Newsletter #609

All quiet once again, though the stakes in any move for Eidur Gudjohnson have been deliberately raised by Sam Allardyce. The going rate for the Icelander appears to be around the £5 million mark, though when I say the ‘going rate’, I actually mean the price tag as judged by those illustrious chaps who have to write a sports story every day! Allardyce has now publically stated that Gudjohnson is worth much more, and City will need to go higher – note that he specifically named City rather than A.N.Other FC. To add fuel to the fire, Blackburn have said that Frandsen and Blake can depart and Allardyce has already expressed an interest. It seems likely that any deal will need to see Gudjohnson sold as a first step, so if the Blues really are interested, something may just happen soon.

Unfortunately, and due to unforeseen circumstances, Peter has been unable to put together his usual News Summary for today’s issue. However, it still contains info on pre-ordering the keenly awaited 1999/2000 ‘end of season’ video; more Blackburn memories; comment on the the club’s situation, and an African Why Blue.

Please note that all articles for the next two issues should be sent to Heidi Pickup… see below:

Next game: To be announced


Please note that I’ll be taking time off next week (not sure if being with the kids for a whole week counts ‘time off’!) and Heidi Pickup has kindly agreed to step in for the next two issues (MCIVTA 610 and 611). However, due to Heidi’s Internet access, it may be that MCIVTA will actually appear on Tuesday and Friday morning as opposed to the previous evenings, so don’t be alarmed if it is a little later than usual.

So, thanks to Heidi for being roped in, and please send all articles over the next week to:

Heidi Pickup (


CITY U-14s

City’s under-14 side will be travelling to Northern Ireland to play in the Foyle Cup in July. City were the winners last season and are expected to do well again.

More details at:

Linda Nevin (


The video all Manchester City fans have been waiting for – Manchester City FC – End Of Season Review 2000 video is now available and partners are offering the best price around.

The Manchester City FC – End Of Season Review 2000 video should retail at £12.99 but can now be bought for £10.39 (postage and packaging is free for any products anywhere!). All UK orders are sent first class by Royal Mail and they aim to get your order to you as quickly as possible.

You can link to them direct to the video though the following URL:

or alternatively you can click the link under the Blackstar banner on the front page of

This is what Net Magazine had to say about BlackStar’s website:

“A great-looking site, easy to navigate, and full of video bargains. Delivery is free to any destination in the world, so the price you see is the price you pay. Probably the best UK video site out there. 5/5”

Bob Young on behalf of


Re: Tony Arundale’s query in MCIVTA 608 concerning City reserves, I’m carrying an item on this subject in the next CITY magazine from Academy chief Jim Cassell, who confirmed to me that the reserves will be playing in the Northern Section of the F.A. Premier Reserve League next season.

In answer to his specific question, had City not won promotion to the Premiership, our reserve side would have stayed in the Pontin’s League next season (it has a new sponsor next year, by the way), and not gone ‘up’ to the F.A. Premier Reserve League.

Mike Barnett, Editor, CITY magazine (


Although I would love to help Tony Arundale by answering his question as to whether the reserves get promoted as a result of winning the Pontin’s League, I can’t. The reason why I am writing is neither can Willie Donachie or Jim Whitley! The two of them attended a recent Baguley and Brooklands Supporters’ Club meeting, the one before the vital game, away to Grimsby, and I asked them the same question. Bearing in mind Jim has been a regular in the reserves this season I would have thought he’d have known but he was as stumped as Willie, so sorry Tony, even the club can’t help you.

Also, a couple of weeks sgo someone wrote asking why there was an Official Supporters’ Club and a Centenary Supporters’ Association. I can’t recall the question being answered so perhaps I can at least help on this one. At the time of all the problems with Peter Swales, various branches asked the Official Supporters’ Club to raise certain points/objections/criticisms. The committee declined to do this and gave various reasons. As a result, a number of branches broke from the Official Supporters’ Club and re-named themselves the Centenary Supporters’ Association (it sounds so much better than the Independent Supporters’ Club like some out of town team has). For a long while it was not recognised by the club and to some extent it still isn’t although things do seem to have mellowed. They raise a fair bit of money for various charities and also the Youth Academy and they do not insist that 20 people are ‘signed’ up before being allowed to affiliate themselves to the cause by forming a branch. I hope that helps answer the question.

