Newsletter #1112

A round up tonight from Don of all things happening down at Carrington, CoMS and post-Liverpool. We also have a match report from our winning reserves, opinion on Pearce (get that man a long term contract), praise for City catering, the usual requests and another great Why Blue.

Next game: Fulham, away, 3pm Saturday 16 April 2005


General News

Can We Play You Every Week? It was a good week for a couple of City’s sides against our friends from the North East. On Saturday, City’s under-18’s walloped Sunderland 4-1 – but later in the week the Reserves did even better, with a five goal spanking of Newcastle United. Christian Negouai opened the scoring on 12 minutes, and the Toon held out the 54th minute, when Beep smashed in the second. Negouai soon slotted in his second, and was replaced by Ishmael Miller – the substitute promptly scored twice in the final five minutes. City: Weaver, Warrender (Capt.), Thatcher, J D’Laryea, Richards, Sommeil, Croft (Ireland 62), Flood, Negouai (Miller 78), Wright-Phillips (Bermingham 76), McManaman. Not Used: Schmeichel, Collins.

Won’t You Be My No.2? Although SP’s future will not be decided till the summer, this hasn’t stopped the media speculating on who will fill the City hot seat next term. Friday’s Sun for instance, said that SP was assured of the job, having already impressed the Directors of his suitability. The M.E.N. meanwhile thought that Pearce might have an elder statesman assistant in the mould of Arthur Cox, and it was claimed that Pearce already consults KK’s former right-hand man. Perhaps Stu agrees judging by these comments: “Obviously I like to do a lot myself but I am happy to delegate and am happy for other people to have an input,” he explained. “I am not one of those people who think I know all the answers. I am acutely aware I don’t know all the answers. I believe it is important to keep doing the things you are good at but things you are not so good at you should get others to help you out at.” Unlikeliest rumour of the week? How about Carlos Alberto for boss? The Brazilian World Cup winner and currently Azerbaijan boss was mentioned on a fans’ website. They quote a bet365 spokesman saying that they had received a number of bets for Alberto to be next City boss. Methinks that needs to be filed under “late April 1 joke”, although if you’ve more money than sense, you can get 33/1 on the man who recently called Michael Owen a “midget”. A more believable link appears in today’s Guardian, which thinks that SP may well want Nigel Clough as his No.2 next season. Clough is one of his closest friends in the game and one of the brightest up-and-coming managers around, having established Burton Albion in the Conference after winning back-to-back promotions. Perhaps now isn’t the right time to report that Clough Jr. was voted the worst ever City player in this month’s FourFourTwo magazine. He’s a better manager than player folks, honest…

Shaun’s Wright Back! He may not have played for six weeks, but there has been a veritable plethora of Shaunie-related stuff in the MCV news ‘in’ tray this very day. First came the splendid report that the Mighty Atom may well be welcomed back into the squad for Saturday’s encounter with Fulham. “Shaun is back in training and has been with the main squad since Monday,” confirmed SP. “He’s fully fit and although he’s not had a reserve game I will consider anybody who trained with us all week.” Next we learned that SWP has been nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award. The winner will be announced on Sunday April 24, but Shaun faces competition from Chelsea star Arjen Robben and Reds’ duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. The other nominess are Jermain Defoe from Tottenham and Middlesbrough’s Stewart Downing. OK, I’ve buttered you up with the good stuff, here’s the bad news. Once again, the Times has suggested that Chelsea will make am £18 million bid for SWP come the summer. Jose Mourinho has identified Wright-Phillips as one of his main transfer targets, while “Sources close to Peter Kenyon, the Chelsea chief executive, say the Barclays Premiership leaders are prepared to double Wright-Phillips’s wages to about £50,000 per week.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Musampa Mystery: You pays yer money and you makes yer choice when it comes to guessing the fate of Kiki Musampa. The signals coming from the UK suggest that the Athletico Madrid man could one of SP’s first signings in the summer. “Since Kiki has come into this football club he has been an asset to us without a doubt,” commented Pearce. “I think he has given us better balance and shape within the team having not had a natural left sided player out there all season. He still has a few games left on his loan period and we will sit down with him and his agent when the season unfolds and have a chat with them.” Yet Henk Timmer writes that in Holland, De Telegraaf reports that Musampa is set to leave City after his current loan deal runs out this summer. Henk also reports that Paul Bosvelt will only be offered a 6 month deal, which may tempt Bos to return to his home country.

Ex-Blues’ News

Much Ado Ron Ron: Ronald Waterreus has clarified his comments regarding his departure from City to join Glasgow Rangers. “I got slaughtered in Manchester when I said City don’t play for anything. They are playing for a mid-table place but here you are challenging for trophies every season,” the 34-year-old said. “City were a great club to play for, though, and I enjoyed playing there. It is also a nice experience to play for Rangers. My first games here were at Hampden, Ibrox and Celtic Park so I had seen it all after just three matches. At this stage of my career it is a big bonus to play for a club like Rangers and I am really enjoying myself here. I came over here to show people what I could do and I think I have done pretty well so far. It is up to other people to judge me but I think I am doing pretty well. There is pressure on you all the time but that is what you live for and that is why I am here. Playing without pressure is not really playing. The way I see it, there is no point in playing football without it.”

