Pure and simple this one:
Peter Barnes wiggling his way down the wing while playing for England – up until then I was a forest fan – at least I got one thing right!!
My earliest recollection of a football game is the 1971 FA Cup Final and I was hooked. A (thankfully) brief flirtation with Leeds United followed (due to those tie-ups matching my Real Madrid kit), until I went to the Academy for Rodney Marsh’s début. The discovery, in my grandma’s loft, of a hoard of City programmes dating back to 1956 confirmed me as a true Blue. I have vague memories of my dad coming back from the 1974 League Cup Final in some distress, but didn’t let this dampen my enthusiasm and the next year I got my first season ticket in the Platt Lane. I think it cost about a tenner!
Glory was not long in coming as that season we demolished United 4-0 on the way to Wembley and that overhead kick. I particularly remember the semi where Boro were annihilated again 4-0. I went to the final on a SELNEC single decker with a load of bus drivers, sausage rolls and Bodkans, (remember them kids?), and as an excited 11-year old thought this sort of thing would happen every couple of years. It did in those days. Although I’d just missed out on the most successful era the club has ever known we were still a real force especially at home where we never seemed to lose apart from the annual 4 or 5-0 drubbing from the scousers.
We came second in the league to Liverpool and if Dave Watson hadn’t headed the ball over Corrigan’s head when we played them at Xmas who knows…
1981 saw us back at Wembley and two great games against Spurs after a terrific Cup run. University beckoned in 1982 and I’ve not had a season ticket since but the passion for the club is stronger than ever, even if at times it seems they don’t deserve us. We all know that’s what being a City fan is all about. Having just bought a house in Rusholme, being relegated was rather untimely but we’ll be back.
A few highs and lows along the way…
- Boniek scoring a penalty in a UEFA cup match and someone emerging from the North Stand to smack him in the mouth!
- Peter Barnes storming down the left wing against Bristol City to score a beauty, and Dennis Tueart doing exactly the same thing from the kick off.
- A City fan being picked off by a sniper as the football special pulled into Barnsley.
- Halifax away… that should have taught us all that it’s not big or clever to spend 20 minutes before the kick off singing “Whose that dying etc.”…
- Hitching a lift from Wembley Way after the Full Members’ Cup Final… to West Didsbury… which was nice!
- Getting my bike nicked from under the Main Stand the day we signed Mike Channon… which wasn’t.
- Finally, if Gio stays I’m claiming a little of the credit ‘cos I sent him a postcard of Franny in his heyday, begging him to… so there!
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #204 on