, we don’t ritualistically turn on Royle and Donachie as, it seems, we have hounded their predecessors in times of adversity.

The purpose of this short note is to point out that these two have presided over 66 games (League only and excluding play-offs) to date since taking over 18 months ago. Of that total, City have lost only 16; the points gained – 110 out of 198 is a very respectable 55.55%. On that basis, if the pattern were maintained, City would amass 77 points by season’s end. Your subscribers, nearer the action than I, would know if this represents a reasonable chance of a play-off place. If this proved to be the case, Royle and Donachie might well be regarded as the most consistently successful team at Maine Road since Mercer and Allison.

Just a thought.

Dafydd Goronwy-Roberts (


The next meeting of the West Yorkshire Branch of the Manchester City Centenary Supporters’ Association will be held at The Globe, Rastrick Common on Tuesday 7th September. Our guest will be David White – start time 8pm. All welcome – entry £2.00. Further details can be obtained from me.

CTID, Simon Clegg (


Blues along the East coast of Yorkshire are welcome to join the very recently formed, East Coast Supporters’ Club (Scarborough based). Meetings will be held on the first Wednesday of every month 8pm at a venue to be arranged shortly. For more information please contact John Lawrence on 01723-865146 or by e-mail to me.

Dan Sumner (


A note to all City fans in the three counties/M1 corridor area (the three counties in question being Northants, Bucks and Beds). We are looking at the possibility of setting up a City supporters’ club covering that area (the gap which is between the Cambridge, Leicester/Rugby Newbury clubs).

We therefore want to hear from all Blues in the area interested in joining a supporters’ association and sharing lifts, celebrations and commiserations (hopefully not too many of those though). If we can gather a few names together we’ll arrange a get together to talk about it in more detail. We have a list of around 10 names before any publicity and I’m sure all those Blues who outnumber Rag shirts in Milton Keynes on a Saturday morning would welcome the opportunity to join.

On a related note, I would like to hear about whether any other fledgling supporters’ clubs have had any help in setting up. We have been waiting for a month now for a reply from the club and are wondering what is going on. Mr Bernstein’s releases have all been about the management and directors of the club looking after the club’s most vital assets (that’s the fans as well as Gareth Taylor!). However, this along with the recent Wembley and Fulham fiascos (I got my pies and then transferred into the City end!) is worrying.

Anyway no grumbling, we’re second, no goals conceded to a non-Premiership player this season and we’re on a roll. Any City fans interested please write to myself at either of the addresses below so we can gauge the level of interest.

CTISTS (City Till I See Taylor Score), Matt Bass a.k.a. Shaggy ( or


I am trying to compile a Big Mal web page and would be grateful for any stories concerning his two reigns at Man City.

Thanks in advance, Paul Byford (


Help – I’m on a conference in Ripon when City are at home to Southampton. Anyone from the vicinity able to offer a lift?

Chris Sawyer’s experience with getting back from Spurs away in December 1968 was worse than mine, but I can’t remember ever being so cold. I’d just started working on the railways (Victoria booking office) and had a free ticket to London. I got absolutely frozen at the match and suspect the train home wasn’t that well heated. I arrived back at Victoria for the night shift, with nose streaming and generally shivering. The staff wanted to send me home but it was the middle of the night and I just slept on the table behind the ticket racks and got up for the early train from Piccadilly to Cheadle Hulme and to walk from there to home at Heald Green. No later ill effects either, but I can’t remember ever being so cold – not even at Gornik where we sat on benches covered with six inches of snow with our feet in another foot of the stuff, or on the train from Krakov to Poznan after the match, where the heat settings seemed to be Zimno (cold) and Bruss (freezing, as in bruss monkeys).

Steve Parish (


In honour of a flying visit by Santo Domingo Blue, who will be showing off his new EIDOS shirt for the locals, South Florida Blues, now sadly minus South Florida Phil, back in the UK, will be having a sausage sandwich and a beer or two in the Tudor Inn, Powerline Road, Fort Lauderdale on Saturday night, prior to the Miami Fusion vs. LA Galaxy game. 6pm till 7:30pm. Game to be followed by an on-field Village People concert, so it promises to be a good laugh all night. Anybody passing through welcome along.

