Newsletter #1145

City retained the Thomas Cook Trophy in a 3-1 victory over Olympiacos at the weekend. With Distin ruled out with injury and Ireland, who managed to fracture his wrist, the treatment room is becoming ever more crowded.

Tonight we have opinion on SWP, FFCC, Meadows, midfielders, a book review and the usual requests.

Next game: West Bromwich Albion, home, 3pm Saturday 13 August 2005


Shaun Wright-Phillips is now a Chelsea player, the deal is done, and City have to get on without him.

So what follows is admittedly an irrelevant, backward-looking ramble of regret entirely untypical of a Manchester City supporter. Someone said to me the other day that losing SWP was the worst thing to happen to City in the new era at the new stadium. But I think the loss is more than that, it’s one of the worst blows in 50 years. Oh, I know, “one man doesn’t make a team”, but ask yourself three questions:

  1. How many City players have there been inliving memory who were truly great (“great” being an overworked word)?
  2. How many who you always thought could win a match single-handed if necessary?
  3. How many who, as the newspapers say, were worth the price of admission all bythemselves?

Honestly, not that many. There was Bert Trautmann and Bobby Johnstone. Then the trio of Bell, Lee, & Summerbee, both individually and together. Add in Rodney Marsh, Tueart, Quinn, and most recently Ali Benarbia. That’s nine or ten of them, maybe a few others who get in mostly for sentimental reasons… and then SWP, still in the process of achieving greatness, but like those named the kind of footballer who could put a few thousand on the gate on a wet Saturday just from the knowledge that he’d be playing. Or look at it another way, through the opposition’s eyes.

When my dad first took me to matches, he’d sometimes say “Come on, so-and-so is playing today”, referring to the likes of Matthews, Finney, Tommy Taylor, Greaves, Best, in the opponents’ team, the kind of players that you marvel at yet worry about because you know they’ll hurt you, like you still do nowadays with Thierry Henry or with Shearer who always scores against City. SWP had that effect in a sky blue shirt, and he won’t be having it for City any more. But don’t give me a hard time, readers, for a pointless, backwards-looking missive. I know that football, like life, has to be lived going forwards, it’s just that now and then, especially with MCFC, it’s OK to reflect on the might-have-beens, and with SWP City would have become a force in the land again instead of just a contender.

To turn to the present and be positive, let’s hope Croft, BWP, Ireland et al give the West Brum fans even more cause to be miserable on Saturday than they have already with their awful whining accent. And to look to the future, when SWP gets tired of sitting on the bench at Chelsea waiting for Robben to come off and wants to move back north, can MCFC start now collecting the 16 million needed to buy him back before Liverpool (or worse) sign him up?

Keith C (submitted the old-fashioned way by pen & paper as I don’t haveemail)


MCFC missed signing Melbranque, who would have been a popular signing. I think we left it too near the start of the season; it would have left Fulham with very little time to replace the player. Maybe MCFC were a little over cautious by taking their time over who to sign? But at the end of the day better to be over cautious and miss than to sign the wrong player.

Last week I saw Fulham play in the USA, getting beat 2-1 by Columbus Crew, and then 4-1 by an All Star MLS team.(it was very hot on the day of the games, but same conditions for both teams). Sorry to say that Fulham look like relegation material to me, but credit to the USA teams who played very well.

Claudio Reyna was made captain of the City team that beat the Greek Champions Olympiacos 3-1. I would like to see Captain America continue to be the captain of the team, having more control from midfield than Distin from the back. I said the same last season. As long as Reyna stays injury-free, we already have a creative player, and I predict he will have a great season.

MCFC have a very good squad of players, and with some very good youngsters coming through, but we still are a little thin in the squad in some areas. We need cover in case of injuries or suspensions. SP’s time is running down to the end of the transfer deadline; he must get cracking.

Great to see newcomers Andrew Cole and Darius Vassell off to a good start, and BWP score two goals against Olympiacos: very impressive. What was the name of our other striker? Oh Growler, with a lame growl. I hope he gets his growl back soon. We all know that he is important to the City team, I wish Robbie well.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


Chris (Wiseman), you make an interesting case for Jimmy Meadows being a forward but I’ll always think of him as a full back and a good one. That particular final was my first time ever at Wembley. Incidentally, another stalwart full back, Glyn Pardoe, also kicked off his career at centre forward.

Matt – I can’t see why I should have to suggest alternatives because I don’t want racist thug Bowyer. That apart, I think Michael Brown could do a good job for us. I don’t rate Phil Chuckle, nor for that matter Koumas, who is a skilful player but singularly lacking in heart and ambition – a sort of Martin Chivers for the 2000s. I wished I’d suggested buying Malbranque but maybe Stu picked up the vibe… fingers are xxxxd.

Ernie Whalley <bluevalentine(at)>


This breakaway farce.

I have been away, but what’s all this I’ve been hearing about some so-called City ‘fans’? Breakaway club? Don’t make me laugh. What an absolute joke.

It’s as though, ’cause that lot from daaan saaarf have laughably started ‘weneverwerefrommanchesteranywayfc’ or whatever the hell it’s called, some stupid misguided idiots – and I don’t use that term lightly – have to do something to compete. Why?

Get a flippin’ life. It’s insulting and taking our pride and watering down our importance. A pathetic attempt.

I know whoever is involved is going read this rant – but you ought not to be any more. Because, let’s face it, you know the reasons why – right?

It makes you look very silly indeed. It makes you look as though you have no ideas of your own. No identity, no cool, style, focus, ambition. Need I go on? It could potentially make Manchester City Football Club look like we’re succumbing to the ‘bitter’ tag, me and many others beat by simply ignoring ‘the enemy’ and laughing out loud at them. Such an announcement infuriates me personally and countless others too. Have you got no self pride?

I suggest you halt all your plans with immediate effect. I know United fans (in whatever capacity) who will travel to both teams’ games next season; does this not tell you something or do I have to spell it out? Oh yeah, the retorts I anticipate will mention money.

Stay at home and support us then.

Joel Perry – East side of the correct venue <j.perry(at)>


Author: David Clayton
Publisher: The Parrs Wood Press
ISBN 1-903158-60-5
Price: £9.95

This book covers Gio’s story from humble beginnings and a football-obsessed father in Georgia to his days at Maine Road and beyond. The author spoke to numerous people who had played with and against him, managers and fans, and they give their stories on one of the brightest prospects to grace City during the forlorn 1990’s. We are given an insight (from the bizarre claims that Gio started crawling soon after his birth) to the training regimes imposed by his father, his determination to become a footballer, until he eventually came to the attention of numerous European clubs after a deal with Boca Juniors in Argentina. Kinky eventually arrived at City in 1995 and quickly became a favourite, thanks to his “blinding runs”, dodges and goals. His new-found status lead to the inevitable hangers-on and numerous agents wanting their pound of flesh. Despite the general paucity of the team and players at that time, Kinky shone out and stayed loyal to City through our slump until Royle was eventually forced to cash in. His subsequent move to Ajax was hampered by a change in management, as was his return to English football at Derby. He is now plying his trade in Cyprus.

Unlucky, ill-advised, mis-managed genius or over-rated, non-team player? People tend to fall into one of the two categories on Kinky. Read this book, relive the games and skills and your opinion might just change.

Heidi <editor(at)>


Hi folks. I’m currently finishing the first month of a 3 three month trip around the world. My family and I will be in Manchester on the weekend of the first game of the season. I’ve followed City since 1977 (yes, I’m the jinx) and, never having been to England, have never had the chance to see them play live (except on telly, of course). I would be forever indebted to anyone who could help me get tickets for the WBA game for myself and my 11-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter or at least let me know the best way to go about it. Thanks in advance.

Brad Olds <blunatic(at)>


Does anyone know who sings the very fast Blue Moon song that they used to play at Maine Road and sometimes at the COMS? And do you know where it can be downloaded?

Richard Stoodley <Richard(at)>


The Manchester City Experience needs your help in locating old City shirts. From 18th August the Experience will be hosting its ‘Strip For City’ exhibition and replica shirts from the last 30 years will be displayed alongside genuine first team shirts from significant moments, such as Sam Cookson’s 1926 FA Cup final shirt.

However, the Experience is keen to locate the yellow shirts worn by City in 1989 (the embarrassing 4-0 defeat at Arsenal!); and the Kappa yellow shirt of the late 90s (the one featured on page 27 of Farewell To Maine Road).

We’re also keen to find rare and unusual kits from the period pre-1970. If you’ve got any rare shirts or other items of kit that you feel will fit the bill please email <experience(at)>

Thanks, Gary James <gary.james(at)>


Reddish Blues’ first meeting of the new season is this coming Wednesday night, 10th August, at The Ash Hotel, Manchester Road, Stockport, starting at 8.00pm.

Our confirmed guests for the evening are Alex Williams, Ian Cheeseman and Fred Eyre.

Membership is available on the night and as always everyone is welcome. For more details contact the branch secretary, Howard Burr, on 0161 292 2525 or e-mail at the address below.

Howard Burr <reddishblues(at)>

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Newsletter #1145