I am what you might call a closet City supporter, having begun to support them at the age of 8 (I am now 51). I have hardly ever seen them play except on TV. I became a supporter when I made friends with someone on Northwich market (Cheshire); he came from Droylsden, near Ashton Under Lyne and both our fathers were market gardeners who had stalls on Northwich Market on a Saturday. Thus the possibility of going to Maine Road was out of the question as we were both expected to “help”, i.e. work for nothing for our respective fathers. This was the 1950’s. We were allowed to have lunch together every Saturday and that is when I became a Blues supporter. Occasionally we were allowed to have the afternoons off when it was Cup Final day and in 1955 & 56 I think I watched City on the TV. I lived in Northwich so we could easily get to my house to watch the Cup Final. I remember watching Bert Trautmann getting his neck broken. At 11 I went to the local grammar school where I was expected (told) to play Rugby on Saturday afternoons. At 18 I left school and moved away from Northwich, never to return except for brief periods of my life. I have lived in London, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Sydney Australia, Edinburgh, Coventry, Maidenhead and now a place called Pernitz near Wiener Neustadt in Austria. I remember the good years under Joe Mercer. Then the awful years with Swales as chairman. The last paper I bought in England was 1st November; in Saturday’s Express the centre page of the sports section had a 2 page spread on Francis Lee on how his decision to become Chairman has become his “bete noir”. I just hope he has the guts to see it through and turn the club round. Mind you with Frank Clark as manager I have my doubts.
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #346 on