Paul Duncan (


As if living in Lisbon wasn’t bad enough (well OK it’s not that bad, but it’s not exactly handy match day) I’ve just discovered the Ipswich game, already looking like a bit of a tasty one, coincides with a business trip to the South of France. I know – Lisbon and the South of France and I’m fretting about finding a cafe with Sky. City? I can handle it… Anywhere in the Cannes, Juan-les-Pins area would do. Will bring laser blue attire for maximum embarrassment. Any ideas?

P.S. Jonathan Daniels? I’d see someone about that, mate.

Simon Curtis (


Last May, I spent the morning of that day glued to my computer on a glorious sunny day in Boston trying to figure out what was happening in the rain three thousand miles to the east. I did so in the company of a fellow Blue named Richard Jones (I’m pretty sure that was his name, 20s or 30s blond fellow, geologist at a university in or near West London). Richard, if you’re out there (and I remembered your name right, grovelling apologies if not), please e-mail me as I lost your e-mail address.

Ken Osgood, Boston, MA, USA (


Walter Smith’s ‘match report from the Bolton end’ made me smile and brought back memories of the few occasions that I’ve been forced to support City amongst heathens. In fact the only instances that I have been amongst the ‘enemy’ have been the real enemy, the Rags!

My passion for supporting City was re-ignited during the 88/89 promotion campaign following many years of supporting City with my heart, but not with my attendance. A brand new Kippax season ticket ensured I didn’t miss a home match and I resolved to make as many away games as possible. In the pre-Hillsborough / Taylor report days, it was always pretty easy to get into away grounds, due to the increased capacity that terracing allows. I must say that even now, I much prefer to stand to watch a match. However, at Chelsea in that year, exiting the old terrace was a frightening experience. 4 or 5 thousand City fans trying to squeeze through one exit, wide enough for two people at a time was not pleasant!

Anyway, I digress. Although there were few problems in gaining access to most away grounds, then as now, the Sty was one of the most difficult. In those days we got the terracing below the infamous ‘K’ stand which held I think around 3,000 – nowhere near enough to satisfy the demand. Obviously tickets sold out to regular season ticket holders on the first day of sale. Now this was the season of the ‘5-1’ of course and we’d beaten them at OT in a pre-season friendly. They were struggling, as were we, although Kendall was in the process of ensuring that we survived. This was a game I had to get to!

I managed to borrow a Rag friend’s token sheet enabling me to buy a ticket directly from the OT ticket office. I remember that as I joined the small queue one lunchtime, Ferguson walked past with a grin and a cheery ‘Alright lads’. He wouldn’t be looking so cheery in a few days I thought! Anyway, I got a ticket for the seats above the Stretford End, which I thought would be safer than the devil’s den itself.

On the day of the match itself, it felt weird and I must admit quite frightening walking down Warwick Road surrounded by Rags, seeing the various anti-City T-shirts and souvenirs being sold. Obviously I didn’t wear any colours although I’m pretty sure that I did wear a blue shirt (brave or what!) I tried to look cool and knowledgeable whilst trying to find the direction to the correct stand. Nowadays of course it wouldn’t be a problem with so many day trippers looking for directions to the ‘superstore’ or museum at the Theatre of Nightmares (who came up with this Theatre of Dreams s***!, it really p***** me off!) Upon taking my seat about 15 minutes before kick-off, the first thing I noticed were the City fans opposite making tons of noise. I wished I was with them. The next thing I noticed were 2 Neanderthals standing in the row in front of me, one wearing an aforementioned anti-City shirt, clearly scanning the stand looking for Blues. Gulp! A chap in his 50’s sat next to me looking a lot more ‘normal’ and I therefore felt a little more comfortable.

