Newsletter #752

An excellent result on Wednesday night against an admittedly inept Birmingham saw us progress to the next round (6-0 in case you’ve missed the scoreline). The new Darren Huckerby scored 4, and we saw the return of Berkovic and Wright-Phillips as subs and the début of Mettomo. Here’s hoping the form continues for Stockport.

Tonight’s issue contains plenty more opinion from policing to Mr Black via Royle, requests, and a great Why Blue. Unfortunately the news is lost in space – maybe we should acquire a couple of McV homing pigeons.

Finally, on a sad note, we learned this week of the tragic death of a great Blue character: Espen Heggelund, of the Scandinavian Supporters’ Club who will be known to many of you. Thanks to Rick and Clive for their pieces.

Next game: Stockport County, home, 3pm Saturday 13 October 2001


Many of you will have seen Espen posting on BV as the Blue Danube or in the chat room during matches. I know many will also have met him on one of his frequent trips to see his beloved Blues. Espen was one of those people nobody has a bad word to say about – a thoroughly likeable bloke, which makes his tragic death in the Milan disaster all the harder. Espen was together with his girlfriend on board the SAS flight, which tragically crashed on Monday 8th October.

I have Espen to thank for introducing me to the mad gang who form the Scandinavian Supporters’ Club through chatting to him on BV. His passion and for and knowledge of footy was huge and if you ever wanted an intelligent discussion on the game Espen was your man. He’s been to TG before and Tor tells me he was part of the team which won the five a side a few years ago. He was an ever present at branch meetings and contributed every issue to our local Supporters’ Club magazine with a diary of events surrounding the Blues. Like most of us I’m sure he wished he was actually a bit more of a player himself – he played a bit of a Charvet rôle in our club side in our last competition and I’m sure his long ball approach would have met with Joe Royle’s approval!

Espen’s passing has left us all a bit poorer – he was unfailingly full of humour, intelligent comment and was quite simply someone I was proud to call a friend. Peace be with you mate!

Rick Stott (

I am shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the tragic death of Espen Heggelund (a.k.a. Blue Danube). His untimely death is a reminder to us all of the fragile nature of life. He was one of the original TG-ers who I met at the first Tribal Gathering, which Bob Young and I organised, and he was one of those tremendously loyal Blues who travelled from overseas to support City. The memories of the time spent with him will stay with me personally for the rest of my life as he was the first TGer to meet me at the Platt Lane Training Ground on that fateful Saturday morning of the first TG. I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Espen’s and his girlfriend’s families. He was a very likeable bloke who was friendly and humble. He joined in all the Tribal Gathering activities with a smile and I know he will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him. Perhaps someone close to the club could ask that a game be dedicated to him.

CTID, Clive Tysoe (


So now you’re going to believe us?

What have I been telling you about Joe ‘Stalin’ Royle for the last 3-4 years? Well now you know, and I know, that I was totally right, all along. The guy just doesn’t and never did give a stuff about anyone other than himself. Eager to blame everyone but himself for the shambles that he alone had made.

I don’t need to go over old ground too much, because you’ve heard it all before. But the temerity of the man to sue City for ‘unfair dismissal’ really does take the entire pack of digestives. And it has forced me to comment strongly here yet again.

Ernie B., I’m sorry, but your loyalty (even now?) to Joe is totally misguided and worse still, an important part of the reason as to why he was allowed to spin completely out control at our club. With such unquestioning support behind him, he became a law unto himself; a tyrant, with nothing but utter contempt for anyone who didn’t see things precisely the way he did, through his utterly distorted lens. Sir Joe? Don’t make me laugh.

This guy spent £17 million of our money, relegating us from the Premiership, and now he wants to relieve us supporters of another half a million. For what? He now has the gall to claim that he was sacked whilst still a ‘Premiership’ manager. Wake up Joe, you never even were one, for the whole of the miserable 12 months that you were there.

And as for unfair dismissal, the ‘stealth black’ pot is really calling the kettle here. Brown, Cooke, Taylor, Russell, Fenton, Kinkladze, Weah et Al were all ‘constructively dismissed’ by this great and hypocritical dictator. Why? I for sure don’t know. Now here indeed were loyal employees, forced out of our club for no reason, and given absolutely no chance to prove themselves – in some cases after nearly a year’s absence from the first team! Their careers ticking away in front of their eyes. Joe meanwhile had over three seasons, an awful lot of money and king size amount of good will from the club and its supporters.

