We have some news (good) on Dino as well as plenty of interesting discussion. Dave Whitwell’s letter is thought-provoking and makes you realise that City are not immune to idiots! We’ve got some musings from the Leeds list but unfortunately they are of the short-rant type which seems to be an affliction of automatic mailers. I deleted a lot of anti-Wilko, anti-White mailings which were pretty vehement and quite unlike anything anti-BH which has been in MCIVTA… I’ve published everything, honest! Ian Thompson’s ‘Why Blue’ is concluded with his memories and I have to marvel at how he recalls all those details.
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Next game Norwich City away, Saturday 4th March 1995
NEWS – DINO I
I’ve just seen in the MuEN that City are now quite keen to sign Dino when his initial loan period is up. They have been impressed with the way he has been playing and would like to sign him permanently. However, unless City can come up with the 1.5 M they might lose him to Italy. Dino has made it clear that he likes City but if Frankfurt receive a better offer I suppose he’ll be on his way elsewhere.
A few of the tabloids have been comparing C*ntona and Dino. Is he as good as the French rag? Well, only time will tell. Will City build a successful team around him? That depends on the money available. Can he survive a full English season? These are all questions that can only be answered if City sign him.
NEWS – DINO II
In light of Gaudino’s good recent form and the reported interest in him from other clubs, notably in Italy, City look set to make his move permanent before the transfer deadline (end of March?) rather than waiting until the end of the season. Francis Lee is reported to have made funds available for the deal to be completed as soon as possible.
NEWS – QUIGLEY
A Wrexham fan here tells me Mike Quigley is on loan to them. Anyone confirm this?
The following are some postings from the Leeds United list sent to me by Gavin Burnage and are of interest for some views on the match (rather sparse) and some on David White [Ashley]
Tango Jones wrote:
> Am I the only person on the net who rates David White?
No! Despite constant slagging off from the list he is still a far superior player when compared to Rocastle. I think a lot of people were peeved by the fact that Wilko didn’t play Rocastle much and some of their anger is reflected towards White, unjustly. He is by no means our best but I think he deserves a break.
From: Daniel Friedman
I refuse to believe that David White is one of our best 11 players – I remember times when the team was so bad that he might have come close but please god not now; the midfield configuration has to be with Macca, Speed and Carlton – the question is, where is the skill coming from, with Strachan now officially old. The answer is certainly not White. The answer may be Radebe, allowing Palmer to make moves, I have to run, the tea time musings of another US White bite the inconclusive dust.
From: Adam Woodhall
0 – 0, but it sounds as though we could have lost by a hatful and didn’t create virtually any chances. If Wilko tries to make any excuses for this, considering he had a full squad to pick from and they were missing 3 key players, I will personally go and throttle him.
From: Jon Abbott
WILKO OUT ! WILKO OUT ! WILKO OUT ! WILKO OUT ! WILKO OUT ! WILKO OUT !
Or, to put it another way:
Why did he substitute the best player in a Leeds shirt (Yeboah)? Why did he leave Palmer on to nearly give away a penalty and a corner that nearly led to a goal when he could barely walk? Full marks to Carlton for effort, application and bravery, but the guy was clearly in a lot of pain and with a centre-back/midfielder on the bench (Radebe) he should not have had to play the full 90 minutes.
Why was David White not substituted? A dead slug would have been more effective. White even managed to make Worthington’s performance seem okay – and believe me, Worthington was crap. When will he take Gary Kelly on one side and explain to him what a cross is? When will he stop playing one of the most creative midfielders in the country (Gary Mac) in a holding rôle in front of the back 4?
- Dorigo and Speed were combining well on the left wing.
- Yeboah is obviously a class act and has an awful lot to offer.
- Deano continued to show that despite his obvious lack of skill, he hasa lot of heart for the game – a lesson that David White could welldo with learning.
- Lukic responded very positively to the rumours of his imminentdemise. Made some excellent saves, although communication with thecentre-backs is obviously not his forte.
Damn it, we should have won this game but on the balance of play and chances, I would have had little complaint if we had lost 4-0. Toothless, clueless, and generally hopeless.
Directionless and pathetic – the team that Howard built.
BITTER BLUES – US?
I’ve just been rummaging through several copies of United’s fanzine, Red Issue (my Dad’s a Red just before you ask) and have noticed many references to `bitter blues’ meaning us. Are we bitter blues?!
