Well it all started when I was born in Ashton Under Lyne at age 0 and City loyalty spawned from there. At the ripe age of 5 or 6 I accompanied my dad to the first live game of sport I had ever seen – Swinton vs. someone in a game of rugby. This had an immediate effect as I couldn’t get over the experience of a live crowd with grown men shouting. Soon after came the inaugural and never to be forgotten trip to Maine Road to see City vs. Chelsea in what I believe was an FA or League Cup tie (around ’72). I remember particularly as my dad thought it was a regular league fixture until we saw the masses filling the ground. A friendly bobby let me sit atop a concrete siding straddling one of the stairways into a stand (no idea which stand).
We won 1-0 and from there I never looked back, taking City to heart despite being outnumbered by Rag supporters in the Eccles neighbourhood where I lived most of my time in Manchester. I’ve only ever been to Maine Road on one other occasion, in 1975 just before leaving to NZ to see City vs. Newcastle. I was living in Worcester at the time and travelled up as a birthday treat with dad. We won that one 5-1 with Tueart scoring a hat trick. I also believe it was this game that I observed Rodney Marsh playing to the crowd by going down onto one knee with the ball in front of him and promptly pulling off some trickery to evade an oncoming would be tackler and making off down the wing.
My parents emigrated to New Zealand as referred to above in 1975, where I still reside in Auckland but have been able to secure some tickets to the upcoming Charlton fixture. I can’t wait for the trip over as I’ve been planning it for some time and really wanted to get to the hallowed turf before the move next season. I have always followed City from afar through all the ups and downs and the onslaught of satellite TV has helped make the miles seem less in recent years. Fantastic City fans via MCIVTA have been able to supply me video tapes of vital games when we were not regulars on the telly.
So I hope I’m a good luck charm and observe three out of three in a couple of weeks. In summary, I guess I’m Blue because my dad took me to Maine Road first (nice move) and his friends at the time were mostly Blue also.
Keep the faith and hope this weekend’s derby’s a thriller with the desired result forthcoming!
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #863 on