Newsletter #37

We have a nice report for the Notts County game from Russ Jenkins as well as plenty of news on the rags recent signing. Looks like they won’t be taking the piss out of Blackburn for buying success any longer! Well, it’s the big one tonight so I expect everyone who isn’t at the game will be doing one of the following: frantically drinking around a radio; pressing the teletext buttons on the TV remote control to call up the latest score page every 30 seconds (did this myself last Sunday); or carrying out some curious ritual designed to influence the course of play in the Blues’ favour.

It would be a help if people who mail things to me for inclusion in MCIVTA could keep their line length to under 70 characters (should be easy to adjust with your preferences). Any longer and the lines get word-wrapped which leads to a rather untidy appearance.

I’ll put MCIVTA 38 out on Friday so that there is enough time to get Match Reports. If anybody is dying to know the result earlier then try the WWW page, it’ll be there. If you don’t have WWW access then mail me or anyone else on the address list above MCIVTA! They’ll know!

Next game Coventry at home, 14th January 1995


NOTTS COUNTY vs. MANCHESTER CITY, FA Cup 3rd Round, 8th January, 1995

Well today had everything from tragedy to joy, anguish to relief. I suppose you could say it was a typical day for a ‘Blues’ supporter. To start with I thought the omens were not looking good when my car failed to start leaving me and my fellow city supporting mate believing that it might just not be our day, but having successfully getting my flatmate out of bed to give us a jump start we were off to Nottingham. All therefore going well, no problem about the time as our ETA was around 1.45pm, enough time for a couple of pints and a quick skim of the programme before K.O. However tragedy struck 15 miles outside Nottingham when the scarf which I bought when I first started supporting City many years ago went flying off behind my car when my mate wound down the window on instructions from me to put the aerial up so that we may catch the latest ‘footy’ news – again we thought it might just not be our day.

Eventually though we reached Nottingham with no more mishaps except for a few wrong turns and made our way to Meadow Lane which in comparison to the City ground next door is tiny, but once inside the new stadium had the cup atmosphere created by mainly ‘Blues’ supporters who made up a large percentage of the 13,000 crowd.

The opening 10 minutes was pretty much an even affair with City maybe having slightly more possession and movement but County having the first goal scoring opportunity from a free kick when they hit the bar. However it then started to swing County’s way with some neat passing football being played by the ‘pies’ using both flanks to good effect especially the right, City’s left where Terry ‘Pitbull’ Phelan was not having one of his best games. With County finding and then exploiting the space being offered on this left side their winger also had confidence to take Terry on, running at him and on occasions getting past him or getting in good crosses into the danger area. So with this County pressure, worried expressions and concerns could be felt on the ‘Kop’ and in the 24th minute these were confirmed when a low, hard cross came in from Andy Legg on the County left and was volleyed into Dibb’s right hand corner by Rob Matthews. No blame can be laid at Dibb’s feet for this goal, but the defence and its marking strategy is another story. Well one down, to the club at the foot of the 1st division, no surprise to City fans, but what followed the restart may have been, for within 3 minutes it was all square thanks to ‘Peter Peter Peter Peter Beagrie on the wing on the wing’

He picked the ball down City’s left just outside the County box, skipped past one defender and into the box and then all but one man was expecting an incurling cross from the wing wizard; the only man who wasn’t was Beagle himself who unleashed a drive into the left of the goal leaving Steve Cherry rooted. The cartwheels and somersaults followed and it wasn’t just Beagrie but the whole City support who were in a ‘Beagrie Wonderland’.

However, the joy of the equaliser didn’t last long – only 2 minutes in fact before County again took the lead. The goal came from a shot taken outside the City box on the County left; it didn’t seem to contain that much pace although I think it did bounce once on its way to Dibbs but it shouldn’t bother ‘Officer Dibble’ I thought. How wrong I was, Dibbs himself can only explain what happened but he didn’t make the ‘easy’ save; instead it seemed as if he took his eye off the ball and misread its line which caused him to fumble the save. The ball spilled free and Devon White the County striker knocked the loose ball into the back of the net. Less than 30 minutes gone and already 2-1 down. The rest of the first half was then filled with City pushing forward but never really making anything and County looking dangerous on the break especially down the left flank. So when the whistle blew for half time, it was felt as more of a relief by the City fans than those supporting County, in that at least BH could give them a talking to and try and raise the Blues’ game.