Nigel Pickles (


Manchester City Official Supporters’ Club (Chorley Branch) will hold their end of season party on Sat 17/6/00 at 3.30pm.

Venue: VERTEX Conference Centre, Little Carr Lane, Chorley.

Steve Smith (


One of the beauties of going up is of course celebrating our promotion all summer long. Any Blues in the U.S. read on and try to join up with a get together or two this summer. The Florida Blues are looking to get together sometime in June so email me or PD at I’m located in Jacksonville, Florida and as we all know who live here this country is pretty big but with a bit of an effort (like my 6-hour drive to meet with the Miami lads), it’s all worthwhile to be surrounded by Blues and reflect on a great season and of course who we’re going to buy for our assault on the Premier and the Champions’ League qualification!

I know there must be Blues out there in the likes of Tampa and Orlando (mainly Rags there though I have a feeling). I have the Brum and Blackburn tapes now in hand, the Gio video, my famous old City pics, City tattoos to give out, Blue Moon CD etc. so we can make it a good laugh. Located 2 hours North of me is Savannah, Georgia and the good news there is there’s a Blue – Andy Holmes runs an English pub called Churchill’s, can it get any better? Anyway, another promotion party is in the works for up there one weekend. Andy made it to the Blackburn game so he can tell us first hand what it was like. Lastly I have (yes, have) to visit the in-laws in beautiful San Diego over July 4th weekend and how else better to spend it than another Blue get together on Saturday July 1st at the Shakespeare pub? I met with the San Diego Blues last summer and we watched the play-off final video; little did we know 12 months later…

Should be plenty of City to watch on the box next season for us over the pond. We’ll definitely be on the highlights show on Sunday nights on Fox Sports Net but I’m not sure if I’m looking forward to Lionel Bienvennue taking the p*ss out of us every week. This fella makes Alan Brazil sound good. Those with Fox Sports World (still mainly on small dish Directv at the moment) could catch City either as the Saturday, Sunday or Monday main game if we’re picked. In any case the days of reading “I haven’t seen City play seen 1977” will be gone. Lastly, thanks to everyone running these 2 newsletters and the boys who run BV and the diehard ICQ lads who’ve been there every game following the commentary; we came through this together to get back where we belong, it wouldn’t have been half as much fun if we didn’t all go through it together. God I’m tearing up again like I did when Kennedy’s goal went in and I knew we’d done it. Email me about the get togethers.

City Till I Die, Paul Whittaker – Florida Blue (


Katie Gallagher’s was, as usual, the venue for the county Wicklow supporters joint viewing of the biggest City match of the season. I think it would be fair to say that there was a little bit of apprehension in the air when the match kicked off, and Blackburn Rovers, who were godawful all season, decided that they were going to give us a game; how the ball stayed out of the City net for so long in the first half beggars belief, but as we all know, Blackburn drew first blood. I bet they were sorry they did because after that Jansen goal, they got a hard lesson from the most spirited football team around.

When the mighty Shaun Goater notched up his 29th goal of the season the party atmosphere started to kick in. Renditions of “Blue Moon”, “CTID” and “Stand up if you love City” could be heard all over the place; we were heading for the Premier league and nothing was going to stop us now. There was an Ipswich fan at the other side of the bar and I think I know how he felt when the final whistle went. The pints were being lowered now at an accelerated pace, and there was plenty of hugging and kissing of fellow Blues. As evening became night we got some live music and a few well-oiled City fans jumping around half dressed, all males from what I can remember, even though I tried to entice some of our fair maidens to do likewise, but from what I can remember to no avail. I cannot recall too much after about 10pm but I made it to work next day, still don’t know how.

