Back in 1984 my dad moved to Wilmslow with work. We moved into a fairly normal street with reasonable sized houses on a new-build estate (Summerfields if you know the area Thistlewood Drive as pictured here http://www.wilmslow.org.uk/wilmslow/wilmslow-summerfields.html).
However, this being 1984, things for footballers were a lot simpler back then. On our humble road and a few streets surrounding us lived Mick McCarthy (next door), Neil McNab, Gordon Strachan, Nigel Worthington, Alex Ferguson, Chris Turner and plenty more. Neil McNab’s sons were the same age as me, and we became family friends, which led to me and Dad getting a City season ticket and I’ve never looked back! I wonder where I would’ve been if we’d gone along with Gavin Strachan (who was also in our year at school) to watch United…
There were some great memories from those seasons for a 7 year old lad. The banana craze was a joy to watch, and being at the 10-1 demolition of Huddersfield Town on that wet bonfire night will stay in my memory forever. Footballers back then were much more accessible than they are now, and it was great being able to mingle with the players and get behind the scenes of the club (I remember Helen of the “Bell” fame being the tea lady in the players’ lounge!) and even though I only lived in Manchester for 4 years of my childhood, I can’t imagine supporting a team other than City. I even moved back there (to the glamorous suburb that is Gorton) as soon as I could at 18 years old!
I live out here in Sydney now, my move having coincided almost exactly with City being taken over by the Arab consortium. If we ever get to a cup final I’ll be selling the car and flying back! There are a good bunch of City fans out here, lots of Aussies who are quite confused as to how they ended up supporting City, but show some real dedication in flying back to watch games and regularly meeting up with the other Blues in the pub at 3am to watch games on a Sunday night!
First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #1525 on