Yes, why Blue? A hard question, because there’s so many things that makes it a natural thing to be a Blue, but then again it’s difficult to explain what made me fall in love in a club who plays in a city I’ve never been to, until a few months ago.
I think for me it’s a personality thing – I’ve never gone with the flow. In Denmark the Rags are unfortunately also very popular, it must have something to do with Schmeichel because just a few years back there were no s***ty Sharp kits on the streets, and if you asked people which club they supported in England most of them would say Liverpool – probably because they won a lot at that time and they had a certain Jan Molby playing for them. Today in 1999 almost everybody in this country are “lifelong Manchester United supporters”. It does not make sense to me.
But I have to begin with the beginning. Back in early 70’s Danish league football were pretty bad, the player were strictly amateurs and it was not really that exciting. Danish television wants to send live football every Saturday but they were not allowed to broadcast live from Danish games, the Danish F.A. feared that the gates would go further down if the Danes could sit and watch a game at home. So Danish TV turned to the English league and bought the TV rights in co-operation with Swedish and Norwegian television, I think it was in 1974.
Unfortunately it ended a few years ago when channel Digital bought all the rights to the Premier League. But it was almost 25 seasons with top class English football. That made a huge impact on Danish sport culture. We became very familiar with almost every English league club, and everybody had a “special” team they preferred to watch. But in the last few seasons the transmissions lasted they almost only showed the Rags vs. “something else” as the match of the day, and that was a bloody shame.
All the children who also watched the Saturday games did not get any knowledge about the other clubs in England, as I did. No TV “told” them to support United. They did not have a choice, because they were not told about the other clubs. There were Rags – and the rest. What a shame. Luckily I am old enough to remember the good old days in the early 80’s where they different teams every Saturday.
I became a City fan when I was 8 years old. I remember clearly the day. It was in 1981 and I was sitting with my dad in our living room – prepared to watch the final game of the season – the F.A. Cup final. I did not know who were supposed to play, but I loved watching football. But I was soon to find out who played. Tottenham-City. Ohh what a match, I can’t remember anything particular from it, just that it was thrilling. I was on City’s side immediately, their shirts were smashing, and that name: Manchester City, there was a nice ring to it! My dad was on Tottenham’s side, “look at these two Argentins” as he said referring to Ardiles and Villa. I did not care about them. They could have players of the world and I would still not care about Tottenham Hotspur. From that day I was Blue.
A few years back lived I in London. There I had the opportunity to see some games “live”. Meeting you Mancunians on the turnstiles was brilliant, seeing City play live was brilliant, and it made me love the club even more. Today it’s a lifestyle for me, and I have made a City fan out of my girlfriend, Tanja, too. We have been in Manchester together, we also were at Wembley on our big day out, the 30 of May! It’s a lifestyle to us. And even though most of our family and friends does not understand why we spend so many money and so much time on an English 1st Division club, we don’t care, because they don’t know what they are missing while they are sitting in their armchairs watching the Rags on the telly.
Although I live in Toronto Canada I have been a City supporter ever since my dad took me to watch City beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 in 1956 when I was four years old and my dad hijacked me to Maine Road instead of babysitting me.
As a youngster living in Bury I used to worship Bert Trautmann and even earned the nickname Bert when I played goal for Bury Derby School.
Admittedly City weren’t very good in the early Sixties but I remember going to watch City play Tottenham Hotspur in 1962 when The Spurs were going for the cup and league double. My dad sent me to get him a cup of tea and a pie early in the game and while was in line I kept hearing all these cheers. As City was supposed to get hammered that day, I thought that Bert must be having a good game keeping Tottenham at bay. Imagine my shock to return to my seat and find City leading 3-0. They won that game 6-2, typical City always capable of pulling off a surprise even when they were bad.
I remembered being at Maine Road when they drew 0-0 with Southampton to win the Second Division championship and complete an unbeaten home schedule and their first season back in the First before we emigrated to Canada in 1967. From that point on I had follow their success in the late Sixties and early Seventies via the television and newspapers but I have always remained a staunch supporter.
I remember being in Sydney Australia in 1988 and picking up a paper to see how City had made out against Huddersfield and being upset because there was an apparent typo by their score, it showed they had won 10-1! Did they draw 1-1 or lose 0-1? It wasn’t until I got back to Toronto that I found out they had won 10-1, the game had been televised and a friend at The Sports Network had taped the game for me.
I have been depressed by their recent fall from grace but was naturally thrilled by their play-off win with Gillingham. Now if they could only find a buyer with deep pockets to buy some world class players, the team could match their amazing crowd support.
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #528 on