Royle Reunion? Tabloid reports this week suggest that Darren Huckerby could gravitate a little further South this summer, swapping Norwich City for Ipswich Town – providing that Norwich are relegated, and their Suffolk rivals replace them in the top flight. Hucks would therefore be linking up once again with Joe Royle, who signed him for City in December 2000 for £3 million (how much?) from Leeds United.

Big Mac: I’m Lovin’ It: Paddy McCarthy has been telling the Pink about his move to Leicester City. Dublin-born McCarthy is enjoying the experience of regular first team football, albeit in a lower division. “I’m really enjoying myself down here,” says the 21-year-old. “I’m happy with the move and the way things are working out. The time was right to move on so I haven’t really had a second thought about that. I was just happy with the situation at coming to Leicester. I’m not looking back, I’m just looking forward to having a good career here. I’m aiming to establish myself as a first team regular next year. I still speak to the likes of Willo Flood, Glenn Whelan and Stephen Elliott. His career has gone on leaps and bounds since he left City. He is a full international and I think he has proved if things don’t work out then you are best moving.”

Reactions and Comments

Kik Start for Stu: Liverpool’s Champions’ League heroics against Juventus counted for nowt as Kiki Musampa’s last-minute strike gave City a 1-0 victory last Saturday. Despite being outplayed for much of the contest, and surviving a superb Musampa second-half volley that crashed back off a post, Rafael Benitez’s men looked like hanging on for the point that would temporarily have taken them above Merseyside rivals Everton. But Lee Croft, thrown on for Paul Bosvelt 20 minutes from time, found space inside the visitors’ box and picked out Musampa with a superb cross that he lashed home. It was City’s first win under SP’s tutelage. He said: “It was poetic justice. Last weekend we conceded in the last minute – it was a dagger in the heart, even though I wouldn’t admit it. For all the hard work over the past four or five weeks the players deserve it.” On his full-time dash down the tunnel at full time, he explained: “Anyone who knows me as a player would remember I never shook hands, I was always straight off the pitch. After the final whistle I was caught up in the moment and was halfway down the tunnel. But credit to Tim Flowers, he grabbed me and told me to get back out there. I wasn’t being arrogant or cocky. Luckily the Cat has big hands, it was like my dad, he dragged me back and I would like to apologise.” Rafael Benitez’s frustration and disappointment with his team were obvious. “I am very disappointed. Sometimes when you cannot win a draw is a good result,” said Benitez. “We were in the last minute, we had a throw-in, then we give the ball away. They counter and we lose a goal. If we play to the level we can, we can make fourth but it will be difficult if we do not improve our mental attitude. You can not afford to lose this kind of game. We played maybe too wide in the first half. In the second half we started controlling the game with the team more compact. There was a clear chance at the end for Steven Gerrard but then there was a throw-in for us, we lose the ball and concede the goal in the last minute. We played too wide and they ran, they worked hard in the first half. We had some chances on the counter attack but we never controlled the game. In the second half there were more opportunities to go into the box. At the end if you don’t score maybe you need to draw. We don’t maybe have this experience.”

Psycho Logical: There had been some criticism of Psycho after the Charlton game, as some pundits and fans thought that the new manager hadn’t been analytical enough – no substitutes were used at the Valley, for instance. “I made mistakes at Charlton and got too caught up in the emotion of the game,” he acknowledged. “I didn’t see tired players and I didn’t bring players on and kill the game at the right time. That was a mistake and I feel, if I am being honest, that I cost us the three points. This week I was able to step away from the game, get advice from the coaches and make the substitutions. And, thankfully, I felt they added to our performance and enhanced us as the game wore on.” Pearce was quick to praise the fans. “They gave me a fantastic ovation, and, hopefully, next time we come back here they will raise the roof and lift the players again,” he said. “I think they gave us the extra backing we wanted. As the team gets better and better by the week, I fully expect our fans to get louder and louder.” He also wanted to ensure the players were given due credit for the performance and the result. “It was a big result for me, make no mistake about that, but I am just pleased for the players,” insisted the manager. “That may sound a little simplistic from my point of view when I am scrapping for my life for a job, but I honestly believe I am a strong enough character to look beyond results. I am just pleased that the lads got a win, because the effort they have put in for me for five weeks has been sensational. They deserved the rub of the green. The whole squad situation here means that they are putting pressure on one another to get in the team, and together we are going to drive this club forward.”

Love-Lee Pass! Substitute Lee Croft certainly brought a bit of pep to City’s attack when he entered the fray on Saturday. A neat interchange with fellow substitute BWP sent Croft away down the right wing, and his cross was duly dispatched by Kiki Musampa. “I’ve been here since I was twelve and each time that I have got the nod to go on it has been a dream come true,” stated Croft later. “One I got on it was frantic and the ball was just going from end to end and I thought that I just had to get a foothold on the game. Luckily I got a few good early touches and the players around me helped with that. That helped me settle into the game. The tempo has been up in training and we have worked hard and now when we are playing games it is showing and paying off. Bradley and I were sitting on the bench and we were joking that it would be great if we got on and I provided the cross for him to score the winner. It didn’t quite work out like that but it was just as good as we were both involved in the set up for the goal. I was punching the air and really didn’t know what to do. It has always been my dream to celebrate with the City fans and now I have realised it.”

