OK, I admit it. I did. Didn’t everybody?
When I was a kid I supported Liverpool
I was allowed to. I had all the requirements. I lived in the south. I’d never even been to Liverpool. But I had the shirt, and I could name all the players. Back then I’d hardly heard of Manchester City. They were just another of the clubs that my team beat every week.
Then it happened.
I live in Dorset (south coast of England). My girlfriend’s father lives just outside Manchester. For her 18th birthday, my girlfriend decided to take a group of us up to her dad’s for a party. So we arrived on the Friday evening. The party was going to be on the Saturday evening. What would we do during Saturday?
“Get a paper”
“Man Utd are away. Stockport are away. Man City are at home to Villa”
“OK let’s go”
“Does anyone know where the ground is?”
Anyway, we got there, paid our 8 quid, and stood on the Kippax.
You hear of how born-again Christians suddenly find God. That afternoon, I suddenly found Man City. Everything seemed right. I couldn’t see the pitch, I missed our equalising goal, and paid a quid for a pie that resembled dog food (still in the tin). But it felt right.
Since then, I’ve returned as often as I can afford. I’ve even chosen to study at a University in the north, just so that travelling to the Academy will be cheaper. I managed 3 games in about 10 days last season. I went to the Leicester game at home, midweek, in the pouring rain. I knew that there was no way I could catch a train back to university after the game. I knew I was going to have to sleep overnight on Preston station. I wasn’t really worried about that. But it still felt right.
Then the forces combined and the country was buried under several feet of snow, delaying my train by 2 hours. I did get home that night, and British Rail game me a lollipop as compensation for the delay.
And I’ll be back again as soon as the bank will extend my student overdraft. And somehow things will combine to ensure that everything turns out right. We could avoid relegation, or win a cup, or both. If we go down, we could bounce back up stronger.
It will be alright.
Writing this has made me think. If my girlfriend hadn’t been born a week overdue, we would have been in Manchester the week before, when City were playing away, and U****d were at home. After all, I was qualified, I was from the south, I’d never been to Manchester before, I’d had experience of supprting a quality team through their glory years, and I had an old Liverpool shirt hiding at the back of my wardrobe.
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #136 on