Having grown up in a United household, I have lived with the frustrations all my life. Therefore, I have no hatred towards United – all that matters to me is City.
I go to all City’s home games (and some away) and have noticed that there are many bitter blue areas in the stadium. I know many City fans who have a terrible hatred towards United – they seem to prefer United suffering than City winning. I ask why?
Here, I am talking about a minority – to all True Blues, this does not apply to you.
At last year’s derby at Maine Road (2-3), there was some utter git in front of me who shouted out: “Hey Kanchelskis, how’s your kid?!” Now, at that time, his kid was suffering from a very serious illness. Talk about sick.
However, what gets me down the most is the Munich singing. People died on that plane – or had you forgotten? To hear gormless gits singing: “Always Look On The Runway For Ice!!” breaks my heart. Think about it. If you had a relative who died in a plane crash, would you enjoy people taking joy out of singing about their demise?
Although many City fans would hate to admit it, United are a far superior side to City – at the moment. In a few years time, who knows? Look what happened to Liverpool when Dalglish went. During their glory years, United were bitter of their success. All comes to he who waits – remember this.
If you’re one of these people, think about what I said. If you’re gonna be a City fan, that’s great. But if you’re gonna be like the above, just get lost from Maine Road. You give City a bad name. We don’t want you, nobody wants you.
OPINION – WHY BLUE
I’ve just read Ian Thompson’s article (why blue) in MCIVTA and I couldn’t agree more with his sentiments. I think I started the ball rolling on ‘why a blue’ in MCIVTA but it looks like us fans actually from Manchester (no offence intended to those farther afield Blues) have the same opinion of our club. They always seem to have been impressed with the club and above all the fans and that’s what’s got under the skin and made them a Blue. Like you say (Ian), how many other clubs could still rely on a hardcore of around 20k after 19 years of mediocrity? There have been many occasions were I’ve said enough’s enough and no more so that the previous two seasons. I had promised that I wouldn’t get another season ticket (in my tenth year now) because the lack of success had gotten to me. However, come renewal time I was there pledging myself and my cash to the cause of City. In my case it might have been the fact that those rags from down the road had won nearly everything. Strange that even in the depths of such despair it would have been easy to refuse to hand over my money and not renew my allegience, but I thought that this was not the time to desert the club. I suppose we all live in the hope that City will come good. My concern is for the future; will the Junior Blues continue to be a strong supporters base if the lack of success continues? How many kids will still come to Maine Road when the Bandwagon that is Old Trafford can so easily lure them away with the promises of trophies and success?
Just some of my thoughts.
QUESTION – FIRST GAMES?
I’ve read Ian Thompson’s why a blue and it raised an interesting point.
He seems quite able to recall that his first (home) game was a 0-0 draw against Stoke City and Mike Doyle made an impression on him. I’ve asked my mates and most of them can remember who their first game at The Academy was against. Now when it comes to me though, I’m completely clueless, I haven’t the foggiest who the first match at the Academy was. I do remember sitting in the Platt Lane on the wooden benches watching the UEFA cup games of the mid/late 70’s with my brother and my dad. I also remember standing (well actually sitting on the wall) in the Kippax a few years later with my brother and watching Newcastle at home and remembering it was a 4-0 win, in the pouring rain.
Now the question is, am I a freak of nature, unable to remember my first visit to Maine Road or are there others like me? I can recount my first few away games (besides pre-season friendlies against Stockport County and Blackpool, where I actually ran onto the running track around Bloomfield Road to pick up Rodney Marsh’s discarded sock tie ups. Which my brother then pinched off me and I ended up with some Blackpool player’s tie ups).
First ever: Villa away, 1-0 defeat, circa 75/76. City played in red/black stripes, with the like of Doyle, Booth, Corrigan to name a few in the team.
Second game: Sheff United away 0-0 boring draw, 83/84, took until the 64th minute before David Philips(?) had a shot that sailed over the bar.
Third away game: Coventry City away, 1-1 draw, opening season fixture, Sammy McIlroy scored on his début and we listened on the car radio going South on the M6 after a major cock-up by the driver!!!
I’d be interested to know if other people can remember their first flirtation at the Academy and I suppose their first away game?
WORST CITY XI
Anyone thought about selecting a worst City XI of all time? I can certainly make a few nightmarish suggestions which make today’s side look like potential European Champions.
