Newsletter #68

Hard on the heals of the first meeting of the London Blues at the Wimbledon game (sorry, débâcle), Ashley Hevicon has written and is trying to set up a meeting for all MCIVTA-ers before the last game of the season at home versus QPR. This is a great opportunity to meet all the those loud-mouthed buggers who contribute to MCIVTA and down a few pints before witnessing a superb display of football. Sorry but I’ve always been wildly optimistic 8-). It has also been suggested that we could arrange something more ambitious later in the summer, for instance a trip round Maine Road as well as T-shirts etc. (more on this one soon). So, if you know a good pub, have any suggestions, want to help etc, mail Ashley and hopefully it’ll happen.

We need more volunteers to play in the football match against the Spurs list in London sometime; the date is as yet undecided. I have a suspicion that the football match may be incidental to the social side of things but I could be wrong! If you can play, please contact Russ ( and give him your support.

The list is now up to 214.

Next game Crystal Palace away, Saturday 1st April 1995.


Report in the Sunday People – Hamburg are taking a serious interest in Uwe Rösler. Article claims they are considering offering £2M. Also – did anyone spot any talent scouts at the weekend friendly match? Lots of rumours about big money in Europe for Gaudino on Sky Sports recently. At this rate our prospering Kraut line-up will be back to just Lomas!

Jerry Seabridge (jseabridge@VNET.IBM.COM)


Sunday People (26/3/95) reports that Hamburg are interested in taking Uwe Rösler off our hands. They’ve been impressed with his 18-goal haul at Maine Road this season. The only way Franny (and every City fan, I imagine) wants him going back to Germany is to join up with the national squad. Hopefully, the warm welcome extended to him by the blue side of Manchester will convince him to stay.

James Nash (


Would anyone be interested in meeting up before the end of the season for a chat, moan and drink? The last game of the season, Q.P.R sounds good. We could meet in a well-known pub. Any ideas on identification would be interesting to hear; apparently the Spurs list have their own T-Shirts. There are 212 of us and not everyone will be going but some of you will I hope! It’s not hard for me as I only live in the Altrincham area but for the long distance Blues it might. If you could let me know and any ideas of times and pubs to meet in I would be grateful.

Let’s hope we can organise something.

Also does anyone have any photos of the old Kippax as I would like to get hold of one to be enlarged.

Ashley Hevicon


Well, I can see both sides of the debate on this one (no, I don’t vote SDP); again, it’s another all-too-frequent example of football clubs being unable to organise a piss-up in a brewery. I recall When Saturday Comes (or was it Private Eye?) after the disaster, with pictures of various luminaries on the front (Thatcher, FA stiffs etc) all saying “It wasn’t our fault”, and finally, a picture of fans on a terrace, with a thought bubble saying “Well, it must be our fault then …”. For me this sums the whole affair up, and the – to me – lamentable side effects of the implementation of the Taylor report. Surely the finger should be pointed first at the FA, for their unbelievably idiotic decision to give the Forest fans the larger end at Hillsborough and the Liverpool fans the smaller one, then the police and ground authorities for not delaying the kick off and then the police for panicking and letting the extra fans in. Surely a crunch outside a ground is easier to cope with than one inside?

Now we have lost what was to me an essential part of our game, the terraces. From a practical point of view, it’s a bummer for me, as I am 6 foot 6 inches; at QPR at the cup game a couple of years back, I couldn’t get my legs in behind the seat in front of me – fortunately it was empty, so I could plonk them on the seat in front of me. Had I not been able to do this I don’t know what I would have done.

Now, given that there is no evidence that standing at matches has to be more dangerous than sitting, to my mind we have had this foisted on us. Sure it’s nice to have better food, tea whatever, and sure it’s good to get more families back in the game, but there was never any need to remove all the terracing. At Ashton Gate, as at many other Division 1 clubs, this has clobbered the club’s finances – there is a fine new stand replacing the old open end, and a crap team which is about to be relegated. The club has no money, and gates of circa 6 to 7 thousand these days. Most of the time you could pick and choose where you stood, and some games you could have had a lie down and a kip with no-one stumbling over you. What was the point of the Taylor report?

Jeremy Poynton ( or


I’m stuck in the middle of United supporting territory (Milton Keynes) doing a research degree at the Open University. Those of you who read Electric Blue can see my ‘Blue Moon Rising’ column every issue as well as a number of other occasional articles. Due to financial restraints I don’t get to see City all that often, but that should change in the not too distant future.