Kindest Regards, Paul Fegan (


First of all I’d like to say a big thank you to all those who put McVittee together for us. I’m sure most of you are like me who just expect it to be sitting in our email every Tuesday and Friday and don’t necessarily think of what effort got it there. So thanks to Ashley, Steve and Paul, and also to Peter for his comprehensive news summary.

I’m getting a bit of a reputation with Ashley for penning match reports which dont involve City. You may recall last season I put together a match report on my wife’s team – Motherwell – as we saw them down the pub and Ged Brannan was playing and indeed scored a cracking goal. He has continued to play well this season, scoring a few goals and the ‘Well finished fourth, just missing out on a UEFA Cup place. As you can see, I try to get some City links in though. That wasn’t the case with my Easter weekend Roma vs. Parma match report (not even any tenuous links) so I was going to submit it during the summer but I accidentally deleted it.

So the last day of the Premiership saw the wife and I travel up to Geordieland to see them play the Gooners. Here’s the first City link – the reason why we went was because I won 2 tickets in a raffle to see any Newcastle home game whilst travelling up to Maine Road on the train with the London Branch – courtesy of Steve Irwin – cheers mate. So, after discounting those games that clashed with City at home I had a choice between Leicester (urrgghh) and Arsenal, which was also the last game of the season (no contest). So off we trooped.

At the risk of offending any Newcastle-born subscribers it must be said there ain’t a lot to do in Newcastle. We had done it all on Saturday so when Sunday dawned we decided to go to the pub and watch Bolton play Ipwich before the main event at 4pm. And what a cracking match it was; real end to end stuff and finishing 2-2. Anyway, I had my ear to the ground listening to the chit chat of the fans in the pub. Eventually those behind us started commenting on City and Danny Tiatto in particular, stating he was a dirty so and so with no skills. I turned round to confront them defending Danny, who I rate as a great player for his commitment and his ability to read the game, which I’m afraid is the subject of my soap box at the moment simply because that ability is lacking from (for example) Whitley’s game and it is an underrated quality. Then they said we would struggle and made negative comments about the Goat, so I tried to put forward my views but they started talking amongst themselves about other things. At this point I was quite annoyed. I was ready to launch into a diatribe about their (alledgedly) legendary supporters and blowing the league despite having a 12 point lead for good measure but Nicola talked me out of it (good thing in retrospect).

Anyway there are no more City links so I’ll wrap up quickly. Their stadium can be seen when approaching by train as they are building two stands on top of the existing ones and it’s blooming impressive. Newcastle won 4-2 although Arsenal were resting their players for the UEFA Cup Final (although like me you’re probably thinking after wasting 2 hours of your life watching the game, why did they bother). All in all not a bad game. Newcastle did a (suitably refrained) lap of honour at the end and all the fans clapped in a dignified manner from the stands. A great weekend was had by the two of us.

Now hands up who wants a match report of Woollabagong vs. N Melbourne?

Jonathan Tod – Bury Blue (


Any collectors of all things Manchester City may be interested in a sale I have heard is to take place in October: The Chris Muir Collection (he’s a gormer director of Manchester City from 1968 to 1995). Included in the vast collection of programmes and memorabilia items are: FA Cup Final Gold watch 1969 winners (for directors); Official shield for 1976 League Cup Captains; Pennants from away tours; Presentation items from official tours and one-offs; suit from 1981 FA Cup Final and replay; Japanese dolls etc. given to club from tour matches; excellent run of programmes from this period; Korea tour programmes from 1976; USA tour programmes from 1980; Japanese tour programmes from 1993; Youth tours from 1980’s; Menu Cards for FA Cup Finals etc. Plus a lot more in this excellent collection to be sold by auction in Manchester in the month of October by Speciality Sports Ltd. More details from Speciality Sports Alec Bohannan, 112 Turner Street, Birches Head, Stoke on Trent ST1 2NE 01782 812444 or 01782 463197.