How about this lot? I think they make for a fairly nightmarish selection.
John Ryan Mike Walsh Aagie Hareide (?) David Brightwell
Gordon Dalziel Duncan Davidson Sammy McIlroy Steve Kinsey
Wayne Clarke Derek Parlane
ANSWER – STEPHEN FRAIL
Exiled up here in Scotland I can tell you a bit about Frail. He’s one of those players who’s always on the ‘fringe’ of the national team (OK, so that’s not a great achievement in Scotland) and seems to be a pretty reliable club player. I’m not sure but I think he might be available only because he fell out with the manager. The Hearts defence as a whole is OK – prone to the odd mistake but they did beat Rangers 4-2 the other day.
WHY BLUE (PART TWO)
Being a Blue, it’s impossible to conclude without mentioning some experiences that are forever etched in my memory, to which any City fan could themselves relate and which highlight the uniqueness of being a City supporter:
- Beating AC Milan 3-0 at Maine Road in the 78-79 UEFA Cup (quarterfinals?). After a 2-2 away draw, 3-0 up at half time, it seemed we weredestined for European success but alas it was not to be.
- Losing 0-3 at home to the Rags in the same season, my first derby match,and having to watch Colin Bell continue his comeback in this game,completely out of position as sweeper behind Dave Watson (and Tommy Boothor Mick Doyle), not exactly a pacey central defence.
- Circa 79, beat Chelsea 6-2 at Maine Road (really pleased my best mate!).
- Same game, arrive 9 minutes late with City already 2-0 up, just in timeto see Chelsea score 2 quick goals to make it 2-2 after 15 minutes.
- Villa Park, April 1981 – watching Paul Power’s scorching shot fly inagainst Ipswich (to set up FAC final with Spurs) from the top standopposite the Holte End – I can still see it flying in now, the ball ispassed to Power from a free kick, he lets fly and the ball hammers pastthe Ipswich wall and Paul Cooper their keeper, the Ipswich net bulgesand City fans on 3 sides of the ground go wild.
- FAC final against Spurs in ’81 – City dominate the game, see SteveMackenzie miss a near open goal towards the end when we were 1-0 up,then seeing Tommy Hutchie’s own goal.
- The replay, missing Steve Mack’s cracking equaliser because of Cityfans decking some Spurs fans in front of us – I think these Spurs fanshad bought tickets on open sale at Wembley, in front of the City fans.Watch with bewilderment as a Spurs’ mohican-haired fan is punchedseemingly over the tunnel entrance and falls 20-30 feet, then crowderupts as I miss ‘live’, the best goal in my opinion, ever scored atWembley (best goal I missed at wembley and had to watch at home on TV)
- Trevor Francis’ City début away against Stoke City, won 3-1 and Trevscores twice (why oh why did we sell him, and for only 900,000?). Sameseason, 1-0 home win over Wolves, Trev scores a cracker, City top of theleague.
- Same season (I think!), Luton Town at Maine Road, May 1983. City do justabout everything but score, then the unthinkable happens and we concedea late goal that sees City relegated. Kippax started in fine voice(Luton Town, going down, etc.) but worst atmosphere I’ve experienced atMaine Road – not the level of chanting, but the niggle between the Citysupporters in the Kippax – at one point, the crowd opened up to the sideof us and I just about managed to get out of the way of an enormous Cityfan, shirtless and clutching a blood-soaked head, legging it after amuch smaller City fan. I also shouted loads of abuse at Luton playersPaul Walsh and Brian Horton. Seemed at one point to be a mass brawl inthe north stand uncovered section – Luton vs. City or City vs City,no-one seemed to know.
- Move to South Wales and miss those great games against the likes ofCarlisle, Grimsby and Plymouth, etc. in the 2nd division.
- Come home one weekend towards end of season for my 5th home game thatseason, against Huddersfield Town when City are still very much in thepromotion running. Get jumped outside Victoria station by City fans andnearly again by the same City fans in Piccadilly. City lose 2-3, I think MarkLillis scored one of their goals, and blow all hope of immediate returnto 1st division (as it was in those uncomplicated days). To finish offfor this season, can’t bear to watch any more run-in games and end upwatching Cardiff City’s last home game of the season against Sheff. Wed.Seemed to spend the whole game watching about 12,000 Wed. fans battlingwith about 6,000 Cardiff fans in almost every area of the ground. Theresult seems co-incidental, 0-0 and Sheff Wed. promoted as runners up totitle winners Chelsea – City miss out.
