Neil Mitchell

Why Blue?

Maybe because I was born in Burnage with views of the floodlights of Maine Road visable in the distance across the school fields. Or maybe it was the fact that my dad was Blue, although neither of the above had any affect on my big sister who used to go to Stretford and the ‘***kpit’ every other week.

First game I went to (at the age of 6) was viewed from the Platt Lane in February 1967 against Blackpool. I remember being disappointed when Blackpool came out in their tangerine kit ‘cos I thought we were going to play Liverpool. It was okay in the end as we won 1-0 with Colin Bell scoring.

After this season I was totally hooked and in the Championship year I was at Maine Road watching the reserves on the day we beat Newcastle to take the crown.

My first trip to Wembley was for the League Cup in March 1970, when we beat WBA. The early 70’s were still exciting times but as the decade rolled on the teams started to achieve less and less. Even the brief glory under John Bond was short lived.

The reaching of the 1981 Cup Final caused me problems. I was working and living in London at this stage and found no way of getting a ticket for the first game. Having to endure the game in the company of Spurs’ fans was hard work. When the replay came around on the Thursday I was in turmoil. That night I had a hard earned ticket to see my other great love Bruce Springsteen at the Manchester Apollo. As this was his first UK tour for a number of years; I thought that there was a greater chance of the Blues returning to Wembley than Bruce coming back. As I have now probably seen Springsteen about 20 times around the world I somehow feel I made the wrong decision that week. However, I went to the gig hoping and praying that Bruce would announce near the end of the show that City had won. Oh well, we all have our dreams.

I’m now living in Hampshire but still get to see the boys quite a lot, but usually at away games. Hopefully August 1998 will be the start of the long climb back. Anyone who witnessed the spineless performance at Reading will never forget it. I fear it will take a few years for the glory days to return but then again the vast majority of City fans probably never knew them in the first place.

First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #418 on


Neil Mitchell