So the second half, and the way in which City started it seemed as if Horton had said something. He made one substitution at half-time, David Brightwell for brother Ian due to an injury sustained in the first half. Well, City came out fighting and actually took the game to County for the first time in the match with real determination. The midfield actually seemed to be working for a change with Flipper coming more into the game and Lomas/Summerbee linking up on the right flank. The defence too looked a bit more solid with Kernaghan organising at the back well. So City pushed forward, making good passing moves through the centre and then out to the flanks. Beagrie especially seemed to be getting the better of the County defence on the left but no goal materialised. Then 65 minutes into the game BH made his second substitution bringing Quinn on for Foster, who got good applause for his performance. Again City pushed and pressured but no clear goal scoring opportunities seemed to be coming our way except for a Lomas shot turned away by Cherry.

However, this all changed in the 69th minute when a Beagrie free kick on the City left was superbly flicked on by the mighty Quinn to the back post and there waiting in what seemed like slow motion was David Brightwell who nodded the ball into the waiting net with what seemed at the time the greatest goal ever. Brightwell then rushed behind the goal to the City support and was subsequently booked by the referee for doing so. 2-2 and City looked good for a third; they moved forward and kept the pressure on County. A goal could have come from a number of chances which fell to Walsh, then to Rösler who had a free header on goal but only managed to head it straight at Cherry and then Quinn who picked up the ball centre right just outside the box running onto goal with only the keeper to beat; however, the shot went over the bar and Quinn knew he should have done better. There was only one problem with this City pressure and drive; County were allowed opportunities to catch us on the break and could well have done so on a couple of occasions, once through David Brightwell, the hero himself, who headed the ball against the top of the City bar. However, in the end the whistle went and a draw was fair result looking at both halves. City fans can find confidence in the second half fight back and if the back can get tightened up for the replay then I feel we can look forward to Villa in the next round. Let’s just hope we don’t play like we did in the first half.

Man of the match : Peter Beagrie

Russell Jenkins


The squad for the Palarse CC Cup tie has been announced and as expected Curle has been included. He himself admits he wouldn’t have played under normal circumstances, but with it being an exceptional night he’s prepared to play. The scans Curle has had have revealed that both his hamstrings are weaker than they should be; doesn’t look too good for the future.

The other bits of good news are that Dibble has been able to train for the first time since picking up his knock against Notts County and Vonk has recovered from his jarred ankle. So that gives City the squad of:

Dibble, Foster, Curle, Kernaghan, Vonk, Phelan, Brightwell (D), Summerbee, Lomas, Flitcroft, Beagrie, Walsh, Rösler, Quinn, Burridge.

Also, City are offering a chance to watch the Palarse game live. I think they’re going to show the game in the Social club and also in the executive boxes. If you want to watch the game in an executive box then it’ll cost 20 pounds; included in that is a meal, so it’s not as expensive at it looks. It’ll cost 5 pounds to watch the CC Cup tie in the Social Club. Room for 600 fans.

Now the news. With the arrival of Cole at OT, it’s sparked an interest in Mark Hughes, who’ll be surplus to requirements in the near future (if not immediately). It looks like City could be very interested in signing him but would face competition from Leeds and Everton! Everton have reportedly lodged an offer of 2.5 M, so City would have to at least match that.

Personally, I wouldn’t like to see Hughes at Maine Road. Granted he is a very good player, but the very thought of the damage he’s inflicted on City in the past is enough to not forgive him. Also would the rags’ fans forgive him if he ever came to Maine Road?

Martin Ford


On Skytext it’s reported that we are about to put a bid in for Scott? Booth who is currently scoring freely for Huddersfield at the top of the 2nd Div. Maybe Franny’s idea is to put together a team with the same names as those of the glorious early 70’s?

Neil Foskett


Manchester United are set to buy Andy Cole from Newcastle for 6 million pounds plus the young Northern Ireland international Keith Gillespie. Both clubs have agreed the deal which now depends only on the result of a medical.

The Mole

Also from John Shearer & Paul Monaghan

Rags have just bought Andy Cole for 6m pounds + Gillespie. Well – much as I like him, having watched him at Ashton Gate for a year, I can only hope it all goes horribly wrong for him!

Jeremy Poynton


It appears as though United have gotten the new striker that Ferguson has been longing for. After having bids for Armstrong (Palarse) and Collymore (Forest) rejected, he’s turned to the Newcassel goal machine Andy Cole. This time however, it looks like Newcassel are prepared to accept the bid of 7 million!!!! The deal is near completion, with the only Cole to pass a medical before signing on the dotted line. Part of the deal sees Gillespie move in the opposite direction. I think it’s quite remarkable that Newcassel are even prepared to listen to offers; even though Cole’s been going through a lean spell (by his standards), he’s still the main goal scorer at St James’. I know 7 million’s a lot but is there any other reason for letting him go?