I hope Bernstein fights this all the way. He should study City’s record under Royle, and paint for the first time, the true picture of events. Furthermore, he should now rip up Joe’s compensation claim in its entirety, and fully clarify Joe’s ‘surprise’ sacking.

Joe had to go for one reason, and one reason alone: gross incompetence. Therefore, we don’t owe him a penny.

Don’t look back in anger? You have to be kidding.

Neil Haigh (


What is really going on with the current level of policing at Maine Road? It is the morning after the thrashing of a woeful Birmingham side 6-0 in the Worthington Cup. There really cannot have been more than 150 Birmingham fans, there was only a coach and 2 minibuses. As has become customary this season, home fans were not permitted to walk around the North Stand but were forced down the narrow, police horse sh*t smeared, cobbled alleyways that surround the ground.

Around 7,000 fans were forced down these unlit alleyways so as 150 Birmingham fans could get on their coaches? There was an old boy in front of me that was caught by his friends when he lost his footing at least three times in the 100 yards it took to get back onto Claremont Road. It’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt as a result of this stupidity.

The massive police presence at this match was probably the reason why the tickets were so bloody expensive. Does anyone know why the police tactics have become so heavy handed?

Angus Jordan (


Thanks to everyone who responded to my story about meeting ex-City player Alan Black. The responses were interesting: everyone except one said he must have been Andy Black not Alan Black. And indeed the documented dates of Andy’s career coincide with what Alan told me about his. So, was I just being dozy and remembered the name wrong? Bzzzzzzzzzz. Nope. I don’t make name-related mistakes like that (usually, anyway). I did a Google search on “Alan Black Manchester City” and what should pop up but a page from itself! Check it out: And indeed it’s Alan Black, not Andy.

I have the Maine Road Encyclopaedia, with has an entry for Andy Black. Bob Price wrote me from Amsterdam to say that Manchester the Greatest City documents Alan’s career – I don’t have the book, but Bob didn’t mention an “Andy”. Judging from these record books it looks very unlikely that two different Blacks would have such similar City careers at the same time. So I could be persuaded that Andy and Alan are one and the same. But why would there be two names in circulation for the same guy? Curiouser and curiouser. If I’d been paying attention on that weekend back in 1994 I’d have got Alan’s (Andy’s?) contact details.

Looks like I’ve traded one mystery for another. Can anyone out there shed any light on this Alan vs. Andy thing?

Bill Buffam (


This may have some time to run yet! When I was a young lad working at Manchester Airport (various years between 1960-69), Andy Black was mine host at the Tatton Arms, Moss Nook (opposite Skyway’s). Think it was called the Tatton Arms, because memory is failing after 30 years away and it was always called Andy Black’s. Andy’s son Graham used to work for KLM in the cargo section and all the lads used to play football together during lunchtimes (also tennis in the summer on the old RAF courts). I have a vague memory that the pub used to feature jazz, but I was more interested in the jukebox at Skyways at the time.

Last time that I can remember being in the pub was after the semi-final against Ipswich at Villa Park. We had a mighty session before the game in some great Banks’ pub in the Black Country, just getting into the ground a few minutes before kick-off, as was our way in those free and easy days. We celebrated all the way home (and it’s a long way from Birmingham to Manchester), including a couple of pints of Robbie’s in Andy Black’s, though I couldn’t tell you if AB was still in charge at that stage. Two of the party (including yours truly) finished off with a pint in the Finney Arms, where we had to go in the vault as we hadn’t enough cash left to drink in the lounge – even at Holts’ prices! The names of the party (including the driver) are withheld to protect the innocent (and the guilty).

Happy days – pity it all ended in tears a few weeks later, but that’s another story!

Barry Riley (


Although I never seen Andy play I do remember he ran the Tatton Arms pub on Styal Road close to Manchester Airport, probably in the 1960’s if my memory serves me right. A busy little pub which most people referred to as ‘Andy Blacks’. It was opposite the Skyways cafe which was a very popular biker’s place. Not sure if the pub is still there but it was a Robinson’s house and served an excellent pint of bitter. Oh what sweet memories.

