My name is Steve Cooper, I live on the coast of Lincolnshire near Sutton-on-Sea, have been Blue since dad took me to City vs. Stoke circa ’70 or ’71 and I nearly touched Mike Summerbee’s arm from the front row of the Kippax. Actually I met Mike when I was 11 and playing for Old Trafford Junior School. We had got through to the final of a cup competition and our Headmaster, Mr Cadman (a fanatical City fan – that’s why our ‘A’ team wore sky blue shirts) knew Mike, who at that time (1977) was involved in a petrol station just off Chorlton Road which was only 2 minutes from the school, so Mr Cadman arranged for the team to get some coaching trips. It was awe-inspiring, so inspiring we forgot about the tips and went on to lose the said cup final (beaten by some team in red I think).
I had a lapse in my support for City, however; my cousin Phil took me to see City vs. Leicester and we whooped them 5-0 with Brian Kidd getting 4 goals. Needless to say, I have never relapsed. Many a Saturday afternoon, Phil and I would walk up to Brooks’s Bar, catch the 53 bus and walk down the Maine Road, or when I was a student living in Chorlton, walking up Wilbraham Road to get to the ground. I used to go then with a friend who at 14 had the physique of a 9 year old, but when he got into the Kippax, his stature would grow and he would go to the dividing line where the cops stood between the fans and he would taunt, spit and abuse the opposing fans who just looked at him and laughed while I cringed 10 feet away.
Another memory I fondly recall (so sorry, this was only meant to be a short letter, however the feelings of nostalgia are just overwhelming) is when we were beating West Ham 3-1 and their fans started chanting; Dennis Tueart looked up and seemed to laugh. We were such a good team then, we could afford a little arrogance.
Now; well, all I know is that when City win I feel great, when City win and the Rags lose, I have died and gone to heaven and will live for a short time in bliss, but when we lose the opposite applies. Can you explain it, why a seemingly normal male with pretty good work instinct, has good mates who do not let him down, makes sound decisions in every other aspect of his life, buys a City shirt at the beginning of the season, wears it on every day that City has a game along with an inane grin and a belief that this time it will be the beginning of unprecedented era, a time where City will never lose and make the so called Rag era look pretty pathetic in comparison? Yes, I know it’s stupid, but thats what happens when I pull a shirt over my head.
I wish sometimes we had 11 players who felt the same way.
I have been sentenced to be a City fan till I die. All other criminals have got off lightly.
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #447 on