The year was 1964. At this stage of my life – being a young lad, I didn’t support any team. However, this was to change once my older cousin took me to see his team play – yes the one and only Manchester City. After that experience at Maine Road, I was instantly a Blue and I’ve never looked back.
Becoming a fan around this time was great – seeing them win promotion from the old Division Two up to the First Division championship in 1968. Which brings me to my most memorable match – March 27 1968 at Old Trafford. The atmosphere was electric for that midweek game, I was at the scoreboard end. The game went against us to start with, George Best putting them 1-0 via an error from Tony Book. I remember looking up to the sky and thinking here we go again (United had already won 2-1 at the Maine Road game in September). But this was the period where City was transforming into a great team – and the equaliser came from Colin Bell making it 1-1 at half time. The second half saw George Heslop make it 2-1. But the moment which brought tears to my eyes was the final goal – Colin headed for goal, only to be sent crashing to the floor. Bell was being carried off while Francis ‘Pen’ Lee scored from the spot – this time I looked to the sky thinking life wasn’t that bad after all.
Being True Blue, the games against Rags were always special (as we won most of them!). The match on 12 November 1975 was the only time I missed a game during this period (being away down the road at St Mary’s Hospital with my wife and our one day old daughter) – although I could heard the crowd roar 4 times – City winning 4-0 that night.
I arrived in New Zealand during 1982, the last big City games I watched were the two against Spurs in the 81 cup final (I can still see Tommy Hutchison at the end of the first game with the ball hitting his shoulder making it 1-1 and we all know what happened in the replay). On my last visit back home, Xmas 95 I managed to enjoy a couple of home games, and gratefully had my photo taken with Tony Book (which was published in the City Magazine, “City vs. Newcastle” February 24 1996, page 16).
Thanks to Steve Ewan from the City’s Supporters’ Club in NZ for all the info and his phone call regards the good news against Gillingham.
Finishing off by saying an extra special thanks to MCIVTA – and having read page 35 from the City Magazine April 1999 I can now put a face to the good efforts and writing of Ashley, Steve and Paul doing a great job with the City news.
Here’s to the Premier League – I can’t wait!
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #518 on