John Taylor CTID (


I was surprised to see in the last MCIVTA how many people still remember Andy Black. He played in the first City team I watched, immediately after the war.

What really surprises me, however, is that nobody commented on the fact that he was playing the cornet at the age of 77 – no mean feat. Does this mean that all the time he was out there scoring for City, his real ambition was to play in the Beswick Prize Band?

One of your correspondents referred to Alec Head – he means Alec Herd who was in the same post-war team, but left to play for Stockport in 1948. Andy joined him there two years later.

David Buxton (


I read in the Chester City matchday programme, 9 October, that Ray Gill passed away on 17 September, aged 76. Ray holds the record for most appearances for Chester, but was a Man. City player earlier in his career, joining the club in 1941 and making his Football League début against Wolves in 1949, the first of 8 appearances for City. Our thoughts go out to Ray and his family.

Jim Needham (


Goats do Roam is available in most Sainsburys, cost around £4; it’s South African red wine.

Paul Green – Sainsburys off licence manager (


I have just moved to Marlow, which is 4 miles from High Wycombe. I was wondering if anyone knew of any Blue pubs or supporters’ clubs in the area so I can talk about by long suffering Blue habit?

Please e-mail me at the address below if you have any suggestions. Hope you can help.

Max Paterson (


The next meeting of the Reddish branch of the Centenary Supporters’ Association will be on Wednesday 17th October at The Ash Hotel, Manchester Road, Stockport, starting at 8.00pm when we will be having a “Commonwealth Games Presentation Night”, which includes a virtual reality tour of the stadium, information packs, promotional goods and ticket order forms – definitely a night not to be missed. As usual everyone is welcome.

Howard Burr (


Does anyone know on which, if any, TV channel the Worthington Cup goals/highlights are shown?

Thanks, Barry & Yvonne Cox (


You asked for some Why Blue stories so here’s one for you!

How I became a City fan is a strange story really and can be attributed to my elder brother’s then loyalty for the Red half of Manchester. When we were young, my dad was in the RAF so we used to travel all over the world, never really settling in one place, and as such deciding which football club you were going to support was either too difficult or was never really a top priority. However, our travels finally brought us to Market Drayton in the 1968-69 season when at the same time we received as an Xmas present what was at the time the ‘in’ kids game, table top magnetic football.

Lo and behold the colours of the teams were sky blue and red. It was at the same time that for some unknown reason my elder (and somewhat unbalanced) brother was starting to show an interest in Man Utd and had actually gone to a game at nearby Wolverhampton and like most kids at that time had jumped onto the 68 European Cup bandwagon. As he took great delight in beating me at anything, I always had to be Man. City when playing magnetic football, whilst he was the red sh!te and as expected he always won (I should point out that as I got older I beefed up a bit and so there was one particular sport he did not want to engage me in competition!).

Anyway, the damage was done; I was from that point onwards a City fan, keenly looking for their results every Saturday night. Not long after that we moved to the Wirral when I finally got to see my beloved Blues. The sad thing is I cannot actually remember my first City game or where it was (probably old age and numerous gallons of Aussie red wine setting in) although I am pretty sure it would have been at Anfield for a customary beating (I was there when Frannie Lee tried to gun down the cop with a photographer’s camera stand) or maybe even Everton when Mike Summerbee came on with a false nose.

Anyway I was hooked and from then on I got to City whenever I could, which tended to be midweek as I played rugby union on a Saturday. It also coincided with what was probably City’s best ever period. My most memorable match was when we beat Coventry 3-1 in the quarter final of the League Cup at Maine Road. My mate and I had skived off school as the game was in the afternoon, I think because of the electricity strike or something, it rained for 3 hours solidly and with City 1-0 down with about 12 minutes to go I was depressed. However, a great recovery saw City win 3-1 and the caning I received the following day for being seen on telly seemed worth it.

I have seen some great games and some superb players down the years but for some reason a handful stand out, the 3-1 win at Anfield with Trevor Francis in majestic form (mainly because at the time I hated Liverpool as all my mates were scousers and they always thrashed City), Peter Barnes’ fabulous performance when we beat Standard Liege 4-0 at Maine Road, and the Cup final in 81 when fate robbed us of what should have been our trophy, are just 3 games that spring to mind.

