Newsletter #41

I’m afraid the introduction to this one is going to be short and sweet due to the pressure of work. We’ve got a match report (a first timer from Kevin Duckworth) as well as plenty of discussion.

If anyone can do a Match Report for the Spurs game, can you let me know ASAP.

Don’t forget to add your email address onto your name at the end of any mailings, thanks.

Next game, away to Tottenham Hotspur, 21st January 1995


FA Cup 3rd Round Replay, Wednesday 18th January 1995

After the poor performances in the last few games, I like many others had second thoughts on whether or not to go down to the game. However, my mind was made up when I received a telephone call from clients inviting me for a pre-match meal in the Joe Mercer Suite and free tickets to the game.

It certainly beats standing in the Kippax on a freezing cold night. The suite holds around 100 guests. We went in at 1830 hrs to be greeted by a doorman who gave us all a programme and took us to our seats. The meal was a superb carvery washed down with red wine.

As the place is called the Joe Mercer Suite, you could probably guess that it is dedicated to the team of the 60s. It was rather embarassing though explaining to my host (a nouveau Irish blue) that the photo above us was not Tony Book but Malcolm Allison.

After placing a bet on City to win at 3-1 and Flitcroft scoring the first goal, we made our way into the main stand. My immediate impression (after realising how cold it was) was the lack of atmosphere. In fact I believe there were only 15,000 there.

City set off as if they were going to tear County apart and after 7 minutes a lovely chip from Walshie put Uwe through. From then on we knew it was going to be party night – silly aren’t I? A few minutes later Notts got the ball outside City’s penalty area. Brightwell (playing midfield) sent Buzzy out to close them down. Fair enough, but surely Brightwell should have taken responsibility for the right back position? The ball was crossed and knocked back across goal, leaving their left winger totally by himself. 1-1.

From then on the crowd started getting on City’s back; this has never helped anyone. Fortunately Uwe scored again and Dino made it 3. He was having an outstanding game. He has an abundance of skill and is difficult to knock off the ball. What he needs to do is develop an understanding with the rest of the players, which will come.

At half time we went back to the JM Suite for soup, me wondering, “if no more goals are scored, how much I will win?”. City’s 2nd half carried on in the same vein and when it became 4-1 – party!!! Why is it that when City are 4-2 up with 25 minutes to play vs. a team bottom of the 1st Division, they still have us biting our nails?. County should have had a penalty but the referee said it was outside the penalty area. Walsh had a perfectly good goal disallowed for offside. Although City deserved to win, I think 5-2 was a bit unfair on County.

Full time arrived and we went for a pint in the JM Suite and met Nelly Young & Tommy Booth.

My performance tables out of 10:

Dibble 6
Losing a lot of confidence – I think too much sh__ging!
Summerbee 7
Not his rightful position.
Curle 8
Always in control although he didn’t like marking Devon White; calls him helicopter ‘coz of his arms.
Kernaghan 9
Brilliant, could be another Pallister.
D Brightwell 6
Doesn’t like the football.
I Brightwell 6
Difficult to suddenly change from defence to midfield.
Flitcroft 7
Some good runs.
Gaudino 8
Best game so far.
Walsh 8
After the game Uwe expressed his thanks to Paul for the work he does.
Uwe 10
Has to be.
Beagrie 6
County handled him well; not his best game but a lovely cross for the 5th goal

Finally one nice gesture; when Uwe scored his 2nd, he ran to Horton on the bench pointing at him and shouted, “that’s for you”.

Final score: 5-2

Kevin Duckworth (


According to Ceefax, tomorrow’s game against Spurs is a sell-out.

In the first Rösler vs. Klinsmann showdown of the season, I think Uwe will need to hit another four goals for us to get away with a point if we defend like we did against Notts County. I’d have thought that Curle & Kernaghan would be our strongest central defensive partnership (and would also free Bob [Ian] Brightwell to play in midfield which I always thought was his best position) but in the three games they’ve been together, they’ve looked shaky to say the least. Moreover, Bob looked well out of place in midfield on Wednesday. Perhaps with a few more games together everything will work out but we really need some points sooner rather than later.

