Like many other postings my story is not rational at all. Let’s take a trip back in time to the beginning of the 1980’s. My mum worked as a teacher at the local school. Each year the school travelled to London on a 7 days trip. Being a son of one of the teachers I had the opportunity to join the rest of the travelling party and experience the capital of England. Great stuff.
On this particular trip was my older brother who for some unexplainable reason was a Manchester United fan at the time and still is. I remember he was talking a lot about a great team from Manchester called United when we were younger. I was sure he was talking rubbish, like he always did at the time. I decided to find my own team and off course it had to be Manchester City.
I remember my mum took my brother and me to at the sport store next to St. Paul’s Cathedral in which I bought my first home kit. I was so proud. Beautiful blue colours – much nicer than the red one my brother wore. I was in a Blue heaven.
In the years that followed I always paid the sport store at St. Paul’s a visit just to make sure that this holy shop was all right. I haven’t been there for ages but I will go there next time I go to London.
Since then I have been faithful to City. Everybody at my football team seemed to support Liverpool, Tottenham or United. People laughed at me and said rubbish like: You are the most predictable loser on the pools coupon. What they did not realise was that I enjoyed every victory that City had whereas my friends expected their teams to win and didn’t get excited when their team won. They only experienced disappointment. What a waste of life! For me it was a real surprise when City won and I was jumping up and down with sheer joy.
When we played Stoke and eventually got relegated to Division 2 I went down to the local sports bar for the first time. A couple of my friends had promised to come along to watch the game, thus I was not watching the game on my own. Believe me. I thought I was the only Man City fan in Denmark. To my pleasant surprise I met other City fans in the pub. Among them being Brian (President of the Danish Supporter branch), Morten (well-known from Blue View) and his girlfriend Tanja.
Since Disaster Day we have really developed a great friendship based on Manchester City and in March 1999 I went to Manchester for the first time together with Brian, Morten and Tanja to watch my team in action. We met with all the guys from Norway and Sweden and had a fantastic time in Manchester.
Only 2 years ago I thought I was alone, but now I know that many more people are “suffering” from City-itis. The world’s greatest disease 🙂
Still Blue after all these years
Three Episodes of My City Supporting Life:
#1 – Re-igniting the Passion
We had been regulars in the early part of our childhoods. Dad had carried us both into the North Stand and we had one knee each, until we were old enough to qualify for our own season tickets. We missed few matches between ’73 and ’79. Then we moved away. East Yorkshire was a long way from Manchester. And, whilst we periodically made the trip, these became less and less frequent over the years.
I was 19, in my first year at University. My brother was a year ahead and had chosen Manchester based on the fact that he could watch City. We were only just beginning to get over the fact that when you are kids, you really hate each other. Years of torturing each other does that to the relationship. I suppose, then, that he got the tickets to the match and invited me along as a kind of reconciliation. Or maybe he couldn’t persuade anyone to go along with him. After all, City were not very good in 1989, and Alex Ferguson had spent countless millions on players of proven quality. Our expectations were not high. We both felt that a defeat by a small margin would not be a bad result. Anything, as long as we didn’t get whipped.
I still don’t really know what happened that day. There were few players in the City line up that were much good in First Division/Premier League terms. Which of them went on to get international recognition or even play consistently at the top level through their careers? Hinchcliffe – kind of. White – Mmmm. Bishop – in a way. I know Lake didn’t get the chance. But they played like men possessed. And once they got ahead, they smelt blood and fought for the victory with everything they had. It was not until the birth of my children (more than half-a-decade later) to surpass the emotion of the moment when that fifth goal went in. That day certainly re-lit the passion. We undertake the pilgrimage (now from London) approx. half a dozen times per season. Adding away matches, in and around London, gives enough to feed the addiction each year.
#2 You know you really support them when…
My brother, Chris, had a night out. He came in a little worse for wear in the early hours of the morning. Now I have cured my addiction to ClubCall and TeamTalk by the use of the Internet. Chris hasn’t. He must spend a small fortune on it. The thing is, like all addicts he tries to convince himself that he doesn’t need it, that he is in control. I’ll call now, he thinks, then that will do me until the weekend when I’ll get the team news before the game. However, once you’ve had a drink, this rational side of you is completely overwhelmed by the need to fulfil the addiction.
This night, then, he took his phone to bed. The mindset was to ring ClubCall before he went to sleep. The problem was that he fell asleep during the call. He awoke in the morning, 7 hours later, to the realisation that the call was still going on – presumably in a loop of the call. He needs to wait for the bill to confirm it, but I think that mistake will cost him about