[The following was sent in by Allan Claypole as a subscription request, but Allan’s vivid Maine Road memories are probably familiar to us all – A quintessential ‘Why Blue?’ Ed]
I usually read MCIVTA on the website (I have done for the past two years or so) but would like to subscribe, it has been a wonderful source of information and a good read for over two years for me now. Keep up the good work, and if I ever get any information or news about the glorious Blues, I will of course let you know.
I have been a season ticket holder at Maine Road for over five years, and like everyone I am looking forward to us playing in our new stadium (which is less than five miles from my house) but have many, many memories of Maine Road that will live with me until the day I die!
I can still remember my first ever match, seven years old in the old Platt Lane stand in about 1983 or 1984, we played Aston Villa or West Ham (I remember the claret and blue shirts). My dad is a big Red (boo!) but my grandfather on my mother’s side was a massive Blue and told me tales from when he used to go, Big Frank Swift, Roy Paul, describing to me as I sat in awe about the Revie plan and going to Wembley when Bert Trautmann broke his neck. From then I was hooked, always listening on the radio for City, getting my mum to get me a sky blue soccer kit and boots so I could be like the heroes of my primary school days, Paul Power, Steve Mackenzie, Big Joe Corrigan etc.
At school at playtime it was always City versus United, seven City fans against twenty United fans, but amazingly we always won. Then one day someone from City visited our school, handing out programmes, rosettes, signed pictures and stickers from those Panini albums you used to get in the 1980’s. That did it for me I had to go to City. Unfortunately my grandfather was unable to take me as he wasn’t a well man, but he arranged for me to go with one of his friends who I knew.
The magic of walking into the ground filled me with awe, the sight of the pitch, the atmosphere, I was going to see my heroes play. My grandfather’s friend got me a quarter of sweets from the sweet shop on Claremont Road, got his woodbines, bought a programme for us both and told me about City until kick off.
I have forgotten the score, but remember the match vividly as if it was yesterday; afterwards we went to my grandfather’s house and his friend told me to wait a few minutes and he would be back. After talking to my grandfather for a while about the match his friend came back with about 100 City programmes from the 70’s and early 80’s, said these are for you my son, read them and enjoy them, in a few years when you are older you will go to City week in and week out like I do now, and I hope these programmes will be good for you.
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #915 on