Martin Ford

Maybe Forest will be prepared to sell Collymore (who I rate higher than Cole, second only to Shearer in fact) to Newcastle but not to the Rags? I believe Newcastle will try to get him anyway.

Paul Howarth


With reference to the request for a pub near Selhurst, there is one where City fans always congregate; trouble is I can’t remember the name. It’s 5 minutes walk from the ground: if you are at the main entrance of Selhurst Park, walk up to the main road past Sainsbury’s, turn left and as I say its 5 minutes walk and on the right hand side and is usually full of Chadderton (I think) Blues wearing Cowboy hats, or it is whenever I go.

Neil Foskett


I wondered whether any other subscribers have found a way around the rather restrictive entry requirements for the derby. I’d like to get along to the match, as would a friend of mine, but, working in Belfast, haven’t managed to get along to many home matches this season and so haven’t the necessary three ticket stubs. My mate, who’s been to several home matches but lost the ticket stubs, called in to Maine Road this morning to learn that there are several thousand tickets left, but there’s no way of getting at them without proof of attendance. He said the bloke at the ticket office looked rather cheesed off about not being able to sell him tickets — apparently loads of people have not bothered keeping hold of their stubs. Not surprising really, when the fact that you needed to only seems to have been publicised recently.

I’d have thought the people organised enough to file away their old tickets would be among the first to get their tickets for the derby, so maybe they won’t even get a decent attendance if they don’t relax their rules a bit.

Anyone got any ideas?

Martin Watts


  1. Steve McMahon at Swindon is chasing Fitzroy Simpson. This begs thequestion if a quality player like Steve rates Simpson why can’t he getin to City’s side?
  2. Unconfired from Daily Star, Niall Quinn to be put on the market thisweek value around 2.5M though after Sunday Horton may have tore-evaluate the sanity of this move.
  3. Andy Dibble also spoke last week of his wish to re-establishhimself in the Welsh squad. Up to the second goal on Sunday he wasprobably staking a good claim over the last few weeks!
  • 2-2 is at least an improvement over last year’s débâcle; let’s hope wecan finish the job a week on Wed.
  • For those who can receive it, Greater Manchester Radio offers greatcoverage of City games and unlike most radio stations seems to bestaffed by at least some City fans.

Andy Wilde


Was Andy Dibble’s mediocre performance on Sunday due in any part to an article that appeared in the News of the World that morning?

In an article entitled `Soccer Ace Plays Away from Home’ (or some similar pun-ful title) stretching over 2 pages, an alleged liaison between a Lancashire barmaid and Dibble was detailed. All the usual things appeared…love rat Dibble cheats on faithful wife… rumours about steamy sightings of Dibble in his sponsored car… etc.

Phil Knight


The following article is copied from today’s Independent: the latest in a weekly series….

Visitors to Maine Road might form the impression that Francis Lee is creating a living hall of fame at Manchester City. Colin Bell, on the coaching staff, and Mike Summerbee, in the commercial department, have returned to the fold. Now Peter Barnes, the blond-haired winger of the mid-1970s is back – as manager of the City Social Club.

“It’s nice to be part of the club again,” he says. “There’s a real buzz about the place, a real optimism since Franny took over.”

Barnes was a member of the last City team to win a major trophy, scoring the first goal in the 2-1 League Cup victory over Newcastle in 1976. He was just 18 then, but the moment remains the highlight of a career which never quite fulfilled its potential, despite 22 England caps.

He changed clubs over a dozen times for fees totalling more than 1.7m, but found no lasting platform for his dazzling skills. He lost favour with City when Tony Book gave way to Malcolm Allison and, although he enjoyed a glorious renaissance in Manchester in 1985 after Ron Atkinson signed him for United from Coventry, a long absence through injury coincided with Atkinson losing his job.

After several short-lived comebacks, including a second spell at Maine Road, Barnes ended his career five years ago with Tampa Bay Rowdies. “Looking at the way City play now with two wingers, I wish I was 15 years younger,” Barnes says. “There is a trend towards entertaining football, with individual players like Cantona and Le Tissier who people will pay to watch. Anyone who has heard me on local radio will know I approve of that.”

Now 37, Barnes was training in pub management when he was offered his new job last October. “I’d been on a couple of courses and done some relief work in Cheshire when the brewery asked if I was interested. It seemed an ideal opportunity, and so far it is going very well.”

Phil Knight

RESULTS – FA CUP (3rd round)

Sheffield Utd   0-2   Manchester Utd

Thanks to Russ, Martin (x2), Phil, Andy, The Mole, Paul (x2), Phil, John, Jeremy & Neil.
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.

Ashley Birch

Newsletter #37