Paul Howarth (


Before the latest team details, here’s a little bit of news that might make us all smile. Due to Uwe’s recent form and goalscoring run, BH is considering sending a fax to Bertie Vogts and suggesting he should be considered for an international cap.

Right, here’s the team news for the Spurs – City clash (which by the way is a sell out). City can choose from:

Dibble, Summerbee, Curle, Brightwell (I), Kernaghan, Brightwell (D), Flitcroft, Gaudino, Walsh, Rösler, Beagrie, Quinn, Vonk, Simpson, Quigley, Mike, Burridge.

I can’t see BH changing a winning team, although considering Spurs have been free-scoring and undefeated he might consider a more defensive line-up.

Martin Ford (


I don’t know a lot of details about Big Ron but what I do know leads me to think he has a very limited appeal at clubs; he comes in all bluster, gets a few good results, maybe a cup or two and then that’s it. I don’t think we need someone like that – we might as well bring John Bond back if we want that kind of thing.

I would be extremely disappointed in Lee if this all happens.

If Horton goes then who? We never did quite convince Joe Royle that he should be at Maine Road and I can’t see him shifting from Goodison for quite some time. I don’t keep up enough with all the comings and goings in the managerial world but I don’t see too much in the way of attractive managers. And if you were good, would you go to City who seem bereft of a long term plan for either the ground, team development or managerial prospects from within? It is all very depressing. I remain a believer that the English game needs people like Ardiles but he needs to be a coach with a manager having some say over him. Ardiles being a manager is like Malcolm Allison being a manager… it doesn’t work. As an aside, does anyone know whether it is true that City were offered Ardiles and Villa in ’78 before Spurs?

It may be that we will have to be satisfied with managers such as Brian Horton for some time.

I am not sure if I could even name City’s managers from Les McDowell onwards any more. There have been so many.

This is depressing the heck out of me so I’ll stop. Expecting good news from the replay – but isn’t that a sign of being a blue – always expecting? Eric Todd, the great football writer for The Guardian, once started one of his City match reports with “On Saturday 30,000 Micawbers were at the Maine Road in the hope that something would turn up.”

John Pearson (


Now onto the paper talk. On the back of the Today newspaper there’s a big article that speculates that it’s been player power that’s kept BH in the manager’s job. The likes of Beagrie (cracked ribs), Flipper (groin) and Dibble (hamstring) all played with the injuries out of respect for the manager; they wanted to play for him. At least the players have given him a vote of confidence, better than one from the board I suppose. I like the way that Rösler dedicated his second goal to Horton; it goes to show that the players do like him. Unlike the reports about Karl and Groenendijk!!

I think it’s about time the board and fans alike started to give BH their full backing and support.

Martin Ford (


Why? I often ask myself. I was about 6 or 7 in the late 60’s when I first saw Manchester City play on TV in Sydney. They were featured on a program called “Star Soccer” hosted by Brian Moore and they walloped the team they were playing (Sheffield Utd?). “I’m onto a good thing”, I thought. Little did I know then that it would grow into an obsession.

Success followed in the late 60’s and early 70’s, with a League Championship and victories in the FA, League & European Cup-Winners Cup. During this time the Blues seemed to have a mortgage on some of the best players around, with names like Summerbee, Lee, Denis Law, Dave Watson, Joe Corrigan, Asa Hartford, Dennis Tueart & Peter Barnes. I’m sure there were others, but memory and distance fail me.

Growing up, most of my friends also had an interest in English football. Needless to say many of them followed Man. Utd or Liverpool (bad taste was everywhere). The lean years saw relegation a couple of times, which only strengthened my support. Sunday evening would often find me tuning into the BBC radio summary of the weekend’s football results presented to the ABC. My mental integrity was often questioned by my family.

After last season’s narrow brush with relegation I remember picking up a football magazine in August 1994 which made a number of predictions, amongst them that City would again be featuring in relegation battles. “Oh boy”, I thought, “Here we go again”. Anyway, this season the Blues seemed to get off to a reasonable start and at one stage were 5th. Too bad that internal politics, injuries and other factors have pulled them back to the pack. I share everyone’s concern about how things will end this year, particularly as you see that the last 4-5 games will be very difficult. Anyway, our confidence and resolve separate us from the rest. Keep your chin up everyone!