Anyway, in 1998 at the same time we were relegated to Division 2, I was seconded to Sydney by my employer and am here until at least July 2001. In a handful of trips back I have always made sure I got to see City, sadly the last visit taking in the home defeats to Spurs and Soton. Hopefully Kevin Keegan can turn things around and take us back to the Premier by the time I come back to the UK for good.

Steve Owens (


Recent results

9 October 2001

Walsall               2 - 0  Norwich City           5,713

League table to 10 October 2001 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts
 1 Wolves          10  2  2  0  6  4  5  1  0 14  5  7  3  0 20  9  11  24
 2 Burnley         11  3  1  1 16 11  4  0  2 11  7  7  1  3 27 18   9  22
 3 West Brom A.    10  4  0  2  8  2  2  1  1  6  5  6  1  3 14  7   7  19
 4 Norwich City    11  5  0  0 10  2  1  1  4  3 13  6  1  4 13 15  -2  19
 5 Crystal Palace   9  4  0  1 15  5  2  0  2 10 11  6  0  3 25 16   9  18
 6 Manchester City 10  4  0  1 14  6  2  0  3 13 14  6  0  4 27 20   7  18
 7 Portsmouth      11  3  0  2 11  8  2  3  1 10  8  5  3  3 21 16   5  18
 8 Bradford City   10  4  0  2 18 11  1  2  1  4  4  5  2  3 22 15   7  17
 9 Coventry City   10  2  1  2  6  5  3  1  1  7  4  5  2  3 13  9   4  17
10 Wimbledon       11  1  3  1  9  8  3  1  2 12  7  4  4  3 21 15   6  16
11 Nottm Forest    10  4  1  0 10  4  0  2  3  1  4  4  3  3 11  8   3  15
12 Grimsby Town    12  2  2  2  5  6  2  1  3  9 15  4  3  5 14 21  -7  15
13 Millwall        10  3  0  1  9  3  1  2  3  5  9  4  2  4 14 12   2  14
14 Birmingham City 10  3  0  2 10  5  1  2  2  6 10  4  2  4 16 15   1  14
15 Gillingham      10  3  0  2 13  6  1  1  3  4  9  4  1  5 17 15   2  13
16 Preston N.E.    10  2  2  1  8  4  1  2  2  4 10  3  4  3 12 14  -2  13
17 Sheff. United   11  1  3  2  7  9  1  3  1  4  5  2  6  3 11 14  -3  12
18 Watford         10  3  2  1 13  9  0  0  4  1  8  3  2  5 14 17  -3  11
19 Crewe Alex.     10  3  1  2  4  7  0  1  3  5 11  3  2  5  9 18  -9  11
20 Walsall         11  2  2  2  5  6  0  1  4  5 13  2  3  6 10 19  -9   9
21 Barnsley        11  2  3  1  9  9  0  0  5  1 12  2  3  6 10 21 -11   9
22 Sheff. Wed.     11  0  3  2  4 10  1  2  3  5 10  1  5  5  9 20 -11   8
23 Rotherham Utd.  11  0  3  2  5  9  1  1  4  6 11  1  4  6 11 20  -9   7
24 Stockport C.    10  0  1  3  4  8  1  2  3 11 14  1  3  6 15 22  -7   6

With thanks to Football 365


[0] MCIVTA Addresses

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[1] MCIVTA Deadlines

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[2] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page is the unofficial Manchester City Supporters’ home page. Created in 1994, it is the longest running of the Manchester City related web sites. Back issues of MCIVTA are also hosted on the site.

[3] Club Web Site

The official club web site can be found at

[4] Supporters’ Clubs

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (; the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” ( and “The International Supporters’ Club” (

[5] Fans’ Committee

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Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found here: An alternate live commentary service, hosted by Yahoo, is located at: GMR Saturday Sport is also available live online between 1-3pm, and 4.45-6pm at

[8] 01/02 Season Match Day Theme Tune

The music the teams run out to at Maine Road this season is “Nightmare”, by Brainbug, and is available on the Positiva label.

[9] Acknowledgements

Thanks go to John Arnold for providing the information regarding match day music and to Ian Bell for pointing out the alternate live match commentary service.

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[Valid3.2]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #752