Anthony Ward

Why Blue?

I’ve had this filed on my PC for over year, so it’s about time I updated it and showed it to the world.

I’m a Blue. My dad was a Blue. My brother is Blue. My grandad was a Blue and most of my uncles are Blues (either that or don’t follow football). Red just isn’t, never was, never will be, an option.

I was lucky to be born to a dad who breathed football. Whether it be supporting the boys on a Saturday, playing in the local team as a stand-in ‘keeper (even though he was disabled with polio from an early age) or being secretary/treasurer for the club and eventually the league. My first recollection of football was dad telling me about the two teams from Manchester: ‘City and City reserves’.

One of the earliest memories of my affiliation started with me watching City beat Leicester on my gran’s old TV, with my non-footballing cousins from my mother’s side.

I awoke the next morning to find the Cup Final programme, a City rosette and one of those old wooden clackers next to my bed. If truth were known I didn’t realise my dad had gone to the match but I was still only seven.

My first match was a reserve match against the old enemy; I can only assume it was at Maine Road. I can’t remember anything about the match other than my dad pointing out to me the guy sitting a few rows in front of us. A certain ex-City player, who did very well as the manager of another (local) team and ended up having a road in Trafford named after him.

My first official game came when a family friend took me to the opening match of the 1972 season, versus Leeds, a 0-1 defeat when Wyn Davies made his début (feel free to correct the date, but I’m sure that was the score).

I was in regular attendance from the mid 70’s through to the early 80’s; those were mostly good times, winning the league cup, going to Wembley with dad, competing with and beating Europe’s best, coming so close to the title in 1977-78. During the 80’s and 90’s, although I was there in spirit and managed at worst to attend at least two or three game a season, I was playing rather than attending. The low spot was watching a certain Raddy Antic’s hopeful shot whiz passed a full stretch Alex Williams. Then in the mid 90’s, when my tendons finally gave up the ghost, I found myself attending more and more games.

The Division Two year saw me at Maine Road more often than not and so the day before that game, I took the plunge and invested in a season ticket for the first time in nearly 20 years. Upon reflection a very wise choice indeed.

The dynasty is still going strong with daughters, nieces, cousins and all their kids all pledging allegiance to the cause. The only difference being that it’s now on a global scale, with my uncle Harry’s family living in Melbourne (see Why Blue back issues) but still keeping up to date with all the news via the net. Harry and my cousin John (an occasional contributor) are spreading the word to the in-laws, grandchildren and anyone else who cares to listen.

Why Blue!

  • Remembering the old days standing on the Kippax.
  • That feeling you get walking towards Mecca.
  • Wembley ’76, the expectation.
  • The good times and those not so good.
  • Wembley ’99, the elation.
  • Ewood 2000, the bitten nails.
  • The family, the friends, the fans, the future!

There you go Harry & John. It’s been a long time coming. Hope it’s worth it.

First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #744 on


Anthony Ward