I suppose I’m really a natural Man. Utd. fan, my parents are Irish Catholics and I have always had trouble getting girlfriends. I was 8 when I heard there was another team in Manchester, seems a little old but I was brought up in an almost exclusively Irish environment and everyone supported Man U but no one actually discussed football or went to a match.
For the next year my allegiance changed almost weekly. I suppose it’s all a part of growing up, until my father took my brother and myself to see City. Stockport wasn’t that far away and I’m sure there was a bus at the end of our street that went to Bury but the man wasn’t to know and my brother had become City mad. It was 1966, we beat Blackpool 1-0 and during the match my brother shouted at Johnny Crossan asking if he’d recovered from his injury. Johnny Crossan winked at us, how can you support another team after that happens? 20 years later Justin Fashanu winked at me but it wasn’t the same.
Two years later we moved to live around the corner from Maine Road and I was there every week, we even used to sneak in to see them training. I bet a lot of kids in that era will remember wagging school to see us play Coventry in a League Cup match. It was mid-week and played during the day because of the miners’ strike. My brother ran onto the pitch and draped himself around Dennis Law after he had scored a goal. He ended up on the back page of the Daily Mirror; the next time he made the newspapers was last season when we lost to at home to Oxford and he went on the pitch to tell the players what he thought of them.
I haven’t been a regular since the late 70’s, I started playing on Saturday afternoons and then I left Manchester. When I left the country I really missed football and now I’m back in London I try to get to matches whenever they play down south.
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #384 on