George Larcos (


Regarding the question of the Kevin Reeves “goal” in 1981: it came in the League Cup semi-final against Liverpool at Maine Road. That was back when I had the time and enthusiasm (and was less than 3,000 miles from Maine Road.) to watch City regularly at home (I was only 14). I was in the Kippax, about level with the edge of the 18 yard area, at the North Stand end, so I had a pretty good view of the incident. The ball came over and Reeves went up with Clemence to challenge for it. In my opinion Reeves clearly got nothing but the ball and I don’t even remember Clemence complaining (to his credit). Then from nowhere the referee disallowed it! I know that goalies are pretty vulnerable, especially when they go up for high balls but it can’t be right to just blow up every time a striker goes for the ball. If that’s what they want, the ruling body should change the rules so that nobody can go within two yards of the goalie (which would be very stupid). As you can see, I’m still worked up about this 14 years later! Anyway, that incident cost us a place in the final where Liverpool (who I hate much more than United – anyone agree, or have I been away from Manchester too long?) probably won easily (don’t know, don’t care).

Mike Maddox (


In response to Antony Sou’s request for info on the Kevin Reeves goal, no doubt a number of people will contribute the correct details. For anyone who was there it was one of those unforgettable moments, one when the commentator will inevitably say “and that will be talked about for years to come”, and well here we are!. For me it’s well up there in my “most memorable City games” compilation.

First leg of the League Cup semi-final 1981. City, having sacked Allison, were having their best spell of results and performances for many a year; in fact we’ve not done any better in the last 14 years. John Bond had brought in Hutchinson, Gow and McDonald who had turned our league form upside down from 10 games without a victory to one of virtually unbeatable in League and Cup. We were storming in the FA Cup, beating Palace 4-0 Norwich 6-0, and Peterbrough 1-0(!!) but we’d also reached the League Cup semi without the help of the aforementioned 3 players.

Maine Road was packed; I remember massive queues outside the Kippax and a big Liverpool following meant that there was a fair degree of tension in the air (violence was still very much alive and kicking). The Kippax was bursting at the seams when the game kicked off; the incident happened within the first 10 mins. Reeves and Clemence went for a ball in the air, Clemence dropped it, or it could even be argued that Reeves headed it (I lived in Leamington so didn’t get home in time to see the highlights) and it trickled over the line. The Kippax went mental, one of those moments when you were literally lifted off your feet and transported 20 yards down the terrace; this was after all the Liverpool of Souness, Kennedy, McDermott, Johnson, Dalglish etc etc. With all the celebration I don’t think anybody realised for about 3 or 4 minutes that it hadn’t been allowed; for the remainder of the half all I can remember is a crescendo of boos and whistles, in fact I would have said it was constant until half time. Does anyone else who was on the Kippax that night remember it as such?. What followed in the 2nd half convinced us that Alf Grey was the complete and utter bastard we suspected he was. I think it was Paul Power and Sammy Lee who went for a 50-50 ball; Lee fell over the ball and Grey gave a free kick. From this the ball was floated past Corrigan. We’d been well and truly robbed; we lost 1-0 when everyone knew that if the goal had been allowed we wouldn’t have needed the 2nd leg to book our place at Wembley.

How Grey got away from Maine Road alive I don’t know. I can remember going to school the next day and writing him a rather abusive letter; never did get his address from the FA though. He continued to haunt us with another terrible decision in a Cup game at Highbury that saw us lose again. Anyone remember that one?

As for the League Cup, we went to Anfield a week or so later and again ran them very close, finishing at 1-1. Mind you, memories of that game seem to be of every Liverpool forward and midfielder being given a chance to hit the target and all blazing high and wide into the Anfield Road terrace much to our delight; also, witnessing some of the worst violence both inside and outside the ground that I’ve seen, realising that they didn’t call it ‘Stanley’ Park for nothing and travelling back to the midlands freezing cold as we had 2 windows smashed on the coach as we left. Ahh, those were the good old days.

I’d say that only the 5-1 and two promotion clinchers have been able to equal the thrills and excitement of those Cup games of ’81, even though we ended up potless again!

Neil Foskett (


Mark Hempson revived my pleasant memories of this game:

> During our first season back in the top flight we played Aston Villa
> at Villa Park.

