My first qualification was that I was born and bred in Sale which is in South Manchester. My mother was a United fan and my father was a City fan. Like most United fans, my mother never went to any games and only seemed to become an ardent fan when they won something. My father, however, had had a season ticket at Maine Road for many years and at the tender age of 10, I decided I’d had enough of accompanying my mother to the shops every week and felt a trip to Maine Road would be much more fulfilling. My dad, who had always despaired at having two girls and no boys, was thrilled and duly bought me a season ticket for my birthday. I was to have the same birthday present every year until I was 16 and I felt proud to be in possession of it. Our seats were in the Main Stand – the Kippax always looked far more interesting, but I soon got used to being surrounded by the more senior supporters. What a sight I must have looked in my City bobble hat, scarf and anorak full of badges, surrounded by old men in Crombie coats. However, it was the action on the pitch and the atmosphere of the ground that kept me going back week after week. The day we got through to the League Cup final in 1976 was fantastic – I couldn’t wait to get to Wembley for the first time in my life. Unfortunately, my dad decided that going to London with his 12-year-old daughter was not his idea of a great time so he chose to go with 3 of his mates and left me behind. I was devastated and didn’t speak to him for weeks – watching Tueart’s overhead kick on the television was no competition for watching it from the stands at Wembley. I did see the returning heroes on their open top bus on the Sunday and I’m now waiting for the day I get to go to Wembley and watch City win a cup (I can now sympathise with my dad’s sentiments at preferring the company of his mates for a weekend in London rather than his young daughter).
Throughout my childhood I was a Junior Blue and my 15 minutes of fame happened when I was picked to represent them on Cheggers Plays Pop! I had to answer a pop trivia question which I got wrong and I’ve never forgiven myself. Thank God we didn’t have videos then.
I moved down South in 1984 and have not managed to go to a match at Maine Road since then, although I have attended quite a few away matches each season. My 2-year-old son is now a Junior Blue and I will be making a point of taking him to Maine Road next season.
The Alan Ball era was the lowest point of my City supporting years – watching City get beaten by Swindon whilst sitting in an open stand in the pouring rain was almost enough to make me want to forget about football forever. However, the new era under Frank Clark has put a new spring in my step and I’m confident that next season will see the team doing everything they can to get back into the Premiership – and succeeding.
Keep up the good work on the newsletter – it’s a great way for those of us who can’t get to Maine Road as often as we’d like to keep in touch with what’s going on.
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #300 on