It happened by accident really. I had moved to the UK in 1990, from Canberra, Australia (that’s the capital city, full of wide roads with no cars on them, clear hot skies and vast open spaces) with a couple of mates. We had come to the UK to become famous rock musicians (we were all big Maiden, Priest, Purple and Sabbath fans when we were in high school).
We landed in London but hated it (too many wankers) so decided to head north. The final destination became a choice between Liverpool and Manchester, solely based on the fact that the two other guys I was travelling with were United fans (yes I know, I profoundly apologise for both of them) and I was, nominally, a Liverpool fan (based on the fact that I knew bugger all about football except that Craig (Johnston?) had played for Liverpool, he was cool, he was in a beer commercial in Australia and he was a an Aussie). Of course, given the law of averages, 2 against 1, I lost out and we moved up to Manchester.
When we arrived we knew absolutely nothing about Manchester (except of course that bloody United came from there, well Salford really). We drove up the main road from London (sorry can’t remember the name of the road), stopped at a petrol station when we reached Altrincham, bought an A-Z and looked for a good place to stay. Now I don’t know how many of you Blues’ fans out there have tried this method of deciding where to live, but let me just say that things look different on a map than they do in real life. We flicked through the rental pages of the Manchester Evening News with frequent references to the A-Z and determined that Moss Side/ Rusholme was an ideal place to live. It was relatively cheap, it was near some parks and sounded quiet and peaceful. Mmmmmm. We rang some people and rented a house at the Maine Road end of Dorset Avenue. My life has never been the same since.
I would like to say that I saw every home game while I was there but that would be a lie. I saw as many as I could but lack of funds and work commitments kept that to a minimum. I do know however that it is exactly 224 paces from the corner of Maine Road stadium to the front door where we lived, give or take a few steps, and that if you fall off the back of a motorbike while going scarily fast through the Maine Road stadium car park while holding a bass guitar, it really really hurts.
Alas, we didn’t become famous musicians (lack of talent was a bit of a problem). We all ended up working “normal” jobs instead e.g. brake factory, picture frame factory, pubs etc. But, in the process we had the time of our lives. We all grew up a hell of a lot (I turned 21 in a pub near the University with some stripper dressed as a copper rubbing her naked body all over me), we were constantly broke, drank heaps of crap beer, and met some of the kindest and most generous people in the whole world (I don’t know if I ever properly thanked my next door neighbour for the 4 Guinness and the pack of smokes he bought me when I was broke and feeling down, but if you reading this, thanks mate, you’re a champion).
We lived at Dorset Ave for just under a year and in that time I became a massive Blues’ supporter, not only for the team but for the beautiful, passionate, fantastic people who support City. I am pleased to report that one of the other guys who lived at Dorset Ave also became a City supporter, ditching United for a real football team. Unfortunately, there’s no hope for the other one. He returned to Manchester a year later and married a died in the wool Red supporter who’s entire family is redder than a red rag wearing fat bastard on red rag day (bastards).
Well, that’s why I’m Blue, and proud of it. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoy reading the other Why Blues and the rest of McVitee.
To everyone at McVitee, keep up the good work. And to the boys “Go you good things!” Let’s get back in the Premier League and show those bastards what a team from Manchester can do.
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #585 on
Matt Watson Coogee