As far as the team is concerned it’s obvious that we are a few players short of a squad capable of winning things… but the question becomes who is avaliable who is better than what we’ve got? Apart from people such as Collymore and Le Tissier, there’s not a great deal of talent around. I’ve a feeling we’re going to have to get the youth policy back to where it once was and scour Europe and South America for class players.

One such player would be the Romanian, Prodan. He played against England in a friendly and had Shearer in his back pocket. Currently playing for Dynamo Bucharest (I think), he’d be relatively cheap compared to what’s available in England (2.8 million for Carlton Palmer for God’s sake!!!).

As for Horton, I think the bloke deserves a chance, as with players – if you are going to get rid of him who do you bring in who is better? His transfer dealings have been quite good and he seems to have got City playing football again, as opposed to that long ball crap. My only doubt is his tactical ability and motivational skills.

Dave Bradbury (


On TV last night, World In Action did a documentary on Combat 18, a right wing Neo-Nazi group responsible for the trouble in Ireland and other things no doubt. What a pleasant bunch of young (and older too) men they are; they make Hitler, his henchmen and Hitler Youth look like just the sort of people you would want to bring home to meet mother for tea.

Don’t get me wrong, the hijacking of our beloved game for political purposes is nothing new, but these guys take it to new extremes. The ‘Inner Circle’, as the heads of this organisation were referred to, are all, surprise, surprise, Chelsea supporters and Headhunters. References to supporters of other football teams were made but it seemed to be the Chelsea ‘fans’ who were the main instigators of trouble, notably in Europe during the 1993 England qualifying games and at the recent Chelsea away matches in this season’s ECWC. Combat 18 have been responsible for the vicious attack on the Chelsea ISA, an attack on an Irish bar in London (for some demented reason they are anti-IRA and have links with the loyalist terrorists), and a cowardly attack on female teachers at a meeting in Halifax of all places!

The programme picked on the leaders of this group specifically; it was all very much in the ‘Cook report’ mould with the cameramen being attacked on the streets, etc., as they tried to question the leaders. Although attending many matches during the trouble-torn 80’s, I personally found the activities of this group very disturbing, and the name of our great game is once again tarnished and brought into the slime. I spent ages after the programme discussing soccer with the wife who dislikes most sports, and it’s difficult explaining that these sort of people are only a small minority who don’t give a monkeys about the repercussions of their actions. Anyway, hopefully the authorities will be jolted out of their blinkered prejudices into taking some action that will actually do some good for the game.

Ian Thompson (


A particular favourite I recall, not mentioned in the review (and probably the book itself) of “Dicks Out“, was sung to the tune of “My Bonnie lies over ocean”, and went, I recall:

“If I had the wings of a sparrow,
If I had the wings of a dove,
I’d fly over Old Trafford tomorrow,
And sh** on the b******s below.


“Sh** on, sh**on, sh** on the b******s below”
X 3

And so on …

Jeremy Poynton ( or


My daughter bought one of the “banned” T-Shirts for a fiver in the centre of Manchester last week. If anyone is still interested I can find out precise details.

Roger Haigh (


You might already be aware of this, but at the weekend most of the British tabloids reported that Johan Cruyff has been quoted as saying that Ryan Giggs wasn’t good enough to make it in Italy or Spain. He wasn’t impressed when he watched Giggs and it’s unlikely that he’ll make an offer at the end of the season.

As you can guess this has caused a furore among the rags and the media. It even made Paul Lawrence of the London Branch storm: “Cruyff must have had a few sangrias when he said that. Giggsy is the best footballer in the world at the moment and he is far too good to play for a nonsense outfit like Barcelona. Giggs is a Manchester United player and that’s the way he will stay. I am glad Cruyff thinks Giggs isn’t good enough, that means we have more chance of keeping him.”

Oh what short memories these rags have; I find it quite amazing that this so-called ‘nonsense outfit’ from Spain managed to knock the all-conquering Manchester United out of the Champions’ League!! :-))))))))

Now how can we sum this up, dddeerrrrrrrr. Or just blinkered.

Martin Ford (


Whilst sat at home contemplating the end of my sporting career at the age of 37 (I broke my ankle playing lacrosse on Saturday), I thought, rather than telling you about my 1st City game in 1966, I would dedicate this article to the wife, who has to chauffeur me around and leap to my beck and call.

