Why do I support Manchester City Football Club? Good question! I have tried to think of any sane reasons and listed them below;
Geographical: I was born in Durham in 1956 but only spent six weeks there before I went with my family to live in Cyprus. No I’m not Greek or Turkish but a Royal Air Force brat. By birth surely I should support Newcastle or Sunderland. Could the year of my birth be influential I muse.
Family Influence: My mother and father were from the north east so any footballing influence usually revolved around “Wor Jackie” early on and “Sooper Mac”, and I don’t mean a hamburger, in later life. My brother supported any team that was winning, never went to any games, so any influence he had on me would surely have made me by now a typical rag fan.
Exposure to Football: Having spent all my early life travelling the world (Cyprus, Kenya, Libya, hardly footballing giants) I hardly knew what football was. The first match I saw on telly was in fact the 1966 World Cup Final, not a really an influence or reason to support City. However, the second match I saw on telly was you guessed it, the 1969 FA Cup final; no!!! to all you smartarses out there who think I was only allowed to watch telly twice in three years – I was living in Libya during those three years. This must be the reason perhaps? No not really as shortly after this I was sentenced to boarding school where the round ball game was considered uncouth and ever so ever so working class. I did however rebel and one night in 1970 listened to a match on the radio… oooh!! you all say “you revolutionary you”, which just happened to be City versus Gornik Zabrze. Drawing me in even further methinks. The rest of the “Wonder Years” melted into each other and nothing really stands out as an influence but I whenever I was asked who I supported I always said City. This usually got me incredulous looks, thumpings and questions like “Why, they’re crap” from Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea supporters. You guessed it I was living in London.
Working Years: I was free, I had a job, yes you could get a job really easy then and if you didn’t like it, jack it it and get another one. I started to go to football matches, mainly in London (maybe I’m a closet Rag), but always tried to see City whenever they were playing there. The first match I remember seeing City was against Spurs, City lost 1-0, but I still was hooked. I went to Chelsea and saw City stuff them 3-0 in the FA Cup, Colin Bell scored a screamer. I was beyond redemption… or was I? If anything was to challenge my loyalty to City it would have been when I went to see City play Luton and the score was 1-1; Luton were relegated as a result. I can’t remember much about the actual match but I remember the ancillary things very very well. I was in the City crowd enjoying the match when the bretheren started singing “We hate the cockneys”, all good fun which I joined in. However one very large guy next to me was then very voracious in explaining in great detail what physical violence he wanted to do to a southern bastard. Now I cannot help the way I speak, I was brought up in the south of England dammit! This same chap then asked me a question related to the time. Scenario 1: If I opened my gob and spoke I feared that I would get a damn good kicking so I played mute and showed him my watch… phew got away with that one. However, on leaving the ground my mate and I were chased by some Luton supporters because I was wearing a City scarf and they were slightly put out by the fact that Luton had been relegated… but hark there was a large group of City fans down the road. Scenario 2: If we ran to the City supporters we would be safe… wrong! I spoke like a southern s***e and was wearing a City scarf. Obvious conclusion… I’d nicked it off a City fan. Solution: beat the crap out of me and get the scarf back. I spent the rest of the afternoon running from both City and Luton fans. Even this has not stopped me following City through thick and thin, mostly thin in recent times. I was back in England four years ago and went to Maine Road and saw City beat Coventry 1-0 with a mate of mine who I met when I lived in Brisbane and yes he’s a City fan. He’s from Manchester and speaks like a City supporter should and even he calls me a soft southern jessie.
Epilog: I still don’t know why I support City, I just can’t help it. As you can see from above I have no real reason to support them and lots of reasons why I shouldn’t. How would you like going to see City and have all the City fans think that you talk like a poof! All I know is I can’t shake the habit (don’t want to). Recently with the way things have been going for City I would liken it to a horror movie… you know, it’s bloody scary but you can’t help watching because you want to see how it all comes out. I hope I haven’t bored you all s***less, that’s if Ashley prints this bloody epic of course but if I have I don’t care.
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #246 on