First of all I am a 34 year old native New Yorker who has supported the Blues for almost 20 years now. How, you ask, did an American lad who had no connection at all with the city of Manchester come to support Man City? That is by far the most common question I get asked by fellow supporters whenever we meet – whether it be here in the USA or in England. I get over to see City once or even twice a year.
About 20 years ago football, or soccer, was extremely popular here in the USA. There was a team called the New York Cosmos who played before 75,000-80,000 people for big games. Oh by the way, a guy named Pele was in the team among other world-known stars.
Each week there was a TV show called Star Soccer. They showed 60 minutes worth of a top match from the English First Division. It was quite incredible and I never, ever, missed a week. I had to make a choice as to what team I should adopt as my own. Tough choice it was. Being the different sort of kid I was I didn’t want it to be a London side. No, that was too easy. I watched a lot of games. I was leaning towards Liverpool but I thought against it. After all, they were winning everything in sight at the time – much too easy. I can’t be a frontrunner and had to be different. There were two teams in Manchester I saw. I never cared for United – didn’t even know who they were. At that time City had some pretty good sides. I think the first year I became hooked was 1976-77. That was the year we cocked it up and finished second behind Liverpool. I can’t remember where they finished but it was below City. Another thing I liked about City were its kit. Those sky blue shirts really caught my eye. Also, at this time a guy named Dennis Tueart came over to play with the Cosmos. Dennis was one of the most popular players the Cosmos ever had. He ran his heart out, had guts and never stopped trying. New Yorkers love those types. I remember something Jimmy Conners said when asked about the main difference between the US Open and Wimbledon. He said “In NY they love you when you leave your guts on the court. At Wimbledon they make you go out there and clean em up.”
After knowing Dennis Tueart that was it. Manchester City it is. What a choice!
The next season it must have been, I wrote to the match programme at Maine Road searching for pen pals. I got a few responses. If I supported United that never would have happened because their minders don’t allow them sharp instruments like pens and pencils. Anyway, to this day I am still in touch with one of those people – Mick Thompson from Rochdale. We are about the same age and he is as Blue as they come. Whenever I come to England he lets me crash at his house in Rochdale. Although he lives over 3,000 miles away I consider him to be a very close friend.
We kept in touch for many years and I came to England for the first time in 1982 and saw City beat Stoke 1-0. David Cross scored and I stood in the Kippax. Still I wasn’t sure what it was all about until my next visit which was some years later. It was a glorious September afternoon and it was my first derby match. Well, we won 5-1 and the rest is history. That’s when I was really hooked.
Unfortunately, there have been more bad times than good. Sometimes it is quite convenient to be a City fan from 3,000 miles away. But I couldn’t have picked a more interesting team to support and that’s why I am Blue until I die.
Any Blues that want to get in touch, feel free to email me – especially Blues in the USA or Canada.
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #274 on