This is a question I have often asked myself and, since my friend Mub (the Derby fan) started to subscribe to McVittee for me (I am, indeed, Chris the Luddite), one he has badgered me to write.
Why I picked Man City as opposed to any other club is a mystery as I have no connection with Manchester whatsoever. Most City fans I meet are either from Manchester or are following in their fathers’ footsteps.
Me? Well I was born in Watford, whilst I have spent most of my life in Oxford and Abingdon, which I guess should have meant supporting the Rags! I was too young in Watford to appreciate whether it had a football team (still a moot point) and as for Oxford, well it was hardly in the same league as, say, Arsenal, Liverpool or Chelsea etc. As for my dad, he was a F****t (asterisks inserted by the typist) fan but despite his best efforts it didn’t feel right – must have been the colour of the shirts! That, or his persistent chanting of “2-4-6-8, who do we appreciate?” or “Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen” which had me squirming with embarrassment, put me off.
My first contact with the only team in Manchester was through football stickers which I used to collect along with many of my schoolmates. Somehow I was inexplicably drawn to a team which sported Peter Barnes, Dennis Tueart, big Joe Corrigan, Asa Hartford and Gary Owen. I think Brian Kidd was also playing then. My memory is rather hazy of the period (too many sherbert dips) but I think City were one of the few teams I managed to complete.
Whilst at secondary school it became paramount to be seen to support a team whether it be Liverpool, Leeds, Wolves (yes, a friend of mine actually supports Wolves), Derby, Arsenal. Oddly enough I don’t recall any Rags fans. The 1981 Cup final defeat was the definitive moment when I declared my allegiance. What is it about losing that seems to appeal? Since then I have watched City through the highs and lows or should that be the lows and even lowers!
City seem to have turned a corner and this resurgence has been mirrored in my personal life. Whereas City’s struggles seemed to come as I lurched from one crisis of confidence to another, now City’s success, i.e. promotion and pushing to return to the Premiership, have seen more stability in the form of a lovely girl called Kate, who I hope to take to Maine Road soon, as it’s the only way to try to get her to understand what we go through on Saturdays!
So really I haven’t any real reason (being a local, team dad supported, etc.) but I have a sneaking suspicion that it was the colour of the kit!
Well, my parents supported that team from near Manchester who wear light purple(!), and all my mates at school followed the Blues. So in the late 60’s, early 70’s it was off to Maine Road as often as possible and then many trips on Fingland’s coaches and that’s the way it’s stayed. My own Junior Blue came along and at first it was easy to keep him on the straight and narrow, but he was tempted by the ‘Red’ side due to the influence of his ‘mates!’ at school. However, the promise of regular visits to the Academy and new kits kept him on the Blue side. Now when we go, he’s the one who does most shouting and waving at those away supporters who visit. Just a footnote re the Huddersfield game, even though we were outplayed in the first half (I watched it on Sky), it seemed to me that we played too much one touch football where the final ball usually ended up at the feet of a Terrier. Had someone stood on the ball for even seconds I’m sure we would have slowed it down and perhaps started to dictate instead of letting them do it all. I thought Edghill was naff, and Dickov should concentrate on trying to score instead of arguing with everyone and falling over. Fancy trying to thump someone over a foot taller than him! At least we didn’t lose and we’ll be there at the end of the season.
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #582 on