Jim Curtis (


Before we get another round of requests and replies for Blue Moon ringtones, could everyone please note the existence of the web site which has Blue Moon ringtones for a variety of different mobile phones.

Maybe there should be a MCIVTA FAQ, and this could be one of the questions?

Paul Howarth (


I was watching the last 15 minutes of last season’s City-Gillingham play-off final (again) and enjoying again that moment when Dickov scores that dramatic late, late equaliser “Can you believe it!?!”. I was somehow reminded of the final scene in the film “Bladerunner”. Following an incredible fight sequence, the actor Rutger Hauer (as the replicant/alien who himself is running out of life), is watching the final seconds before Harrison Ford falls off the roof he is desperately clinging on to. Then at the very last second, just before he falls, he grabs Harrison Ford and hauls him back from the abyss. As Rutger Hauer’s character was called Roy, I think we should re-nickname Dicky to “Roy”. After that Wembley goal, and his ‘icing on the cake’ goal against Blackburn Rovers, I just hope he does not have to leave the club to make way for the new signings.

“City will be great again!” I remember hearing these words on Piccadilly radio as my brother and I trudged back to the railway station after a disappointing defeat at Maine Road. It was around the late 70’s/early 80’s and the person being interviewed was Peter Swales. At the time we were regulars in Europe, had a good team and were never in fear of relegation. So it just shows how far we have fallen (and risen) in the last 20-odd years, let alone the last 4 years since Swales died. Over the years, as things went from bad to worse for City, my brother and I would recall these words with a tad of black humour!

I have enjoyed reading every one of the accounts of 7/5/00 – they were all excellent – it must have been fantastic to actually have been there. Having read other peoples’ stories I am now relieved to know I’m not the only paranoid/ superstitious City fan around either! I even wondered about the Lloyds cash machine I used before the match because it had a horse-like logo which reminded me of the emblem on the Ipswich shirt! The build up to the match for me began at about 5.30pm on Saturday 29th April. I was best man at a friend’s wedding and as soon as the speeches had finished I dashed up to our hotel room and put 5 Live on my radio. Almost straight away the link man goes “…and we can now go over to talk to a very happy George Burley after his team’s fantastic 3-1 win over Charlton…” “NOoooooooo! I don’t believe it,” I groaned. They surely wouldn’t have lost if they had needed a point. As I couldn’t get a ticket, me and a fellow Runcorn Blue decided to meet down at the Barley Mow. I was the first person in the pub, at 12.00 prompt – I was waiting outside for the doors to open like some character in Eastenders. When the landlord let me in I saw that the big screen was already tuned into the right Sky channel – nice set up I thought, no sun on the screen, quiet but tense atmosphere. But then as I settled down on a bar stool with my first pint of Guinness (£1.79 – great price!) in passing the landlord says: “…there might be a few lads in for the Grand Prix later…”“You what?!”; I then went on to explain the importance of the game etc., and he said he’d go with the majority. Well by the time k.o. arrived there were about 6 of us City fans, plus an Everton & Man U fan who both wanted us to win – and more importantly wanted to watch it. No Formula 1 fans ever did show up, so if they did appear they soon disappeared.

Anyway you all saw what happened and have reported more dramatically and eloquently than I could. Suffice to say that I was getting a bit morose when we were still 0-1 down and the news came through that Ipswich had scored. But that magic ball from Super Kevin Horlock and the Goat’s predatory instincts had us all jumping up and down in joy. We were never going to let it slip from there – what a difference a goal makes eh?! The Dailly oggy and the Kennedy slammer were met with even more delirious joy and after that it was a stroll. A party. A carnival. “City are back, City are back” etc. How I wish I could have been there! I ordered more drinks for everyone… “and a large brandy for me please Mr barman”. The Everton and Man U fan were both made up for us. After a while we staggered back to mine in the bright sunshine and blue sky, to open the Moet I had been chilling in the fridge since that morning! MMMMmmm nice! I was a little bit squiffy by this time and phoning all my brothers, friends and even someone else I didn’t even know ’cause I dialled the wrong number! Do days get better than this I thought?!