Watching a game in amongst ‘other’ supporters is hard. You can’t sing, you can’t go ‘oooh’ when we have a near miss, you can’t curse a dirty tackle from the opposing team. However even worse than that, you’ve got to try and look at least ‘neutral’ when the opposing team does something! United scored first in this game and the Neanderthals in front of me went crazy, at the same time looking around the stand, focusing on me. I’m sorry but I had to do it, I smiled and gave a little clap. It shames me to this day, but I was young and green and I did make up for it later! Whilst all this was going on I noticed that the chap in his 50’s was sat there stoney faced. A Blue! As I looked around I saw others not jumping around. I even saw one chap having a ‘discussion’ with a Red. I wasn’t alone! Instantly I felt better and braver! When Ian Brightwell scored the best goal of his career, I jumped up and down and cheered with the chap in his 50’s and the multitude of other Blues who were around. The two Neanderthals just looked on crestfallen!

Since that game I’ve been to all the OT derbies except the 0-5 (thank goodness), all but one in ‘their’ end. Although it’s still been a little uncomfortable, I’ve never had to clap a Rag goal since!

Phil Hartley (


Ok so I admit I was a bit lazy with the Bolton one, so here it is in full:

B old
O ffensive
L aunched.
T akes
O ff
N icely.
W eaver
(A gile)
N ever
D efeated.
E ven
R oyle
E xpresses
R espect
S incerely!

Now for the Monday Match:

N ot
O utside
T op
T hree
I n
N ationwide -
G ives
H eady
A tmosphere.
M onday's
F orm
O bviously
R oyle's
E arly
S eason
T riumph!

P.S. I’m going off to live in a cave for a few days now to work on Crewe Alexandra, West Bromwich Albion and Queens Park Rangers. And I’ve suddenly grown a bit of a liking for Burnley, Fulham and Walsall!

Steve Maclean (


Some weeks ago, the Man City list ran a piece seeking assistance to help save Barrow AFC, who at the time were in danger of going out of business. After a (UK) summer of staggering events, first the club were turfed out of the Conference, then refused entry to the UniBond (Northern) Premier League, and then after considerable discussions and manoeuvring, I’m pleased to say Barrow AFC have started their season last Saturday (28 August) with a 1-1 draw at home to Guiseley.

Therefore, I would like to pass on my sincerest thanks for any help you provided to help make this happen, the campaign that was unleashed over the last few months was without parallel in the English non-League game, both the FA and the Conference were staggered by the weight of correspondence the matter generated, not only from the UK, but from around the world, and it is from one football supporter to another, that I thank you. I don’t think we would have reached this stage without the help of those people who took the time out to help.

What Barrow went through I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, it was three months of absolute hell, not knowing if we would have a team to support come August. Should you ever find your club in a similar position, read the book Build a Bonfire, about Brighton’s problems a couple of years ago, it provided me with the inspiration to continue when all seemed lost. Finally, I produce a regular email Newsletter dedicated to Barrow AFC, and if you’d like to subscribe, email me on <>.

Thanks again, Ralph Sheppard, Kiwiland


I was brought up in a sleepy little village in Hampshire, hence the options of what teams I could support were either Pompey, Saints, Liverpool or, as with most, the Rags. So with my dad’s influence I opted for Liverpool, although my first match was Pompey vs. Saints at Fratton Park in 1988. A 2-2 draw and half of Hampshire’s hooligans on active duty that day! So what made me change to the legend that is “Manchester City”?

Well my dad’s best friend emigrated to some place called Manchester. His son didn’t take too long to convert to the Blue Army, so whenever we used to see him we used to engage in banter about how sh*t (please forgive me) City were. And so that’s when I started to take an interest in City results, purely to use as ammo to wind my mate up. Little did I know at the time that I was to suffer the same kind of abuse tenfold from the thousands of southern Rags that I encounter every day of my life. But, after a while it dawned on me that every Tuesday when I eagerly looked through my Shoot magazine for the results, I was looking for City’s before anybody else’s. I found myself trying to collect the Man City pro set cards before any other .So it was about this time, 1989 I think, that I declared myself to the world as a member of the Blue Army. I did suffer a lot of abuse at school from all sets of supporters but at the same time I think they had a lot respect for me for not taking the easy option.

