Steve Owens

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Why Blue?

You asked for some Why Blue stories so here’s one for you!

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 at the time the ‘in’ kids game, table top magnetic football.

Lo and behold the colours of the teams were sky blue and red. It was at the same time that for some unknown reason my elder (and somewhat unbalanced) 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 that we moved to the Wirral when I finally got to see my beloved Blues. The sad thing is I cannot actually remember my first City game or where it was (probably old age and numerous gallons of Aussie red wine setting in) although 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 union 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 thrashed City), Peter Barnes’ fabulous performance when we beat Standard Liege 4-0 at Maine Road, and the Cup final in 81 when fate robbed us of what should have been our trophy, are just 3 games 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 and am here until at least July 2001. In a handful of trips back I have always made sure I got to see City, sadly the last visit taking in the home defeats to Spurs and Soton. Hopefully Kevin Keegan can turn things around and take us back to the Premier by the time I come back to the UK for good.

First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #752 on

2001/10/11

Steve Owens


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