I read somewhere that the AC Milan president sent his congratulations to City on promotion. Is this something to do with Mr Bernstein’s comments saying we aim to get back to being on a par with United, to a situation like in Milan where Inter and AC compete on level terms? Or is it because our fantastic 4-1 victory was in the same red and black stripes that AC Milan wear? Or does it go back even further to the respect they still have for City when we beat them 3-0 in the UEFA Cup in the 70’s (I was there with my big bro’)? Maybe he just liked to see a big club back where it belongs?! BTW on the subject of the red/black stripes, why were the club only allowed to make a limited edition of 10,000 of these excellent so called leisure shirts? They’d all sold out when I was in the club shop last week. Surely the club should make this fantastic looking and ‘lucky’ strip our permanent 2nd choice kit, and make whatever the new one looks like the 3rd choice to replace the current white one? What do others think on this? We’ve not lost in that kit yet. It’s a classic and I could not agree more with Neil Haigh in what he said on this subject. Plus if it was the 2nd kit we could look forward to wearing it (and not losing!) in away games at Leeds, Chelsea, Leicester, Everton, Coventry, Derby and maybe Ipswich.

The best player quote I read post-7/5/00 (can’t remember if it was Whitley or Prior?): “When we were 4-1 up we were just knocking the ball about and talking to each other, we’re gonna get p****d up tonight good style”. From reading some of the Player of the Year reports of the next day, some of them certainly did!

While on the subject of player quotes, in issue 11 of Chips ‘n Gravy fanzine there is a long interview with the Goat. In answer to the question “How highly do you rate Joe & Willie as a management team?” he replied: “Oh they’re at the top of my list of all the managers I’ve been under. Obviously I haven’t been at a lot of other big clubs, but for me I think they know how to get the best out of every individual.” It’s nice to hear Shaun doesn’t rate that other lot he played for a big club! Nice one mate! Incidentally, last weekend I decided to have a mooch up in the loft of my ‘2 up 2 down’ terraced house for the very first time in 8 years of living there. Amongst some junk and rubbish I found a black baseball hat. I couldn’t believe it when I blew the dust off to see it had written on it “BERMUDA” and the Bermudian emblem! How ace is that?! So I gave it a good wash in the bath and it’s come up like new. So that’s what I’ll be wearing for the matches next season! Cool.

On the summer signings that have been speculated on so far; Eidur Gudjohnsen (or Torre-Andre Flo?), Alf-Inge Halland, Hignett or Holland (depending who loses on Sunday) plus a re-juvenated Terry Cooke will do for me quite nicely thank you very much! Some bloke came up with this theory on a Radio 5 Live phone-in, but it also occurred to me before then: City finished 3rd in the old 3rd Division, and now second in the old Second. You don’t think there’s a pattern emerging here do you? – could we really finish next season as… Nah! Anyway on this note I will finish with another quote… from me this time! In MCIVTA 506 (the coffee table edition) in my post-Wembley report last year I wrote at the end as follows:

“We can build on this. We’ve got a great set-up and of course fantastic support. I really feel this side (with a few careful buys) will find it less hard to get promotion from the 1st than the 2nd. That remains to be seen as we look forward to next season, now with optimism rather than dread!”

Well, not bad eh?! Those “few careful buys” were duly made by Joe, and we did find it less hard to get promotion because we didn’t have to resort to the play-offs… like Ipswich and Barnsley – ha ha ha! So what I reckon is that if Joe gets the players he wants then we’ll finish at least mid-table next May, and will be challenging for a UEFA Cup spot the following season!

