I was brought up in a sleepy little village in Hampshire, hence the options of what teams I could support were either Pompey, Saints, Liverpool or, as with most, the Rags. So with my dad’s influence I opted for Liverpool, although my first match was Pompey vs. Saints at Fratton Park in 1988. A 2-2 draw and half of Hampshire’s hooligans on active duty that day! So what made me change to the legend that is “Manchester City”?
Well my dad’s best friend emigrated to some place called Manchester. His son didn’t take too long to convert to the Blue Army, so whenever we used to see him we used to engage in banter about how sh*t (please forgive me) City were. And so that’s when I started to take an interest in City results, purely to use as ammo to wind my mate up. Little did I know at the time that I was to suffer the same kind of abuse tenfold from the thousands of southern Rags that I encounter every day of my life. But, after a while it dawned on me that every Tuesday when I eagerly looked through my Shoot magazine for the results, I was looking for City’s before anybody else’s. I found myself trying to collect the Man City pro set cards before any other .So it was about this time, 1989 I think, that I declared myself to the world as a member of the Blue Army. I did suffer a lot of abuse at school from all sets of supporters but at the same time I think they had a lot respect for me for not taking the easy option.
One thing I love about being a southern Blue is wearing my shirt to go out. Perhaps even more so than you Mancs, purely because up in Manchester you’re one of thousands, so it is no great surprise seeing a fellow Blue .Down here everybody notices you and many like to chat about footy, and normally our mutual dislike of the Rags. Another thing is that because us Blues down here are so few and far between, if you do see another one down here I/they always make the effort to come over and chat.
I have had some of the greatest but also lowest moments of my life following the Blues. Wembley 99, Ipswich (Franny first day), Saints away (Stefan Karl last minute winner). Having the famous M.C.F.C. tattooed into my back; to the lows – Stoke 98 (the result and the beating I and my car received), 2-0 down to Gillingham (before the almighty comeback), the humiliation of watching 92 Q-F F.A. Cup with four Tottenham mates. The list could go on for ever but one thing’s for sure. I wouldn’t change being a Blue for absolutely anything.
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #532 on