Squad News

Sylv’s Salute: Sylvain Distin has been paying tribute to KK this week, refusing to join in with the criticism heard from some of his fellow squad members. “That I am here today is because of him,” he declared. “That I am captain of the club is because of Kevin Keegan. I am happy here and I have improved as a footballer, both mentally and on the pitch. Whether he left at a good or bad time, only time will tell. It was his decision and nobody else’s. We have to respect that. I had no idea that he was going. I can’t speak for everyone, but as a player I feel partly responsible for his decision to go because even though he was the coach, we are out there on the pitch and it up to us to bring success and perform well. If we had been getting good results, nobody would have questioned when he was planning to leave. It was the same last season. When you have bad results, people try and find reasons why, and it will always be like that.” Distin has, however, enjoyed some of the new style training methods. Distin told the club website: “No-one should underestimate how important set-pieces are in the game now. A lot of games are decided by a goal or goals from the dead ball situation. Of course it’s not just taking the free-kick but it’s equally important not to concede them and that’s something we’ve been working on as well in training.”

What a Difference a Boss Makes: Swipe me, what’s this? A manager of City encouraging his youngsters to stay with the club? That new Boss fella is most keen to keep hold of Lee Croft and Stephen Jordan apparently. In the words of the great man himself: “We want Lee to stay at this football club, I have talked to him personally. I have talked to his agent and the financial people at the club are talking to him as well. Lee and Stephen are amongst the last of the young players to sign up and if I was in their shoes I would be telling my agent ‘I want to stay and work for this man’. I think in football nowadays players have got to start guiding their agents a bit more rather than the other way around – that’s my personal opinion. I don’t speak out of turn because when I was at Forest I just told my agent continually that I was happy to stay at the club. When I left Nottingham and went to Newcastle I told him that I was signing for them and to do the deal. That’s how players should use agents even though I think they are good for the game. If Lee or Stephen come to me and ask my advice I will take my manager’s hat off and put it to one side and tell them to go where their career is going to benefit the best and go where they are happy those are the two criteria they should be considering.” And another Psycho innovation was revealed in the pre-match build-up on Friday. The Mirror reported that Mr. P was talking balls. And I quote “Caretaker boss Pearce has insisted on all ball-boys around the pitch having a football in their hands for tomorrow’s clash with Liverpool to maintain the tempo of the game. Amazingly, under previous boss Kevin Keegan, City only used to have one ball in use for home matches, which allowed opposing teams to slow the game down whenever it went out of play. ‘Because of the size of our stadium, with all the room around the pitch, it can sometimes be 30 seconds before you get the ball back in play,’ said Pearce. ‘And so when you’re the home side trying to set a fast tempo that becomes a very hard thing to do. When any team goes away from home, they try to kill the tempo of the game and the noise generated by the supporters.'”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


City played host to an inexperienced Newcastle side, who could not even muster the full complement of subs, on Tuesday night in their bid to continue the title challenge. I am convinced this is going to come down to the last game of the season versus Manchester United at the MiniSwamp.

We had surprise inclusions of McManaman and Thatcher, with Weaver returning for the unlucky De Vlieger who has picked up yet another injury. Full line-ups below.

The ball boys were tonight provided with the multi-ball ploy used at home against Liverpool. A good idea, but extremely disappointing to see the old codger distributing the balls berating a couple of the young lads there doing their best. A big no need.

The Blues started the better team, and had two early breaks created by Negouai and BWP. On 11 minutes, a Willo Flood corner was met by Negouai who leaped for the ball and headed home for the opener. 1-0.

Newcastle’s only real attack of the game came down the left wing as O’Brien (their only real threat) ran down, lost the defender Warrender and crossed the ball in for the ball to be headed over. Lucky for us, as the defence had gone AWOL.

Negouai was causing problems up front for the Toon defence, and had another attempt with a header cleared, although it didn’t help that was pushed in the back by a Newcastle defender, and we duly got the corner.

Despite the attempts, we went into the break at just 1-0 up and were hoping that we would not give the players their usual Horlicks at halftime. Special mention at this point for one or two players who do manage to mingle with the fans and aren’t too grand, they know who they are.

Second half, and BWP collected a long ball from Thatcher, ran half the length of the pitch and slotted the ball home coolly. 2-0. McManaman was busy in midfield, and made a break but unfortunately for him couldn’t fire home.

We then substituted Croft for Ireland, and Stephen was soon in control of the midfield. He put the ball through the hapless Toon defence, Neggy duly slotted home. 3-0.

BWP and Negouai were then brought off for Bermingham and young Ishmael Miller respectively. A few minutes later, Thatcher hit another long ball over which Miller trapped, ran into the area and was promptly brought down by the Newcastle ‘keeper. Given the scoreline and their lack of subs, we were awarded a penalty and no cards for them. Miller coolly went up to take the spot kick, and did so ably. 4-0. In the dying minutes of the game, Flood put the ball through for Miller who turned the Toon defender just inside the area and hit a lovely shot past the ‘keeper. 5-0.