P.S. A big thanks to Simon Edwards who is kindly sorting me a video of the whole thing. Can’t wait to watch it all again (even the gruesome first hour). It will be like watching a cult film; slow to begin but gets better and better the longer you watch it!

CTID, Jon Reese (


Below is a reply to a letter in last Sunday’s Sport First from a Spurs fan who reckons that George Graham should sell David Ginola, because he doesn’t produce his best form as often as he should. Reminded me of the Joe Royle and Gio Kinkladze scenario.

“I totally agree with the view of Brian Phillips, that Spurs should let Ginola go, and hope that my parallel view stems the flow of hate-mail you are expecting from your blinkered colleagues.”

“Take my team, Manchester City. In 1997 Gio Kinkladze had become a demi-god at Maine Road, the only reason I followed City around the country. The wonder goal against Southampton, the mazy runs, the guy was, and still is, a world class individual, and a thoroughly nice person. Unfortunately no individual has ever won a League Championship or the F.A. Cup. Whilst I recall fondly his great skill, the phrases “tackling back”, “defending” and “teamwork” were not in Kinky’s Georgian to English phrase book. Gio’s three year career in Manchester will always show: 1996 – relegated from the Premiership, 1998 – relegated to Division 2. Following City at the time was like watching a member of your family dying slowly from a terminal disease. Then along came the cure, in the form of The Holy Trinity, David Bernstein, Joe Royle and Willie Donachie, in early ’98, too late to reverse the stench of negativity around the club. Kinkladze was dropped almost immediately, which didn’t exactly endear Royle to the fans. But Joe had read the script, saw Kinky’s lack of bottle for a relegation fight and got rid within 3 months, as we were relegated. The rest is history, with back-to-back promotions in the next two seasons, achieved with a squad that do understand those phrases that were so alien to Kinkladze. Shaun Goater was the division’s leading goalscorer with 29 goals, but his defensive header count last season would embarrass many a centre half! The club is now full of honest, hard working individuals with plenty of skill, who are prepared to listen and learn. At that applies to all the staff, not just the players. With a few more shrewd investments similar to Spencer Prior and Mark Kennedy, the potential is limitless. With the enormous fan base, of which I am proud to be part, there is no danger that Manchester City will be another one season wonder in the Premier League. Everyone at the club is focused on the future, with the events at Stoke City on May 3rd 1998 serving as a reminder of where we’ve been, and must never return. The club badge motto is “Superbia in Proelio”, which means “Pride in Battle”. The badge also depicts a winged bird. Against Gillingham last season, the Phoenix rose from the ashes. At Blackburn this season, the Eagle took flight. Don’t be surprised if City are pushing for a higher nesting spot in Europe next season. I won’t!”

Steve Kay (


In response to John Lowe, I actually like squad numbers. Apart from anything else, it allows you to identify opposition players from the programme easier. Also, it means that you can tell what the manager’s idea of a starting 11 is at the before the start of the season. As for the Revie Plan, I thought that had more to do with Trautmann’s ability to throw the ball out very quickly and accurately from his days playing handball in Germany.

Must agree with Neil Haigh about the red and black kit. Definitely my favourite away strip. I would love to see us wear it permanently. It would be like Barcelona’s refusal to have a shirt sponsor, a refusal to bow down to the PLC mentality. Mind you, it is kind of fun to have a hideous away shirt every now and then. Wembley in a sea of fluorescent yellow is a sight that will remain in my mind to my death.

CTID (still), Stuart Langley – Cockney Blue (


First off, 24th May. I didn’t tape the Blackburn match, so if if anyone has a copy (of course I will re-imburse the costs; just about coming down)… Is it real are we back? Altogether now: “Come and join us… Come and join us… Come and join us at the top… We’re the best team in the country and we’re louder than the Kop”); oops, getting carried away.

