For me it was a family thing. My grandfather (God rest his soul) was one of these who used to go to see City one week, United the other, particularly when they both played at Maine Road. Before that he used to see City when they played at Hyde Road. And then Munich happened. According to my grandfather, people all over the country seemed to go one of two ways after this. They either supported United because of the sympathy thing… or they were turned off because it got too much. Not being around at the time I don’t know, but for him he became less and less interested in United but carried on going to City.
My father used to have a shop where we lived in Blackley in Manchester so could not take me to any football matches as he worked on Saturdays, but my granddad did take me and my memory is a little unclear here but I think for my first game the year was 1972 when we played QPR who were in red and white halved shirts and if memory serves we won 2-1 with a Rodney Marsh overhead kick. I stood at the front of the Kippax and that remained my place whenever we went to the ground. At school things were fairly even between City and United fans, perhaps City edging it with numbers. Being North Manchester, there were Oldham fans too but they didn’t say a great deal (they still don’t)!
And then the goodish times came; League Cup finals in ’74 and ’76, Europe, England Under 21 games with Peter Barnes, Gary Owen and Joe Corrigan at Maine Road. In December 1979 however, I had an accident and broke both my legs. I was in hospital for months as there were complications but I remember seeing City getting beat at Halifax and thinking “That’s it, I’m finished with them, I support Liverpool now!” That lasted for about a minute before I came to my senses… (or did I?) and then in February whilst I was still in hospital, who should come visiting but Tony Book, Ray Ranson and Michael Robinson. I was well and truly gobsmacked. I still have the plaster they signed. I could never desert City at their time of need so they had a stay of execution. Mind you you know the saying Q: “Why don’t you go to see City any more?” A: “Because they don’t come to see me when I’m bad.” Well for me they did!
In time I worked my way from the Kippax to the Platt Lane corner next to the Main Stand. I seem to remember season tickets there being about