My love for football started at about 5 or 6 years of age when my mother, yes my mother!, let me stay up late one Saturday night to watch Match Of The Day. That night she explained the brief ideas and rules of football to me and from then on I was hooked. At this particular time my uncle held a Kippax season ticket and also used to attend all the City reserve matches at Maine Road. As you can imagine he was a keen City fan and couldn’t wait to take his younger nephew to a City game. I was undecided at the time as my best friend was a Dirty Red and he was trying to persuade me that the best place to go was Old Trafford. I eventually agreed for my Uncle to take me to City and ever since have hated everything connected with the Rags and have been an avid City fan.
My first match was in the 79/80 season against Bristol City and was viewed from the Main Stand. We won the game 3-1, a result that was to see Bristol City relegated that season (I think). From then on, it was decided that I could be taken to one game a season as a special birthday treat (my mum didn’t think I was old enough to be attending more regularly). I also had to be taken in the Main Stand as it was thought to be safer to watch matches from the seats rather than in the Kippax. I seemed to be a bit of a lucky omen for City for the first few games because the first defeat I saw was in the 85/86 season against Arsenal (0-1).
From the 87/88 season I started attending games at the Academy on a fairly regular basis and at last took up my place on the Kippax terraces. In that season I was lucky enough to witness the 10-1 massacre of the Chessboards(!) as well as some other well-polished performances from the Blues. In the 88/89 season I went to my first away match up at Boothferry Park where we lost to Hull City and although I was disappointed because we deserved to win, I enjoyed the altogether different atmosphere of the away game and had to get more of it! The 88/89 season was obviously remembered as a promotion campaign and although I saw the 3-3 with Bournemouth, I couldn’t get a ticket for the decider at Bradford. Instead I was stuck at Wembley watching Macclesfield Town and had to settle for radio commentary.
The 89/90 season saw my most memorable match, which I think was a 5-1 win against some team from Stretford! I also remember Clive Allen’s superb injury time winner at Chelsea and the memorable ‘live TV’ performance at Aston Villa with Reidy scoring the winner. Season 90/91 was a good one for City with Quinn and Whitey banging in the goals and TC putting in some solid goalkeeping performances. Quinn’s hat-trick at Palace, scoring a goal with each foot and one with his head, was a joy to behold.
The atmosphere and result of the first home game of the 91/92 season, against Liverpool, was brilliant and I remember coming away from that game on a tremendous buzz. Even better was beating Crystal Palace the Saturday after and going top of the league, oh the memories!!! Later on in the season I remember the unbelievable goal that Whitey scored in the 4-0 defeat of Luton and I saw my first competitive Derby at Old Trafford. Roger Haigh (hello and thanks mate!) couldn’t make the rearranged fixture and sold me his ticket. Pointon chopping down the spotty teenager and Curle’s cooly taken penalty – brilliant, “Ten men, you couldn’t beat ten men” etc. etc..
The 92/93 highlights for me were a period when we beat Everton away 3-1, stuffed Leeds 4-0 (for the 2nd successive season) and then came back from 2-0 down to beat Coventry 3-2. There was also the unsavoury incident against Tottenham which overshadowed one of the best goals I’ve ever seen at Maine Road.
For the last two seasons I haven’t been able to attend as many matches as I’d have liked as I’ve been topping the savings account up for my forthcoming house purchase and marriage! Even still, I seem to have got my lucky omen back that I had when I first started watching the Blues. In the last 14 matches I’ve attended, we have won 7 and drawn 7, so if anyone wants to buy me a season ticket for 95/96 then you’re quite welcome!
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #105 on