How I became a City fan is a strange story really and can be attributed to my elder brother’s then loyalty for the Red half of Manchester. When we were young my dad was in the RAF so we used to travel all over the world, never really settling in one place, and as such deciding which football club you were going to support was either too difficult or was never really a top priority. However, our travels finally brought us to Market Drayton in the 1968-69 season when at the same time we received as an Xmas present what was the ‘in’ kids game, magnetic table football. Woe and behold, the colors of the teams were sky blue and red. It was at the same time that for some unknown reason my elder brother was starting to show an interest in Man Utd and had actually gone to a game at nearby Wolverhampton and like most kids at that time had jumped onto the ’68 European Cup bandwagon. As he took great delight in beating me at anything, I always had to be Man City when playing magnetic football whilst he was the Red sh* te and as expected he always won (I should point out that as I got older I beefed up a bit and so there was one particular sport he did not want to engage me in competition!).
Anyway the damage was done, I was from that point onwards a City fan, keenly looking for their results every Saturday night. Not long after we moved to the Wirral and the sad thing is I cannot actually remember my first City game or where it was. I am pretty sure it would have been at Anfield for a customary beating (I was there when Frannie Lee tried to gun down the cop with a photographer’s camera stand) or maybe even Everton when Mike Summerbee came on with a false nose. Anyway I was hooked and from then on I got to City whenever I could, which tended to be midweek as I played rugby on a Saturday. It also coincided with what was probably City’s best ever period.
My most memorable match was when we beat Coventry 3-1 in the quarter final of the League Cup at Maine Road. My mate and I had skived off school as the game was in the afternoon, I think because of the electricity strike or something, it rained for 3 hours solidly and with City 1-0 down with about 12 minutes to go I was depressed. However, a great recovery saw City win 3-1 and the caning I received the following day for being seen on telly seemed worth it. I have seen some great games and some superb players down the years but for some reason a handful stand out, the 3-1 win at Anfield with Trevor Francis in majestic form (mainly because at the time I hated Liverpool as all my mates were scousers and they always beat City 4/5-0), Peter Barnes’ fabulous performance when we beat Standard Leige 4-0 at Maine Road, the Cup Final in 81 when we fate robbed us of what should have been our trophy are just 3 that spring to mind. Anyway in 1998 at the same time we were relegated to Division 2, I was seconded to Sydney by my employer the Bank of Scotland and am here until at least July 2001. I have been home twice in that period and taken in a number of games, the most recent being the 1-0 home loss to Spurs, a game we should have won at a canter. As with all City fans I am optimistic we will be back hopefully when and if I return in 2002. Go you Blues!
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #711 on