I grew up in Heald Green and Cheadle, suburbs of Manchester, in the sixties and seventies. I suppose we all remember our childhoods as sunlit; mine certainly seems like that now. When I was four there was a little girl who lived two doors from me and basically we were best mates. She was an older woman (seven) and we got into a discussion about football one day. She told me that I was a City supporter, and I agreed. It made a lot of sense at the time, City being both stylish and successful but of course it was years before my dad felt I was old enough to go.
I still remember that magnificent rush of excitement when, hand in hand, my dad took me into the Main Stand to watch my first match. It was against West Ham, although I don’t remember the score. I kept the rosette for years.
Now I go all the time, and of course there are great moments of release when the Blues score. But I can’t quite get back to the wonderment of being small in the middle of all that massive noise of Maine Road – maybe that’s what we all lose when we end our childhoods, the thrill of of being in something infinitely more massive than ourselves.
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #292 on