An easy win for City, and a confidence boost for all three goal scorers. Good to see Macca and Thatcher come through 90 minutes and Pearce will have a few decisions to make come Saturday.

Just a thought, but how about trying the much-maligned Negouai (who I thought was MotM tonight) in the Sibierski rôle? He cannot do any worse, and gives us an option in the air.

Finally, a special thanks to Bry and Steve for their rendition of The Israelites. I am sure Peter Kay will be looking into releasing that one for Children in Need.

City: Weaver, Warrender, Richards, Sommeil, Thatcher, Croft (Ireland), J D’Laryea, Flood, McManaman, Negouai (Miller), BWP (Bermingham)
Subs: Schmeichel, Collins.

Newcastle: Smith, Gate, Cave, Farman, Huntington, Edgar, Brittain, Finnigan, Walton, A O’Brien, Terrell
Subs: Baxter, Carroll, Cavener

Heidi <editor(at)>


Firstly, apologies for not sending footie reports since the turn of the year! All sorts of different and uninteresting reasons/excuses. I have been to all of the home games but not moved enough to write.

A tremendous performance on Saturday against Liverpool, perhaps the start of a nice unbeaten run-in? Certainly the remaining six games are ones in which we can avoid defeat.

The departure of KK has been much commented upon. I have always been a fan of his, especially as a player, and was thus sorry to see him go. But, having witnessed the abject display at home to Bolton…

The difference in the attitude of the players was clear for all to see on Saturday. I sincerely hope that Stuart Pearce gets the job… never mind his tactical naïvete, this man has turned Manchester City’s back four into one of the meanest around! His contribution from the Technical Area (and many points outside it!) was truly enormous in comparison with KK, who tended to adopt the arms-folded, let the action continue approach. Psycho was constantly cajoling and berating – players, officials and hapless ballboys alike (had the latter not been drilled on the ‘multi-ball’ approach; they certainly knew it by the end?)!

The 5 points lost in the Bolton and Charlton (just how does that grim little club manage to stay up?) matches are looking very costly, especially given the FA Cup semi-final draw. Am I the only person in the UK who believes we can and should try to achieve 7th and thus UEFA Cup qualification? KK seemed not too bothered, likewise the press. But every home cup game, apart from providing additional interest, also leads to significantly increased revenue!

I hope that Pearce has faith in the youngsters; we seem to have an excellent crop right now. If the squad can stay free of injury we actually have the basis of a great team, certainly regular top 8 material. We have 2 extremely good ‘keepers plus more in reserve. Dunne and Distin are fine now, we have options at both full back positions and youngsters, at that. In midfield, obviously SWP and Joey are regular fixtures… but what of the other central spot? I think actually it will depend on the new strike partner for Robbie. Any aerial prowess and you would hope we will play down the flanks, but a shorter, quicker striker and we need an Ali or an Eyal in the middle! I obviously wish we had kept Nic, truly a world-class player. Not to be… how about Southampton getting relegated and Kevin Phillips linking up with Robbie for 3 years, with BWP in the wings? And Jon Macken in the job centre. I ramble.

Come on City! No losses in the last 6 games and let’s sneak into 7th place. Oh, and Arsenal to beat ManUre, comprehensively, in the Cup!

Mike Bains <mikebains(at)>


I have watched the 2 matches that Pearce has been in charge, and I, like many thousands, want him to be given the job on a permanent basis, which I am sure will be the case. Against Charlton I was very annoyed that Pearce did not make any substitutions, especially with Macken missing every chance that came his way, Reyna looked tired and Sibierski was dropping further back as the game was coming up to full time. No, I am a firm believer that substitutions are vital, as they not only bring on fresh legs, but also bring a new dimension to the play. Look how Charlton turned their fortunes around by making 3 substitutions at half time; how we needed fresh legs in midfield on a warm afternoon. I would have brought on Bradley W-P for Macken, Mills for Reyna and Croft for Sibierski, and I firmly believe we would have picked up 3 points.

I will give credit to Pearce for leaving Mills out for Onuoha, this might serve notice to Mills to concentrate on his football, rather than acting like a prat, by trying to be the “hard” man on the pitch. Jordan is still not back to his best, but maybe it’s best that Pearce perseveres with him.

In midfield we should have Musampa (looks better with each game he plays), Barton, Bosvelt and Reyna or Croft. In attack we should have Fowler and Bradley Wright-Phillips, as Sibierski has gone off the boil and is certainly not the type of forward we need.

Glyn Albuquerque <glynalbuquerque(at)>


John Nisbet (MCIVTA 1111) makes an excellent point. If Joey Barton and Robbie Fowler had been wearing red, Liverpool would not have lost. With thirteen men against our nine, they would surely have scraped a draw!

John Joyce – Mid-Sussex Blues <chez.jules(at)>


In case anyone would like a different (and I sincerely hope more accurate) translation of the German article on Trautmann, here goes…

He never played for the national team. People are still arguing in pubs about the correct spelling of his first name. Even his date of birth is disputed. But one thing is certain: Bernd (“Bert”) Trautmann is regarded as one of the greatest goalkeeping idols of this century. Last October the man born in Bremen celebrated his 75th birthday – fifty years after a difficult start.

