Ken Howarth

Why Blue?

Ken with Colin Bell at Platt Lane

I had little or no interest in football until 1966, when I became embroiled in World Cup fever. I was 24-years old by then and had been married for 3 years. As the next few years went by, I became an armchair football fan of no-one in particular via “Match of the Day.” One sunny Saturday afternoon, I was invited by some friends to go to the match with them. Since I live in Bacup (Rossendale Valley), “the match” meant a visit to Burnley F.C., who were then a good side in Division One. I can’t remember who the opposition was, or even who won, but I was hooked! Over the next few years I rarely missed a home game and saw all the big names of the seventies including Lee, Bell & Summerbee etc., and all the great players of the first division.

By then, my eldest son had declared himself a City fan, for reasons he himself will disclose when he does his own “Why Blue”. I had tried to turn him into a Burnley fan by taking him to games, but I failed. As time went by, Burnley faded into relative obscurity and to my shame I deserted them, although in fairness to myself, my work commitments contributed greatly to that.

I was working as a joiner on building sites in and around Manchester, where I met many City and United fans which rekindled my love of football. My eldest son, who by now was at University in Manchester, was and still is, a True Blue. He had by now become a season ticket holder at Maine Road. I went with him on some occasions to some Division Two matches during their promotion push in the late eighties. City gained promotion and by then I had encountered the “biggest club in the world” syndrome from the United fans at work, which only served to cement my leanings towards City. In season 1990-91, I became a season ticket holder in the North Stand along with my wife and two sons. Since then we have had season tickets for the Platt Lane Stand, and now we are established in the upper tier of the Kippax Stand. I suppose it is fair to say that my son “turned” me into a Blue. He succeeded where I failed, but as they say, “converts are the most devout.”

First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #210 on


Ken Howarth