I suppose if you consider the almost terminal decline of the Blues since my birth in 1968 – you may think I was somewhat of a jinx! However, nothing can, or will, stop me supporting City Till I Die.
My first recollected game was at Maine Road around 1978 (no-one could accuse me of glory hunting!) and I don’t even remember who we were playing, but I remember standing on the Kippax and being s**t-scared when we scored. The old man was the City fan who first took me, but a couple of my uncles took over and I was a Kippax regular all through my school life.
Even though I was brought up in Salford, our school was about 50/50 City/Rag scum and I never felt I had made a bad decision (hey – we beat AC Milan while I was at school!). When I got to around 14/15, a couple of older lads from where I lived (Higher Broughton) began to take me to away games – much to the dismay of my poor mother – who was convinced I would come home with a 12-inch scar across my face (this was indeed the days of the ICF etc.). She needn’t have worried, I could run a lot faster than anyone older than me! Memories of our coach being bricked at Leeds and police brutality in Wigan (seemed like the other end of the world then) are clearer than any notable pitch incidents, although I saw Jim Tolmie score in Blackpool! When I left college I got a season ticket in the North Stand with my brother (3 years younger) which I kept for 3 years before I moved to Belfast with work.
Over the last 8 years, I have lived in Belfast, Newcastle, Glasgow, Tyldesley(!), Edinburgh and now Munich and have probably attended 6-10 games a season (I had a season ticket in the Main Stand when living back in Manchester) yet my love for the Blues seems to get stronger. When I got my Internet connection, I didn’t realise the bonds I could form with other Blues around the world, and I have done my best to spread the word wherever I have been (2000 Germans currently have to type KINKLADZE_CTID before they can start work every day).
Even though I am lucky enough to mix in funky circles (my boss is also a non-exec director on Stephen Boler’s board), I never compromise my feelings and desires for my team (many people present remember my verbal attack on 6 first teamers in the players’ lounge at Wycombe after the 0-0 a couple of years ago).
And even if I get the box I want when I eventually move to the UK, I will still be pushing for City, The fans and everything Blue! I am convinced the right team is in place behind the scenes now – let’s hope Frank can achieve the same on the field.
Final note – an innoncent question I posed on Blue View turned into the Keep GIO Internet Campaign… what a great achievement by all involved!
So… choose Drama… choose Excitement… choose Life… choose City
P.S. I got a season ticket for Bayern Munich next year, so can’t get involved in half the match day chats, but I want to thank Gio’s Bootlicker et al for some great laughs this year!
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #305 on