I can’t remember exactly the first game I ever went to but it was probably around 1972 when I was 6 years old. My mum, dad and granddad were all massive Blues and it was my granddad who used to drive us to the odd game each season in the early seventies. We always sat in the Main Stand and my vivid memories are of me always going to Maine Road on Boxing Day against Stoke and drawing 0-0.
The first time I went to a game in the Kippax and without my parents was with my older brother (a season ticket holder) against Crystal Palace on the first day of the 79-80 season, which again was a 0-0 draw. I remember we stood in the corner bit between the Kippax and the North Stand. Don’t remember much about the game. At the time I was more into my punk music than my footy and didn’t go to another game that season. Me and my mates used to go into Manchester every Saturday to get our records, bondage kex etc.; these mates were all big Blues too and they started going to Maine Road in the 80-81 season after town and it wasn’t much long after that I started to go with them.
My first game with them was vs. Spurs (a midweek game), which we won 3-1. It was City’s first win of the season and I was hooked. The atmosphere was electric! I’m sure I even remember the Kippax chanting “there’s only one Steve Daley” while he had possession of the ball and he turned to wave back to them thus losing possession of the ball! Funny. From then on I attended every City home game that season and to this day I say it was my favourite season as a fan. We stood at the top left of the Kippax close to the away fans where the atmosphere was brilliant.
More memories of that season include beating Palace and Norwich in the cup, Gerry Gow’s free kick vs. Norwich being a particular highlight. Went to the odd away game too, Villa away that season was the best I’ve seen City play even though we lost 0-1 (Villa went on to win the league) and Tommy Hutch was one of the first players ever to get 10 out of 10 in Match Weekly for his performance that day! Wasn’t too keen on the Birmingham police though!
Went to Goodison for the Cup Quarter Final, remember P-ing myself as we got off the bus at Goodison to be met by thousands of Everton scallies, which left us no choice but to leg it to the ground. We were crammed into the away end at pitch level, there were City fans everywhere, along half the side of the pitch too. Again, the Liverpool police were too much on the heavy side; I remember them throwing out Blues for absolutely no reason at all. Funny how stupid things stick in your memory but I remember ‘Shaddap yer face’ by Joe Dolce being played before the match. The game was a pretty even affair, we were losing 2-1 with 5 minutes to go when Paul Power lobbed their ‘keeper right in front of us. The ball seemed to hang in the air for about an hour before it crossed the line obviously causing massive celebrations. Eeeeeee, the days of surges on the terraces! Replay back at Maine Road then on Wednesday night, never seen such queues outside the Kippax, 52,000 there that night.
Being so small at the time I didn’t manage to see much of the game, I either had to stand on my tiptoes or keep jumping up and down but I did manage to see Bobby Mac’s two goals, one being a bullet header from what seemed like the halfway line! That was the best atmosphere I have ever been in and my goosepimples are out while I’m typing this! Didn’t manage to get to the semi at Villa Park but remember doing a lap of the block when Paul Power’s goal went in causing a few odd looks from the neighbours! Went to Wembley for the final, you all know the story there but I remember applauding Ricky Villa off the pitch after he had been substituted, little did I know what he was to do to us the following Thursday in the replay. I don’t know why they still keep showing that goal as one of the best all time cup final goals, it looked like the City players were standing back saying “after you” to let him through!
Then there was the League Cup run that season too, Dennis Tueart’s 4 vs. Notts County and the semi at Maine Road vs. Liverpool which I still regard as Alf Gray’s (the ref) match. Worst performance by a ref I’ve ever seen, in fact I seem to remember him making a right balls of the Spurs away game the season after.
So, anyway, after that season I, as you can imagine, was totally hooked on City. I attended most away games too, always travelled on the special trains, a great laugh! Worst memory has to be losing to Luton on the last day thus sending us down, my mate next to me was bawling his eyes out!
From about ’86 onwards I gave up my season ticket because of work commitments but still managed to attend quite a few games, managed to get a season ticket again a few years ago in the Second Division and kept it for another 3 years but again, have had to give it up because of work.
Hoping to go to more games this season as I am starting a new job this Monday, which involves having a few weekends off. I am now shacked up with my girlfriend in Wigan, she’s a Liverpool fan! In fact she took me to Anfield once last season, it was awful. I was sat in The Kop (sorry) and my mobile started to ring playing Blue Moon so I had to quickly answer it and then realised I was sat there talking down my phone which has a Man City cover on it. Needless to say I got a few dirty looks from those around me but got away with it. Leaving the ground I whispered to my girlfriend that I would take her to Maine Road and she’ll be hooked to which she shouted over to her mate, “Hey, Amanda, Mike says he’ll take me to Maine Road cos it’s better there!” ‘Oh jeeeeeesus’, I thought but again got away with it!
My parents are still massive Blues but their viewing is restricted to the armchair. Watched the Newcastle game the other week with them, my mother said (about Schmeichel), “Do you know, I used to detest him but I quite like him now!” Amused me.
I’ll be quite happy with mid-table this season although top six would be nice! 🙂 Don’t see any problem achieving mid-table either. Things are looking up for a change and long may it continue. Can’t wait to get to Maine Road again before we move. The Southampton game’s going to be so emotional.
P.S. Keep up the good work MCIVTA!
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #847 on