Living in Luton is a pain; it’s not exactly City-centric (not even anything-centric if the truth is known) but when one’s heart will always reside on Egerton Street (now that stupid roundabout on Water Street), one knows where one will die (and certainly not in a cardboard box Mrs Cartland – what a horrible Man Ure fan she was, ugh). Am I digressing? OK I’ll digress. I reckon we need another song. One that shows us for what we are. And I think it’s got to be a ‘together’ song, us and the club and the players. Anyone remember “We are family! My brothers, my sisters, CITY!”? You can even do a half decent clap to that one. Just a thought. Lastly, I want to thank Ash and everyone else who has contributed to this, the best news twice a week. Until I get my kids through University I may not get to another match but just as soon as they are, I’ll be there just like all us family. Love you all, we’re special.

Jack Millington (


A few months ago I suggested it would be an idea for people who had already become a spent force in the “Why Blue” department to write a story about their favourite shirt and why?. It doesn’t seem to have caught on. Why not? Come on guys, there must be some good stories out there. I loved the bit by Ernie Whalley in the last issue, where he mentioned he had Dennis Tueart’s Spare 76 final shirt – lucky b*gger.

P.S. The guy at the Melbourne do from Gatley was Carl Braybrook; any of you who know him or want to get in touch get on to me and I will pass your address to him.

Paul Keelagher (


In response to Neil Haigh piece about the red and black shirt being from City’s early days, I was always led to believe it was Malcolm Allison’s doing. He copied it from AC Milan to make us more continental or something equally inspired. I have read that City’s first kit i.e. when they were Gorton AFC in 1888, was a black shirt with a white cross in the middle. It was presented By the St Mark’s church warden Mr Beastow. So there you are, I really must get out more. I was watching the Eurovision Song contest the other night (see what I mean about getting out more?). Did anyone notice one of the Latvian band members appeared to have a Rag shirt on! Practically a local, actually being from Europe.

P.S. the I had a favourite shirt thing never really caught on, though I liked the Irish lad’s story of Dennis Tueart’s spare league Cup final shirt – you lucky b*gger! Anybody got any good shirt stories? I am to sort my cornflake collection now.

Paul Keelagher (


An Anorak Writes in…

Another Anorak replies:

When the red and black kit appeared in the late 1960’s it was a well-kept secret – the biggest surprise since we turned up on Boxing Day 1964 and David Wagstafe wasn’t playing and no-one found out ’til after the match (no papers that day!) that he’d been sold to Wolves.

Anyway, at Everton (April 29, 1967 – or November 4?) we’re waiting for the teams to come out. Total confusion as out comes a team in red and black, a few seconds then we recognise some City players, and then the travelling Blues begin chanting “We don’t like red, we don’t like red…” Up ’til then the away kit was the all-maroon.

Steve Parish (


I wonder if you could possibly help solve a family dilemma that has been going on for quite some weeks…

When the Premiership first started back in 91/92 the very first game live on Sky was between Man City and who? And if possible could you tell me the song that was played on Sky Sports to open the Premiership?

I would be most grateful if you could help with this little problem, or even part of it would be lovely.

Thank ever so much.

Mrs D Mather (


Any Blues in foreign parts who can help with this? My brother, who sadly is a Liverpool fan, is shortly to depart on a round the world backpacking trip. He had hoped to meet up with fellow fans of the red scouse persuasion. However, Liverpool FC have been hopeless in providing him with any info of their fans abroad. Do any of you Blues, particularly those in USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, know of any Liverpool supporters in your area whom he could contact whilst on his travels? If you can help, please contact me at Thank you.

Andy Cleaver, Secretary – OSC London Branch (


Sky blue Manchester City shirt signed by the entire squad and manager.

Please e-mail offers to the address below.

Lee Creasey (


I turned Blue at the end of the 1960’s, sometime around my eighth birthday. In retrospect it seems odd that one can become so infatuated with a team thousands of miles away, but City really were the greatest – League champions, FA Cup, League Cup, European Cup Winners’ Cup, and they had the best kit (the red and black away strip in particular) and of course Francis Lee and Colin Bell. And since my local team was Cape Town City it seemed to make a lot of sense at the time.

