Chris Wiseman

Why Blue?

I have just returned from a pretty frenzied 3 weeks in the UK, away from my computer and much access to cyber-cafes. I have received nearly 50 e-mails about my long 3-part Why Blue? which appeared last month in these “pages,” and, although I’ve replied to some of you in person, I haven’t yet had chance to reply to others. I hope to in the next week. So I wanted to use this opportunity to thank everyone who wrote to me. Writing it was a bit of a marathon, though I look at my notes now and see that I included only about half of what I had jotted down! Some other time perhaps – but don’t worry; it won’t be soon!

I was fascinated with the ages – 20s to 60s – of those who wrote, and with the far-flung nature of City’s support. I had mail from England, Scotland, Wales, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the US, France, Holland, Switzerland, the Turks and Caicos Islands and probably other places I can’t recall as I type this. I loved some of the memories I was sent, and the fact that my piece had moved some people quite a bit – made it all worthwhile. What a great forum McVittie is for such pieces, and how generous of Heidi to give me that sort of space.

I was pleased to see that I had added to/revived the badge debate. I detest the current one – it’s silly, pretentious, and the old one (which graces the coffee-mug, car-transfer, pennant and shield in my house) was fine. If it was good enough for the great City teams of the past, I reckon we should be proud of it. The cringe-making Latin, the gold “Bird” (phoenix? we’re past needing that!), the loss of the clear, colourful, recognised design with the red rose – all are embarrassing and I won’t, for one, buy any City merchandise with this new abortion on it. The idea of the city of Manchester badge is worth exploring. Who owns the copyright of the old club badge? It’d be worth an enquiry or two, I’d think. If we reverted to our real badge, just think of the money/rarity value of the present monstrosity in a few years! And I’m pleased that some want us back, as I do, in sky blue.

But I digress. I thank everyone who replied, and especially those who have offered to help me get a ticket if I need one in future, write an article, contribute to a book, have my photo taken at Maine Road, etc. I didn’t write my piece for such generous responses, but I thank you very much. I’m more proud than ever, having read these e-mails, to be a member of the City family.

I hope to write to everyone individually soon. It’s been a great experience being in contact with so many from so many places and backgrounds. Thanks for taking the time.

One asked me to sum up the City-Un*ited difference in one sentence! I thought about that and would reply with a rhetorical question, containing in it, I hope, all that needs to be said. Can you imagine the gentle, genial Joe Mercer managing Un*ted at Old Trafford, or the red-faced, braggart Taggart managing City at Maine Road? Of such total impossibilities are differences emphasised. Though I did greatly appreciate the warm e-mail from an (English!) season-ticket holder at Old Trafford.

Again my thanks to everyone who wrote. Oh, the 382 in my e-address, to the 2 who asked, was the number of the house I lived in on Slade Lane!

First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #764 on


Chris Wiseman