I have the game on video. BFR was ITV’s match summariser. I watch the video whenever I want to cheer myself up (alternatively, I can watch the 5-1 or the 10-1 which have a similar effect. Who needs drugs eh?).

> Villa's team included the current England captain, whereas City's
> team was filled with Judas's acquisitions. Mark Ward, Peter Reid to
> name but the two I can remember.

Also Alan Harper, Adrian Heath and Niall Quinn.

> It was an exciting game with Villa going in at half time after David
> Platt had taken the ball round Dibble three times before slotting it
> home to send the home fans wild.

Platt pulled the ball back for Gordon Cowans to score. BFR said it was one of the best bits of skill (by Platt) he’d seen for a very long time. This was after about 11 or 12 minutes and was pretty well Villa’s first serious attack after City had looked the better side. Bear in mind that Villa were going for the title at this time and we were struggling to avoid the drop.

> City came out in the second half and earned the equaliser with Mark
> Ward hammering home a fearsome shot just as he had done against
> Millwall a few days previous.

Ward’s equaliser was after about 25-26 minutes in the first half, taking a slight deflection on the way. It was his first goal for City, the Millwall game being the following Saturday at the Den.

> With the game heading for a draw Peter Reid popped up to side foot a
> rebound into the roof of the open net after a good save from the
> Villa keeper.

The goal came about 10-11 minutes from the end after a run down the left wing from David White which ended with him shooting against the near post. The ball cannoned back behind Spink in the Villa goal to Reidy, who knocked the rebound into the empty goal right in front of the large City contingent. This was Reidy’s first goal for City too.

> How I nearly died as Reidy's shot flew up up and away destined for
> row z of the stand before the goal came out of nowhere and caught the
> ball.

Ah joy of joys. The City fans were magnificent that day, outsinging the home fans throughout the match. BFR commented on how good the City fans were at some point during the match. We had quite a varied repertoire that day, including a topical political reference: “you can stick your f***ing poll tax up your arse” which can clearly be heard on the video!

Paul Howarth (


Help! I go stir crazy waiting for news of important games (viz. FA Cup replay vs Notts County). Radio & TV over here seldom mention results (Man Utd, Liverpool etc. excepted). Match reports when they arrive are great but could any kind soul provide a score soon after the game’s finished, so that Blues fans down under don’t suffer an anxious wait? Best wishes,

George Larcos (

This would need to be someone with email access at home as Australia is about 9-10 hours ahead of us [Ashley]


After Uwe’s tremendous performance against Notts County I was discussing with Martin & Paul the last time a City player bagged four. It appears to have been David White at Villa Park when we beat them 5-1. It was late on in the season 90/91, a Wednesday night rearranged fixture and Brennan got the other goal. Now a question which Martin raised:

How many hat-tricks have there been in the last (say) 5 years? I don’t know the answer but I would suspect only about 4 at the most (including Empty’s 4 at Villa).



Got the following request from a guy called Mark [Ashley]

I’m curious as to the whereabouts of one of Ireland’s one-time brightest prospects, Gary Sliney. He was signed by City youths about 3 seasons ago and plays at the back. Did he ever play for the first team? I know he played regularly for the reserves. Is he still with the club because he is a much better player than Brightwell and I want to know who he plays for.


3rd round replay results:

Arsenal         (0) 0 - 2 (1)  Millwall
Tranmere        (3) 3 - 0 (0)  Bury
Man City        (3) 5 - 2 (1)  Notts County
West Brom       (0) 1 - 2 (0)  Coventry
Bristol Rovers  (0) 0 - 1 (0)  Luton
Blackburn       (0) 1 - 2 (0)  Newcastle
Middlesbrough   (0) 1 - 2 (1)  Swansea
Leeds           (2) 5 - 2 (1)  Walsall
Carlisle        (0) 1 - 3 (2)  Sunderland
Watford         (0) 2 - 0 (0)  Scarborough
Liverpool       (1) 1 - 1 (0)  Birmingham  (aet. Liverpool win 2-0 on pens)
Stoke           (1) 1 - 3 (0)  Bristol City (aet)

With thanks to Riku Soininen


Thanks to Mike, George, Kevin, Paul, John, Martin, Neil.

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #41