Newsletter #1649

Opinion tonight on Saturday games, the appointment of Platt, technology in football and finally Phill provides us with a walk down memory lane as he explores the Maine Road area.

Next Game: Sporting Lisbon, 8pm, Friday 23 July 2010 (friendly NYFC)


Could not agree more with Mr Ball who laments the passing of Saturday 3:00pm kick-offs. I think that last year we only had a handful of 3:00pms, just like the Rags used to have a few years ago. I suppose it is a measure of how far we have come in terms of the public perception of the Blues. It still is a bad thing as far as I’m concerned but it will never change now, and we can only grin and bear it.

Let me say one thing now in advance rather than say it in 9 months with an “I told you so” tag.

Selling Stephen Ireland and not encouraging him to stay and perform as we all know he can will be one of City’s biggest mistakes in years. If he goes, I wish him lots of success. If he stays I hope he will win back his place and keep it and show us all what we saw a couple of years ago. He is an Academy guy and we all I’m sure prefer to see these lads succeeding as opposed to “buying” success.

Roll on August.

Chris Ryder <chrisryder62(at)>


My ghast was flabbered when I heard the news that David Platt had been appointed a first team coach at MCFC. What on earth was Mancini thinking of, appointing a man who has slagged off City at every opportunity and was so good at spotting talent that he didn’t think SWP would make it as a 2nd flight footballer.

Then I got to thinking… aAnd bingo! It dawned on me that every City manager needs a coach that is so bad that they take a lot of the flak aimed at the manager. Keegan had Fazackerley, Super Stu had Wigley, Sven had Jackett and Hughes had the whole of his coaching team. Useless to a man, but all excellent at jumping in front of the manager to take the hits when things go wrong. Well I will enjoy firing the bullets and that for sure.

P.S. Just a thought, but if City want to make a killing on the commercial front, selling a Voodoo doll of Platt will make an absolute mint.

Richard Mottershead <Richardjohnm(at)>


I haven’t contributed for a while but I would just like to wish Ernie all the best for a full and speedy recovery.

Just as an aside, how Mancini can hire the despicable Platt is totally beyond comprehension.

Jack Millington <jack(at)>


No need for technology to remedy Lampard’s goal. All that is need is two old gadgees, preferably in white coats, to sit behind the goal and note whether the ball crosses the line. Really quite simple.

One is reminded of the fact that NASA spent $2 million on inventing a biro that worked in space whilst the Russians sent their cosmonauts up with pencils.

Jeremy Poynton <j.poynton(at)>


Whatever Happened To… Pubs Around Maine Road

I was doing some photographic research for the book I have written (The Manchester Music Tour Guide, published in September) in the Rusholme area. A former church, behind the ‘Welcome’ pub (off Dickinson Road), was the BBC studios where Top Of the Pops was first recorded from. OK, that’s enough of the shameless book plug…

I was saddened to see the ‘Welcome’ was boarded up and up for sale, as I had only been in there once, prior to the 10-1 thrashing of Huddersfield in 1987 (oh how I should have gone there more often!). I thought I would do a quick scout around (that ended up with a nice, long walk around on a hot and sticky Saturday) and see what has happened to the other pubs that City fans frequented around Maine Road.

Wilmslow Road area: the Hardy’s Well and The Huntsman are still open. The Clarence is now a restaurant serving Middle Eastern Cuisine. The Albert, on the side street is still open as is The Whitworth.

Victory Street: The Lord Lyon, on the corner of Claremont Road has recently been razed to the ground. It had been a Happy Clappy Church and a snooker hall since City left Maine Road. The Gardeners and neighbour the Rusholme Working Mens Club are now a block of flats. At the end of Victory Street, the Osborne is still standing, boarded up and plastered with posters advertising concerts / boxing matches etc.

Claremont Road: The Sherwood is looking like it should have been demolished years ago, boarded up in a right sorry state. The Beehive and Claremont are still open.

The Parkside on Lloyd Street South has been ‘luxury’ apartments for a number of years.

Heading north up Lloyd Street, Upper Lloyd Street: The Robin Hood had long since been closed well before City moved out and it was selling second hand fridges and cookers etc. The Ducie Arms (which was my pre-match boozer and car park), just set off the road, is still thriving having been completely renovated shortly after 2003 and catering for the students and nearby Science Park. Talking of which, in the middle of the Manchester Science Park, the Old Abbey Inn stood. And still does and is still open! It is now officially ‘Kro-Old Abbey Inn’ but I was delighted to see it still going, as the Ducie was shut for a while in 2001 and that became my home until it re-opened. Further up towards the city centre, The Salutation continues to stand firm. Indeed, Frank Sidebottom recorded the video for his ‘Three Shirts On My Line’ song here just three weeks before he passed away.

The only pub I can’t account for is the Denmark. I remember going in there twice but cannot recall if it was on Denmark Road (most likely) or Moss Lane East. If the former, there is a sports centre on the site and if the latter, the newly developed Ducie High School is on top of it! Either way, it is not there any more!

If anyone wants me to investigate any further pubs/chippy or whatever, drop me an email and I’ll see what I can do!

Phill Gatenby <Safestanding(at)>

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Newsletter #1649