I got my first City-outfit as a Christmas presant when I was 6 years old. This was in the 70ies, the shirt was white with one diagonal blue and red bar, and City was a quality side. A couple of years later they won the League Cup and finished 2nd in the league. It was no doubt about which side I was on.
Living in the northern parts of Norway means you are let over to whatever the newspapers have to say. Those days (as today) it seemed as if it was either United or Liverpool on the pages. Also most of my friends were supporting the two reds. I didn’t care much however. It was always City on my mind.
I have to admit having a real down-period in the mid 80ies, but that turned when I watched City live on two occations. Although none of the games was anything to write home about, especially the game against Tromsø was awful, meeting the players was great. One special moment occurred after the game in Sweden: All the players were busy writing autographs and Tony Book walked towards the dressing room. It looked as if nobody knew who he was, so me and a friend of mine approached him and I asked if he could sign the back of my T-shirt with a big drawing pen. He looked kind of puzzled, and I think he even was a bit touched by that, as none of the players had written on it. I also remember Niall Quinn taking his time and Colin Hendry giving the fans what they wanted.
I once promised myself that if City finished the season in a higher position than United, I’d join the Scandinavian Branch of the Supporters’ Club. In 1991 they did and I kept my promise. In November 1992 I visited Maine Road for the first time, with some of the other members. It was an experience of a lifetime. We watched the training, met Noel Bayley at the “Nelson Inn” on Friday and sang City songs all night. Standing on the Kippax was truly an amazing experience. Every time City scored we were rushed 15 yards down the stand and up again in one big movement. City scored 4 goals that afternoon, beating Leeds 4-0. I remember Kippax chanting “Niall, Niall give us a wink”, until Niall Quinn turned against the stand and raised both hands. I also remember less prettier things being sung about Strachan and Cantona… It sure was wonderful to be Blue that night. Someone even said that the Leeds supporters sang “We are Sheep” when they left the stadium.
This Christmas I made something special for my nephew, who I know has “inherited” some of my love for City (I also have a father and a sister with a catch for the Blues). I made him choose between a present and 200kr (about 20 pounds), saying that if he really was a City-fan he should choose the present, and if not, the money would make him much happier. Well he chose the present, which contained the City kit I bought in 1992. And after he had opened it, I gave him the money too, just for beeing a true City supporter.
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #33 on