One thing I love about being a southern Blue is wearing my shirt to go out. Perhaps even more so than you Mancs, purely because up in Manchester you’re one of thousands, so it is no great surprise seeing a fellow Blue .Down here everybody notices you and many like to chat about footy, and normally our mutual dislike of the Rags. Another thing is that because us Blues down here are so few and far between, if you do see another one down here I/they always make the effort to come over and chat.

I have had some of the greatest but also lowest moments of my life following the Blues. Wembley 99, Ipswich (Franny first day), Saints away (Stefan Karl last minute winner). Having the famous M.C.F.C. tattooed into my back; to the lows – Stoke 98 (the result and the beating I and my car received), 2-0 down to Gillingham (before the almighty comeback), the humiliation of watching 92 Q-F F.A. Cup with four Tottenham mates. The list could go on for ever but one thing’s for sure. I wouldn’t change being a Blue for absolutely anything.

Shaun Tiplady (


Tuesday 31st August

QPR             (1) 3  Port Vale        (0) 2

Monday 30th August

Birmingham City (3) 5 Crewe Alexandra   (1) 1
Grimsby Town    (1) 1 Swindon Town      (0) 0
Ipswich Town    (3) 6 Barnsley          (0) 1
Manchester City (1) 1 Nottingham Forest (0) 0
  Goater 13.
  Manchester City:
    Weaver, Edghill, Morrison, Horlock, Dickov, Goater (Taylor 83),
    Cooke (Crooks 73), Whitley, Tiatto (Bishop 73), Jobson, Kennedy.
  Subs not used: Allsopp, McKinney.
  Nottingham Forest:
    Crossley, Matrecano, Mannini (Hjelde 16), Chettle, Louis-Jean,
    Scimeca, Melton, Petrachi (Harewood 68), Rogers, Freedman, Wright.
  Subs not used: Beasant, Allou, Burns.
  Booked: Scimeca, Chettle.
  Att: 31857
  Ref: G Frankland (Middlesbrough)
Tranmere Rovers (1) 1 Sheffield United  (3) 3

                P W D L  F A  W D L  F  A Pts GD
Ipswich         5 3 0 0 10 2  1 1 0  6  3 13  11
Birmingham      5 2 1 0 11 5  1 0 1  1  2 10   5
Man City        5 2 0 1  7 1  1 1 0  1  0 10   7
West Brom       5 0 3 0  2 2  2 0 0  4  2  9   2
Stockport       4 2 0 0  4 1  1 0 1  1  2  9   2
QPR             5 2 1 0  7 4  0 1 1  2  3  8   2
Portsmouth      5 2 1 0  4 0  0 1 1  1  7  8  -2
Huddersfield    5 2 0 0 10 3  0 1 2  1  4  7   4
Fulham          5 1 1 0  2 1  0 3 0  3  3  7   1
Barnsley        5 1 0 1  8 3  1 0 2  4 10  6  -1
Walsall         5 0 2 1  3 6  1 1 0  3  2  6  -2
Charlton        3 2 0 0  4 1  0 0 1  1  2  6   2
Crewe           4 0 1 0  1 1  1 1 1  6  7  5  -1
Sheff Utd       5 0 2 0  3 3  1 0 2  3  9  5  -6
Nottm Forest    5 1 1 0  3 2  0 1 2  2  5  5  -2
Wolverhampton   4 0 1 1  2 3  1 1 0  2  1  5   0
Grimsby         5 1 1 1  2 2  0 1 1  2  3  5  -1
Port Vale       5 1 0 1  2 2  0 1 2  4  7  4  -3
Crystal Palace  4 0 1 1  2 3  1 0 1  4  9  4  -6
Blackburn       4 0 1 1  1 2  1 0 1  4  3  4   0
Swindon         5 0 0 2  2 6  1 1 1  2  2  4  -4
Tranmere        5 1 1 1  2 3  0 0 2  1  3  4  -3
Bolton          4 1 0 1  2 2  0 1 1  0  1  4  -1
Norwich         5 0 0 2  0 3  0 2 1  3  4  2  -4


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]Matt Rayner,

Newsletter #532