Because my dad was Blue, is I suppose, the real answer! He was there in that 84,000 crowd in 1934! However, he later became disenchanted when he saw Ivor Broadis run the length of the pitch just to kick another player! I remember dad taking me to Maine Road in about 1955 or so when I was about 8. The match was against Blackpool and he wanted me to see the great Stanley Matthews. Stan spent about 15 minutes doing nothing and then hobbled off. I think City won 2-0. I have a vague recollection of Bobby Johnstone scoring. Or perhaps not.
I can remember the 1955 semi-finals and Newcastle vs. York being on the radio. For some reason I wanted Newcastle to win, I couldn’t understand why my father was cheering for a no bit team like York. Come the final at Wembley (not that I was there) I understood! When City lost after poor old Jimmy Meadows wrecked his leg and career, my old man consoled me with what happened in the thirties and sure enough, next year we returned and won. I can still name the team as a party piece – well I never come across anyone to contradict me! Somewhere I still have the programme.
When the Munich air crash happened, unlike most of my contemporaries in Reddish, Stockport, that actually strengthened my blueness. Well it was obviously a tragedy (and my granddad lived three doors from Roger Byrne – great stars had modest houses in those days), but I felt it was unfair the way some people were switching allegiance! By 1958 I was playing as a very unimpressive right winger for North Reddish Wolf Cubs. We were winning matches by cricket scores thanks to a very simple team tactic – give the ball to Doyley! Yes, even at that age Mike Doyle was leagues ahead of the rest of us. Unfortunately for some reason he couldn’t play in the final and we got beat 3-1. I still have my loser’s medal, the only thing I ever won playing football.
In 1965 I went to Leeds University and got pally with a real true Blue, Bob Chesters. Are you out there Bob? We started going to a lot of the matches within striking distance of Leeds. These were great times for City, the ultimate game being the last match of the 1967/8 season at Newcastle where we had to win to win the league. What a game. Does my memory play me tricks or was it really that lumbering geordie centre half George Heslop that scored the fourth and winning goal? Since then I moved to Kendal and have seldom been to a match. I can’t remember the last time. I grew sadder and sadder at what seemed to be happening at Maine Road. And then I discovered MCIVTA and have been amused and rejuvenated and somewhat to my surprise I’m actually going to Maine Road on March 6th for the Northampton match. Come on you Blues!
CTIFTWTHHHHIOTMWBALASAGP (City ’till I forget the words to Hi ho, Hi ho, it’s off to Mexico, with Bell and Lee and Summerbee and Glyn Pardoe)
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #478 on