Why indeed? Born in Ethiopia back in 1961 (folks out there teaching) we returned to England in about 1965 to live in Cheadle Hulme, near Stockport; time for me to decide which team to support. Well, it wasn’t difficult, my elder bother supported the Rags, I hated him, best way to annoy the pants off him, support Man City – simple.
Good on the old fellow, a Red but decent and didn’t force me to support them and top marks to the old Queen who decided to support City to even out the numbers.
Between the regular fighting and taunting which drove my dad crazy “no football talk over tea or I’ll thrash you and send you to bed” my brother and I found a common ground in hating Leeds Utd. We would get our footy albums, rip out pictures of Clarke, Giles, Jones and flush them down the loo adding our lubrication to send them on the way (I’m better now).
A crucial moment in cementing my young support was one Christmas when my gran had promised to knit us both scarves as presents. When the day came and when we duly opened the packages out came red and white Rag and then to my horror I received a navy blue and white thing – tears rocketed out and mum had to unstitch and re-sew the whole thing – sky blue or nothing for me.
So it’s off to primary school to find I had mates that supported both sides. That was friendly enough but secondary school was open warfare. The big irony was that everyone had mates who supported the other team yet they were still your friends – you just hated the club they supported. Transferring across teams was a no no and those who tried were rejected by both sets of supporters.
The first recollection of attending a game was a Derby when both sets of fans still stood together. The lad I went with was butted by a young yob so his dad had to step in. The score? Who knows, I was waiting to get butted.
Then I started to go regularly to home games, so a junior season ticket was in order. I am going mad but could the price really have been as little as