When you are a sports widow, coming 6th best to lacrosse, football, running, golf and squash, you have a choice: run away or join them. Well, the fateful day when she saw her first professional football game (she did see Freddie and the Dreamers play at Stalybridge Celtic she says, but I said it didn’t count) was Franny Lee’s début as Chairman. With a distinct artificial enthusiasm, she sat in the main stand (£12.00 a head) wondering why we were rapturously applauding this fat middle aged bloke. The game began and within 10 minutes, the tension was too much to bear and, when Ian Brightwell(?) passed the ball into the path of Marshall who scored for Ipswich, she was hooked as a City fan – she has always felt sorry for the underdog. By the final whistle I was battered and bruised as she showed her enthusiasm. Her lasting impressions on the game were Rocastle has a nice bum. Phelan is as fast as F***, and Lomas is a sweetheart.

Unfortunately, for my wallet, she demanded to go again, and so on to Villa. 3-0 up, City fans covering their eyes in dire suspense, she turned to everyone around me and said ‘What are you worried about, we are bound to win’ Oh, if William Blake were alive today, she would have prime place in Auguries of Innocence. She was of course correct, we did win. but we knew that – with 10 minutes to go.

The next game I took her to was probably the most embarrassing. On entering the ground and walking past Colin Bell, I said ‘hi Colin’ and she said within earshot – ‘who’s that guy?’ Things would get worse. Flitcroft was having a bad time on the field, nothing would go right for him and when this was pointed out to me by my nearest and dearest, I explained that he was injured. End of the matter – not. She stood up and shouted ‘Get him off the field if he is being detrimental to the team’. I don’t know about anyone else, but detrimental is probably one of the longest words ever spoken at Maine Road; all I wanted to do was crawl away as everyone turned to find the source of the quote.

Anyway City won again and although I wanted her banned from Maine Road forever, it was not allowed. She was the good luck charm, the mascot; everyone knew that, and demanded she attended every game and made sure she would only go to the loo when the referee blew the whistle for half time (they never sponsored me for tickets though).

Now you know. Was it Franny who saved City last season, or Der Bomber Uwe, the Artful Dodger, or the Little Genius? Ney, it was me taking Lynne watching City!

Kevin Duckworth (


Regarding the Reading game, I checked out the Complete History of Manchester City (not for the faint hearted), and it was in fact the 67/68 season that this game occurred; unfortunately (well, it would be as large as the Encyclopaedia Britannica if it covered all City’s shoot themselves in the foot Cup games), there is no review of the game itself, simply a note that it was 0-0 at home and 7-0 away, as noted by a couple of correspondents. Given that I do have a clear memory of Franny going mental, I can only assume that in this case my memory does serve me well (NB – Tony Coleman was of course the original Maine Road TC; from the point of “Where are they now”, the Sun found him sometime around the Championship/FA Cup reunion at Maine Road – he in fact emigrated to Australia, where he was I think running a building firm; he did note that he had very happy memories of his day at Maine Road – a common thread running through all the reminiscences I have read from the squad of that era).

Jeremy Poynton ( or


One of the local rags told me that Cantona has been sentenced to 6 hours community service. That means he has to play four games for City!

Paul Howarth (


I mailed some funnies (about our great team) from a football mag called ‘The Onion Bag’ a couple of weeks ago; well the latest issue is now out and here’s a couple more jokes at City’s expense. We can still laugh though, no matter how badly City are doing:

A burglary was recently committed at Manchester City’s ground and the entire contents of the trophy room were stolen. The police are looking for a man with a blue carpet.

Manchester City’s string of recent poor performances have begun to take their toll on manager Brian Horton. Not only does Horton now find it impossible to give a TV interview without wearing the haunted, salivating expression of a paedophile at an under 5’s disco, but he’s developed so many wrinkles on his forehead that he now has to screw his hat on.

The first one’s quite funny (and old), the second, although pretty near the knuckle ,just about sums up how the poor guy’s looks!

Martin Ford (


Phil Gregory in MCIVTA 67 made some suggestions for a Her Majesty’s Pleasure XI… but he seems to have made a surprising omission. I would have thought that the left back spot in HMP XI would undoubtedly have gone to a certain Terry Phelan! I hear he does a very poor impression of Mahatma Gandhi… especially whilst getting pissed in Copthorne Hotels! I’m sure that this extraordinarily strong candidate for HMP XI just happened to accidentally slip his mind! 😉

Flixton Red

Anyone expand on these escapades, I’ve not heard this one before [Ashley]


Thanks to Kevin, Jerry, Paul, James, Jeremy, Flixton Red, Roger, Martin, Dave & Ian.

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 #68