- Almost 12 months later, hammer Charlton 5-1 at Maine Road and it’spromotion along with Brum City and Oxford at the expense of unluckyPompey. Great atmosphere at this game, Kippax in full voice, even loadssinging where we were at the front/middle of the Kippax – also seemed to begroups of hundreds of City fans in Platt Lane, the North and even Main Standsinging their hearts out – cauldron of noise. On the pitch at the end ofthe game, we’re going up!! Afterwards, spotted City and Charlton fans inthe Kippax struggling and straining to get at one another to shakehands, exchange greetings, shirts, programmes, etc. (Reminiscent ofPalace at end of ’90 season at Selhurst Park, I reckon cockneys south ofthe Thames are much less likely to jump on you than those north oreast of said river, even those that bear Cantona’s stud marks on theirchest). Also, in the same season, watched City win 3-0 at Ninian Park fromthe Cardiff End and live to tell the tale, and also was at Blackburnwhen we won 1-0 to knock them off and put us at top of the table at thetime – best away match I can remember, out of a crowd of 22,000 at least12,000 from City, City fans in every part of the ground.
- May 1987, City relegated (again).
- June 1987, successfully finish college (no thanks to you City).
- In the promotion season ’89, watch City lose 1-2 at home to relegationhopefuls Charlton – possibly the (and there have been many) worst everperformance from City I saw at Maine Road.
- Don’t go to any of the promotion run-in games (forced to take up playingrugby!!!!) with our kid, and thus avoid heart failure.
- Miss the 5-1 home win – can’t remember what I was doing (Will Carlingwas then breathing a sigh of relief since my rugby career ended due toinjury!)
- End of the ’91 season, watch City beat Sunderland 3-2 at Maine Road to finishabove the Rags – probably the most away fans I’ve ever seen at Maine Road(10,000 at least), in the Kippax, Platt Lane full and maybe severalthousand dotted around Main and North stands – they go down and Lutonstay up – sat next to a Sunderland fan in the North Stand, we communicatewith the aid of an interpreter.
- Rags handed ECWC by Barcelona and claim they are Champions of Europe.
- End of ’92 season and Leeds win the league, some team in redeventually come 2nd.
- See City lose 2-4 at home to Spurs in the Cup; I’m on telly for awhole minute close up with our kid when MOTD cameras do a close-up onfans in the Kippax while other fans rampage over the pitch. Subsequentdelay and late finish means I don’t eventually get back to South Walesuntil the early hours of Monday morning, and Rags win the league.
- Or so I think, City draw Cardiff in Cup and look forward to watching Cityplay locally.
- City lose 1-0 to Cardiff, I stand in crappy, open, uncovered GrangetownEnd, and the game is broadcast ‘live’ to a laughing Welsh (Rag) nation onBBC Wales. After ugly confrontation with Cardiff fans on the pitch at theend of the game, stewards and police do well to keep City fans behind theirfence. Amazingly, both sets of fans are let out at same time from adjacentgates, get home in one piece – no trouble?
Some of the dates and events may be slightly inaccurate, but after 19 years no-one is perfect! Whatever happened to Helen with the bell, and anyone remember City’s appearance in the final of ITV’s ‘all in the game’ @1976?
ANSWER – HELEN
Ian Thompson was wondering in his “Why Blue?” what happened to “Helen with the bell”. Well, Helen Turner (for that is her name) is still alive & well and ringing the bell from her seat behind the goal at the North Stand end. She used to go to away games too, being the steward on the MCFC Travel Club’s “A” coach but she stopped travelling at the end of the 92/93 season.
When City aren’t playing, she can usually be found selling flowers outside the Manchester Royal Infirmary. She’s such a well-known figure at Maine Road that she was once interviewed on Radio 4’s “Woman’s Hour”; she had many reminiscences of City matches long before I was born. A True Blue if ever there was one.
She still has that blonde beehive hairdo too.
FA Cup 5th round replays
Wimbledon (0) 0 - 2 (2) Liverpool
Southampton (2) 2 - 6 (0) Tottenham (a.e.t)
Crystal Palace (0) 1 - 0 (0) Watford (a.e.t)
With thanks to Riku Soininen
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