Following Man City from the southern hemisphere was frustrating to say the least. The best way to keep up to date was by reading magazines like Shoot which arrived two weeks late on the mail ship from Southampton, and by following the reports and scores in the daily newspapers. At Xmas my parents would give me the football annuals which meant I could live out my fantasies for most of the coming year.

I suppose largely because South Africa was a former British colony and many of us had British roots (technically I should have been a Portsmouth or Cardiff City fan), most of the kids at my school followed an English side and City had an impressive following. I distinctly remember one year in junior school playing in a 5-a-side competition and us being not the only side wanting to call ourselves Manchester City. Unfortunately the following in Cape Town has dwindled over the years and most ‘fans’ these days seem to support either the Rags or Liverpool, or to a lesser degree Arsenal and Spurs. The Newcastle and Blackburn shirts that appeared on the streets a few seasons ago seem to have quietly disappeared, to be replaced by the blue of Chelsea. My brother sadly has been following United all this time, so barring some notable exceptions, I have had to endure a lot of abuse since that happy day in 1974 when Denis Law’s goal sent United down to the second division.

I attended a Catholic junior school and at the age of 12 made my confirmation. Those who have been through this ordeal will know that one of the requirements is that you adopt the name of a saint which then becomes your church name. I chose St. Francis – everybody assumed it was because I liked animals, but it really had a lot more to do with Francis Lee. Not long after, I gave up religion but not my worship of Francis Lee.

On Saturdays as the English matches were ending, we would tune in to the BBC World Service on shortwave radio to hear the classified results, and when there was a cup final or international they would relay the match commentary. The reception was usually so poor it sounded like you were listening to the radio from inside a dishwasher with a particularly nasty ear infection.

South Africa only started television broadcasts in the mid-70’s and the chances of seeing British football were very remote. But a small no-star hotel in the centre of town had a bright idea to increase their takings. They flew tapes of Match of the Day etc. from the UK every weekend, and would screen them throughout the following week, so at last we were getting to see our heroes in action and on a regular basis.

At the same time, local football was booming with Cape Town’s two professional sides dominating the league and cup competitions and pulling capacity crowds on Friday evenings. Cape Town City were managed by Roy Bailey (father of Gary, ex-Red and England ‘keeper) and Hellenic by Budgie Byrne (West Ham/Fulham/England). The teams were made up largely of British imports like George Eastham, John Sissons and Ian St John who came out here towards the end of their careers. During the English off-season, players like Francis Lee (imagine how elated I was to get his autograph!), Peter Lorimer, Kevin Keegan, Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst would come out and guest for the local clubs. But once international sanctions began to take hold, things started to change dramatically and South Africa became more and more isolated.

I moved to England in 1979, largely because of the unhealthy political climate – unfortunately the closest ground was Loftus Road and not Maine Road though I was never for one moment tempted to follow QPR (admittedly no great achievement) and my loyalties remained in the North. I spent a lot of time going to live music venues in London and it seemed that even my favourite bands were from Manchester – The Buzzcocks, Magazine, Joy Division, New Order, Durutti Column.

Returning to Cape Town several years later, I saw Peter Reid’s Man City come out to play against local side Santos. I remember being disappointed because Niall Quinn wasn’t in the squad but City, very much in holiday mode, won the match by a one goal margin.

Thanks to satellite I was able to see City as many as ten times this season (how I envy those of you who are able to get to Maine Road regularly) and the final thirty minutes in the promotion rollercoaster against Blackburn must have been one of the most unforgettable and emotional experiences of my life. I pick up the club news regularly on the Internet and of course via the one and only MCIVTA. I only know of about a dozen Blues in Cape Town these days although there are obviously more, and am still regularly asked Why City. Well this is why.

Chris Davis (


Contributions: Heidi –
News & Rumours: Peter –
Subscriptions: 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 #609