You see in 1948 forty thousand irate Englishmen had taken to the streets to demonstrate against his first appearance. A German in Manchester City’s goal – absolutely unthinkable just a few years after the end of the Second World War. And yet shortly after that the enraged City fans dropped their planned boycott. Incredible saves in his first away game at Fulham had an extraordinary outcome: the opposing players clapped Trautmann off the pitch.

Thus began the career of a goalkeeper who had ended up in England as a prisoner of war after some varied years in the armed forces. Convicted by a German wartime court martial of being a saboteur, the paratrooper escaped at the last minute, only to be captured by the Russians shortly afterwards. The French arrested him after another escape, then the Americans and finally the English, who welcomed the champion escapee with the immortal words “Hello, Fritz – how about a cup of tea?” Trautmann had made a career for himself in football back in Prisoner of War Camp 50 in the English town of Ashton – a career that set not only sporting milestones. Of course the English loved him, as for instance in one game he saved four penalties. But he earned the greatest respect in his adopted country, for whose sake he shortened the forenames on his birth certificate from “Bernd Carl” to the user-friendly “Bert”, as an impeccable ambassador of football. This man wrote some important chapters in the reconciliation between Germany and Britain in the post-war years. He was praised by fellow-players such as Stanley Matthews and Bobby Charlton as “the greatest goalkeeper of all time” and assured himself of a prominent place in the all-time book of football legends.

The date was May 5th,1956. Prince Philip insisted on congratulating in person the hero in goal for first division Manchester City on their triumph in the English cup final. Then out of curiosity he asked, “Why are you holding your head at that angle?” to which Bert Trautmann calmly replied, “Got a stiff neck.” It was not until four days later that a medical examination brought to light the real reason for the unusual position of his head: in the dramatic final attacks Trautmann had once again risked life and limb, and in doing so had broken his neck. For almost six months a cumbersome protective plaster cast ensured the healing process for a brave goalkeeper. Now if not before, this courageous performance had made Bert Trautmann the most popular goalkeeper in England, and the very same year he became the first foreigner to be chosen as “Footballer of the Year”.

Finally in the year 1964, 60,000 fans said goodbye at a crowded Maine Road stadium to a footballing idol, whose toughest battles had been fought outside the grounds. Trautmann’s five-year-old son had been killed in an accident; his first marriage had failed; and brief appearances as manager at inferior clubs produced no great success. Eventually, the German Football Federation sent the man who had become an adopted Englishman out into the world to assist developing countries. This was a generous gesture to an exceptional footballer who had never played for the national team, because manager Sepp Herberger in those days strictly excluded the “foreign legion”.

David Buxton <dbbuxton(at)>


Found this article online, thought others may enjoy it:

Gordo found himself at a sportsman’s dinner at Old Trafford a couple of weeks ago, the guest of Scott Harper of the Malmaison. Gordo has, for many years, been a victim of the catering there (United that is), sticking for years with two seats in the Manchester Executive Suite at prices so high they bring tears to your eyes.

For many years the catering at Old Trafford has been abysmal, starting with the worst pies in the whole of the football league, the most disgusting beer you can ever drink (that’s if they are still serving the Manchester United Bitter down under the stands), whilst the corporate catering in the ‘prawn sandwich’ enclaves beggars belief at prices that would make Bill Gates think twice.

Large buffets of ‘hot’ roasts of grey meat, watery veg, spuds that you could use to build stone walls to keep sheep in, along with service that is infantile, all goes together to show what happens when you know you can sell out every game and have a waiting list of mugs. To United, it’s just profit. In short, everything off the pitch is a bloody disgrace. And I still support them 41 years later. And, Tony Wilson is right, there is only one God and his name is Eric.

I thoroughly enjoyed the night, but only because I went with a sense of humour as I do to any United catered event, and my table had the delightful Claire from Key 103 as the luxury flare player, Scott in the holding rôle on a drinking mission and Sarah with a big grin on her face along with Carol Keller and Denise McGlinchy acting as full backs. We had fun. Tommy Docherty was doing the after dinner speech, he was good, the food was awful.

Two weeks later, I am at the derby – Man City vs. United as a guest of Bruntwood in their box with my pal and their Marketing Director Simon Scott.

I have been a guest at City on numerous occasions over the years, starting when I was seventeen in the Kippax Stand where I learnt that you can’t outrun a well aimed half brick to the back of the head. Believe me; even the food in the A&E at the Infirmary is better than the various exec clubs at United.

City’s food is miles ahead of United’s in every aspect, from the pies to the great brunch served at the derby on Bruntwood’s behalf. The catering staff are great, the areas far better designed and service, both outside and inside the exec areas completely outclasses the Reds. This is an example of a club that knows it has to deliver quality on and off the pitch if they want to stay in the Premiership, and certainly they do it with their catering. As usual City do have a propensity for shooting themselves in the foot. Gordo was outside the box by the open air seats smoking a cigar when one of the stewards told him smoking wasn’t allowed outside in the stadium, and ordered him back into the box where you could smoke in the confined space. Hmm.

