Martin Parker

Why Blue?

I could possibly be the newest Blue with the deepest roots. My father, John Heaton Parker informs me that his great-great-great grandfather, also with the same name, played for Ardwick FC back in the 1890’s; this is according to his father, another JHP, who seemed an honest fellow.

I was born in Manchester also but the family moved to the States during the glory years of the 60’s, when I was a wee babe. I, and my five siblings, payed scant attention to my father’s Sunday fits. That was, of course, the day he brought home the massive, 20lb edition of the Boston Globe or New York Times, opened up just the sports section, read the weekend football results, and then ooh-ed and aaah-ed in victory or defeat, leaving the rest of the paper for the wind.

Early on, I inherited this devotion to team sports. In the US, it was the Boston/New England teams. For those who know the Red Sox baseball team, their heart-break stories parallel the Blues (someone mentioned Balt/Ind Colts, not even close!)

Eventually I began to play football/soccer as a “new” sport in the US in the 70’s. I knew my father’s team was City and I remembered Alan Ball playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps many years before but I didn’t really have a clue what it meant to be a Blue until this summer.

I helped my sister and her husband with their two kids, while they moved house and changed jobs this past summer. At my nephew, Daniel’s school in Barnsley, the kids were all chanting Rag chants. I was disgraced to see my father’s legacy go for nought. So I made it my personal mission to re-educate my nephew.

The procedure went much quicker after my sister moved to Glossop and began to work in Manchester, striking distance from Maine Road. I was thrilled to hear Alan Ball’s name and was intrigued by the masked man from Georgia, who had been signed over the Summer.

The tickets finally came through the mail and my nephew and I were raring to go to the opener against Spurs. It was a first for my nephew and myself (I always went to Grandma’s house on Barlow Moor Road. during the Summer, and was treated to either five days of cricket or spine-tingling equestrian events on the telly).

The match/atmosphere was tremendous, even though it was a draw. Uwe scored and Quinn almost had a winning header. My nephew was warned for days afterwards not to do football chants in the house (by my sister) because “U-vay, U-vay Ros-se-ler!” actually gets on some people’s nerves, hard to believe.

I am now a die-hard fan thanks to MCIVTA. I can’t always wait for MCIVTA to give me the low-down, so thanks also to Soccernet. My nephew, by the way, is now a junior Blue (he actually has Ekelund’s signature, who?) and my sister is a semi-avid/rabid supporter (on Manchester telly recently, outside Maine Road, trying in vain to get tickets). If there are any Blues visiting the New Jersey/New York area, send us a note via e-mail.

P.S. We need more City fans on the Sportstalk at Choose “soccerchat”

We need to keep the Man Ure, Gunner and ‘Pool supporters in check. I often go by the name “Oasis”, for obvious reasons.

First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #170 on


Martin Parker