Basically because I was born in Manchester and my dad and all his family were Blues and so I didn’t really have a choice (unlike the vast majority of Rags!). Even though times have been hard over the last 20 years or so I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’ve got a few friends who aren’t really into football and they have asked don’t I wish I was a Rag and I have always answered with a scornful emphatic “No” – I wish City had been as successful as they have over recent years but I would still rather be a Blue (with all the torment that has caused and probably will continue to cause!) than be a Rag – we may have not had much to celebrate over recent years (last May excepted!) but we can still look down on all Rags with the knowledge that we are a far superior species!
One of my earliest Blues memories is coming home from shopping with my mum and sister one Saturday in 1969 (I was about 4 at the time) to find the windows of our house plastered with pages from the Pink celebrating City’s F.A. Cup win and my dad drunk on the settee (he couldn’t get a ticket but was at Wembley the following year and at Newcastle the year before to celebrate the Championship (oh to go to a game like that – well who knows!).
My first visit to the Academy was when I was 5 but I can’t remember who we played. Went to quite a lot of games home and away over the following years – I particularly remember flying down the motorway to Leicester sat across the back seat (or was it a ledge!) of my uncle’s MG with the roof down, hanging on for grim life!
First visit (without supervising parent) was against Spurs in ’76 or ’77 and we hammered them (I think) 5-1 (now that was to become a memorable scoreline even though I didn’t know it at the time!); best game at Maine Road – I’d have to pick two – the 5-1 win against Charlton to get promotion (I’d settle for a similar score when we play them next month!) and the play-off semi-final against Wigan last year – I missed the 5-1 demolition of the Rags (damn!) – although the 3-0 win against AC Milan in the UEFA Cup run them close. Best away game (apart from Wembley) – the semi-final win against Ipswich at Villa Park (not just for the result but also the visit to the “quiet pub” we asked the taxi driver to drop us off at before the game, which must have had about 200 Blues in, standing on tables, the jukebox and anything else they could find waving flags and singing!); best game ever – Wembley last year! Hopefully these will be replaced over the coming years!
I live in Hull now (and Hull really is, as the song goes “a town full of Munichs”, grown-ups, not just kids parading their Rags shirts around town) but still make the fortnightly pilgrimage to the Academy (sometimes much to the annoyance of my wife, who is not into football but who is sort of a Blue, as it plays havoc with our social life on Saturday nights).
A new era is also about to dawn – I go to the Academy with my sister and her 9-year-old son – but on Saturday (against Norwich) her 5-year-old son is due to make his first visit to the Academy. He is usually in tears as we get dropped off at Maine Road by his dad (a Rag by the way, who just loves the fact that his only children are both Blues, who true to style, detest the Rags even at their tender ages!) but he was promised that he could go when he was 5 (end of last month). He has been pestering his mum to “learn him the songs” although he knows “Super Kevin Horlock” and “We are, we are top of the League” – I taught him that one on holiday in Tenerife last year just after we had seen City beat Birmingham on Sky to go top of the League (although his Rag dad has pointed out that he can’t sing that one on Saturday!). The joy I know I will see on his face on Saturday will I am sure be enough for him to do a Why Blue in a few years and reinforce (not that it’s needed) why I’m a Blue.
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #579 on