With regard to United, I don’t know if they still have the same catering company that old Louis Edwards appointed, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all. And they have learnt b*gger all since 1967, unlike the squad

I don’t want the likes of Glazier taking over what should be owned by the people of Manchester, the ones that have put their hard earned dosh on the line filling the pockets of footballers, fat cat shareholders and wrinkly Australian (oops, American now… speaks for itself, eh, Rupert) publishing megalomaniacs. The people walking in that ground every home game, the 2000 or so away supporters; Gordo sees the same loyal faces at grounds all over the country, come rain, shine or blizzards. These are the people who should inherit this club. It’s part of us. First Glazier, then Manchester United re-locating to Naples, Florida for a tax break? Mind you, if Glazier promised Gordo rare roast beef with gravy that poured and decent bitter…



Does anyone have any info on the following players, i.e. where are they, what are they doing now?

Roger Palmer
Dave Bennett
Keith McRae

I was going to add Kenny Clements but I have found out that he is a driving instructor in Saddleworth.

Perhaps you might know of the whereabouts or occupations of other 60s/70s or 80s players? If so could you email the editor.

Andy Webb <Charlesalexhols(at)>


Desperately seeking 2 tickets for Fulham. please call 07899 998 997 or email. Can meet to collect – at ground or in London.

Many thanks, Simon Hope <simonjhope(at)>


I am looking for a perfect bitmap image of the proper City crest, à la Umbro diamonds kit badge to be made up to vinyl to sit on top of the my new car roof. If anyone out in McVittee land has a mint bitmap copy I could use to send off for reproduction, I would be most grateful.

After eight or so years of the old faithful Rover – less two majestic C17Y UP years in a works Beamer – I have just bought a Mini cooper in perfect blue with a white roof. Pics of the finished article to all senders are promised!

By the way, on the football front, long may our renaissance continue. Stuart Pearce is fast securing a long term place at City and building on some strong foundations. How we have needed three longish periods of management for stability since Tony Book was ousted by Swales and his cronies. Let’s hope we can take on Europe over the next five years. With Academy lads, a couple of grafting stars and SP at the helm building on good foundations with hard work as a minimum requirement.

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


Does anybody remember; there’s a wonderful account of Psycho’s attempt to score from a penalty in his last(?) match. Of course he blasted the kick over the crossbar. But – does anybody remember which issue of MCIVTA this was in?

Jon Magnussen <jonm(at)>


“This is for me the essence of true romance
Sharing the things we know and love
With those of our kind
Libations, sensations
That stagger the mind.”

(Deacon Blues by Steely Dan, 1980.)

1968. In the late summer, my dad took me to Maine Road for the first time. The ground was full (wasn’t it always?) for the visit of Bury. It was a pre-season friendly, and the trophy paraded beforehand was the League Championship. I hadn’t taken much notice of footie before that, and my main memory of the day was 60-odd thousand people cheering and laughing when an overweight middle-aged bloke came on as sub. He was Malcolm Allison. He really brought the house down when he rattled the crossbar from midway inside the Bury half. To be honest, although the massive crowd was impressive, I still wasn’t convinced.

1969. This was the year I began to take notice. In May we watched the Cup Final, at my grandparents’ flat in New Moston. I don’t know why, grandad was a Red (and still is, at 95). The difference was, grandad was first and foremost a Manc, and wanted City to win the Cup just as he’d wanted his beloved United to win the European Cup at Wembley a year earlier. My main memory of the day is dad’s reaction when Neil Young smacked home the Cup-winning goal past a young Peter Shilton. He was just jumping up and down and yelling at the top of his voice. I’d never seen him (or anyone else for that matter) behaving in such a manner, and it was actually a bit scary, but intoxicating at the same time. If the game could make a thirty-six year old father-of-three carry on like that, there had to be something in it.

After that, I went on and on and on at my dad to take me again. He finally relented that November, City vs. United. The attendance that day was 63,013. Poor dad was queuing up outside with me when the gates opened at 1pm. At my insistence, we went to the very front of the Kippax, and he sat me on the front wall, where I watched the crowd grow over the next couple of hours. You could tell this was a very different atmosphere from that Bury game. Even at 10, I could smell the hatred. At about five to three, a bloke asked my dad if he could put his little lad on the wall next to me. “No, b*gger off” said dad, none of this ‘all Mancs together’ b*****ks for him (Incidentally, can you believe we had sixty-odd thousand unsegregated people at a Manchester derby?).

We were one-nil up at half-time, and actually had one disallowed because a Franny Lee piledriver was judged to have still been on its way towards the top corner when ref Gordon Hill (didn’t he later play for United?) blew the half-time whistle. It didn’t matter much in the scheme of things, ’cause we went on to win 4-0, but two more were disallowed. I told all the Reds at school on Monday that we’d really beaten them 7-0. I was well and truly hooked. Winning derbies 4-0 was a fantastic feeling, and I couldn’t wait for the next time.

1970-1974. I started secondary school, and the Blues won the League Cup and the European Cup-Winners’ Cup. Always 60-odd thousand at the games, and the likes of Colin Bell, Mike Doyle, Mike Summerbee, Franny Lee and Tony Book every week. I remember Rodney Marsh being blamed for us finishing 4th in 1972. We were several points clear at the top when he joined in the spring, but things didn’t work out, and we blew it.

I was always a Marshy fan though. I was taken to Old Trafford for the derby in late ’72. Big Mal (Malcolm Allison for younger readers) had a habit of walking down to the Stretford End and holding up four fingers to indicate his prediction of how many City would score. The furious Reds would throw coins at him, and Malcolm pocketed each and every one of them with a beaming smile. Might be classed as bringing the game into disrepute nowadays. Anyway, Rodney came on as sub with us 3-1 up. United players stood helpless as he performed the full range of tricks. Poor old Martin Buchan, their skipper, had the ball kicked off his shins for successive corners as the great man took the p***.

In 1974 my grandad took me to Wembley to watch us play Wolves in the League cup Final. Our forward line that day: Mike Summerbee, Colin Bell, Francis Lee, Denis Law, Rodney Marsh. We were bloody awful and lost 2-1. It’s a long road, that M1, isn’t it? Just a few weeks later, I was back at Old Trafford. My parents would have killed me if they’d known I was in the Stretford End, having got separated from my mates much earlier. This was the legendary day that Denis Law backheeled the Reds into (temporary) oblivion. Trouble is, I cheered. I just couldn’t help myself, and I stifled it quickly, but the damage was done. I somehow pushed thousands of silent, stony-faced people out of my way, and then I ran and ran and ran. Several minutes later I stopped, too exhausted to avoid my inevitable fate any longer. I nearly cried when I saw that I was completely alone (to be on the safe side, I’ve never gone back there, and I never will)!

1975-1977. Phil Adamson, Tim Keogh and I never missed a game at Maine Road. It was a topsy-turvy time. A great Dennis Tueart goal to win the League Cup on my second trip to Wembley. A couple of good UEFA Cup runs, I saw us beat Juventus and AC Milan. But by and large we were on the slide. We used to joke about whose turn it was to stand behind the pillar for the restricted view.

1977-1981. Big Mal came back, not a good idea. Kaziu Deyna, Trevor Francis, Steve Daley, Kevin Reeves, the mighty Dragoslav Stepanovic. I was now studying in Leeds. I remember sharing a minibus with some scouse mates and coming down for the day to see us lose at home to Liverpool, about 5-0. To almost add injury to insult, the scousers nearly got us all battered when the bus got stuck in the crowds, with them singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” in the back. In ’79, I came back with Andy Buxton, a mad Blue who was also studying in Leeds, for the derby at Maine Road. I was sharing a house with two Reds, and Andy and I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing their smug faces if and when they beat us, so we decided to stay in Manchester for the weekend with my folks, and come back late on Sunday. Before the game, Andy stood outside trying to flog a spare ticket. A Red offered him £10, a lot of money then, and was flabbergasted to see Andy give it away to a City fan instead. I like to think I’d have done the same. Anyway, Michael Robinson hadn’t read the script, and he scored one of the goals in a 2-0 win. All of a sudden, the perfect plan came together. Instead of staying in Manchester, we would go back to Leeds and arrive at the house just as Match of The Day was starting. The look on the Reds’ faces would be priceless. It meant an evening of drinking in pubs we’d never been to (didn’t want to spoil the surprise by seeing them!) but we managed it and opened the front door just as the familiar theme tune began. Emmy and Gregg were apoplectic with rage as we took our seats alongside them to cheer the victory all over again.

Big Mal finally went, to Crystal Palace, at the end of 1980, to be replaced by John Bond. And who did we get in round 3 of the Cup? Yep Crystal Palace. The return of Mal split the crowd. Half of them seemed intent on showing more support for him than for our own manager (not unusual at City, I remember one ‘Blue’ being angry when we got a late equaliser against Birmingham, because the goal was scored by Mick Channon, his most hated City player!). Anyway, John Bond won the battle of the managers, 4-0. We then beat his son Kevin’s Norwich 6-0 in round 4, and you could sense something in the air, especially when we drew Peterborough in round 5. A 1-0 win, Everton away in the quarter-finals. 2-2, then a 3-1 win in the home replay. I’d just got myself a job in Spain, so I couldn’t stick around for the semi-final and final. Thanks City, great timing! Spanish telly showed the first match against Tottenham, but not the replay, which we tried to follow on the World Service. I’ve still not seen that match!

1982. My best Andy Buxton moment (even better than writing off his dad’s car en route to Everton and being more worried about missing the game) was the Nou Camp, Barcelona, a pre-season tournament in 1982 featuring City, Barça, FC Cologne and Vasco de Gama. Andy had come to visit, so naturally we went to the game. We got there before the ground filled up (Barcelona was the second match) and I grudgingly agreed to go and call the City boys over from their warm-up. I was 22, but still very shy about talking to my heroes. Eventually Paul Power saw our scarves and came over with Tommy Caton (RIP).

PP: Bluddyell lads, what are you doing here (tt was unusual to see away fans at pre-season games in Europe.)?
JJ: Well I’m working here, and Andy’s on holiday. We’re both Blues, so we’ve come to give you a cheer.
PP: Brilliant. Well, we’ll go out there and see what we can do for you.
AB: Well, I hope it’s better than last season. I had a season ticket, and talk about a waste of money. When are we going to sort out the midfield, etc, etc?
I caught PP waving and turning away. I think I might have fainted out of embarrassment after that (I know you’re wondering, we beat Cologne on penalties).

1983 was my first experience of relegation – sitting helplessly in a Spanish bar as the World Service vultures gave us the full commentary. ’85 saw us beat Charlton 5-1 and again I celebrated with ex-pat Blues on the Costa del Sol. In 1986, I was back in the UK and managing a pub in London. My brothers sorted out tickets for the Full Members’ Cup Final, my third visit to Wembley, and a 5-4 defeat to Chelsea. ’87 I was at Upton Park when a 2-0 defeat relegated us once again. Six months later at Maine Road, I saw 3 City hat-tricks as we beat Huddersfield 10-1 (naturally, we lost the away game 1-0). ’89 not only promotion, but a 5-1 win against our Salford enemy. A sweet, sweet day as Andy Hinchcliffe gave the big ‘High Five’ to the Rags.

Mel Machin, Howard Kendall, Peter Reid, Brian Horton, Alan Bloody Ball what other team would play keep-ball at 2-2 against Liverpool when needing 3 points to stay up? So relegation again in ’96. Should have been getting used to it by then, but it still hurt. Not only that, but in 1998 our lowest point ever. Division Two fixtures against the likes of Macclesfield Town and York City (where I believe we lost 1-0). Living in Sussex meant live games were harder to get to, but I was there at Wembley for that play-off final against Gillingham.

My own thirty years of hurt had left me far from confident, but at 2-0 down I turned to my brother and said “We’ll get one now just you watch.” We did, and I deliberately sat through it, head in hands. I didn’t even stand up when the roar went up again well, not for the first nano-second. I swallowed my pride and jumped up just in time to see Paul Dickov rattle the back of the Gills’ net, and send us into extra-time. What a party, what a night. City are back!

Shortly afterwards, I discovered The Witch, and have found a growing band of Blues based down here. Meanwhile, we beat Blackburn under Joe Royle to return to the Premiership, went down again, came up again under KK in fantastic style, and have made a fist of it in the top flight, beating the Reds 3-1 and 4-1 along the way. Maine Road is no more, but our new home is gorgeous, and only lacks tradition, that will come. The Mid-Sussex Blues are up and running, and here I am writing this at 6am on derby day. Talk about an obsession.

My dad had no idea what he was starting for me and my two brothers 37 years ago. The extreme highs and lows have been simply amazing. We’ve had heroes (Bell, Lee, Marsh,Tueart, Rösler, Kinkladze, Benarbia, Anelka, SWP) and villains (too numerous to mention). If a woman (or a man, ladies) treated you that way, you’d leave them. But this is City, a lifelong infatuation, an unconditional love affair, and you just can’t do that. After all, the good times are just round the corner.

CTID, John Joyce – Mid Sussex Blues <chez.jules(at)>


League table to 13 April 2005 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Chelsea         32 12  4  0 31  5 13  2  1 31  7 25  6  1  62  12  50  81
 2 Arsenal         32 10  5  1 43 18 11  2  3 30 15 21  7  4  73  33  40  70
 3 Manchester Utd  32 11  5  0 27  7  8  5  3 21 12 19 10  3  48  19  29  67
 4 Everton         32 10  1  5 20 14  6  5  5 19 19 16  6 10  39  33   6  54
 5 Liverpool       32 11  2  3 26 11  4  3  9 18 21 15  5 12  44  32  12  50
 6 Bolton Wndrs    32  8  4  4 21 13  6  3  7 20 23 14  7 11  41  36   5  49
 7 Tottenham H.    32  8  3  5 30 20  5  4  7  9 15 13  7 12  39  35   4  46
 8 Middlesbrough   32  7  5  4 23 18  5  4  7 22 25 12  9 11  45  43   2  45
 9 Charlton Ath.   32  8  3  5 26 21  4  5  7 13 27 12  8 12  39  48  -9  44
10 Aston Villa     32  8  4  4 24 14  3  5  8 14 26 11  9 12  38  40  -2  42
11 Manchester City 32  6  5  5 18 13  4  5  7 20 23 10 10 12  38  36   2  40
12 Newcastle Utd   31  7  4  5 24 24  2  7  6 17 25  9 11 11  41  49  -8  38
13 Birmingham City 32  6  5  5 20 13  3  5  8 15 26  9 10 13  35  39  -4  37
14 Blackburn R.    32  4  7  5 19 19  4  5  7  9 18  8 12 12  28  37  -9  36
15 Portsmouth      32  7  3  6 24 22  2  4 10 13 29  9  7 16  37  51 -14  34
16 Fulham          31  6  3  6 19 22  3  3 10 18 29  9  6 16  37  51 -14  33
17 West Brom A.    32  4  7  5 14 21  1  6  9 17 31  5 13 14  31  52 -21  28
18 Southampton     32  4  9  3 23 22  1  3 12 11 29  5 12 15  34  51 -17  27
19 Crystal Palace  32  5  3  8 15 14  1  5 10 18 40  6  8 18  33  54 -21  26
20 Norwich City    32  4  5  7 25 31  0  6 10  7 32  4 11 17  32  63 -31  23

With thanks to Football 365

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