Newsletter #103

The big news in this issue is that Asa Hartford will be joining Ball at Maine Road as coach. He’s reported as saying that he’s pleased to be going back to City as they have a special place in his affections. We also have a video review as well as another Why Blue and what I hope is a completely untrue rumour about Uwe Rösler!

This one reaches 315.

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AB Will return home next Wednesday and finally complete his move on Thursday (he’s going to sign a three year deal).

Once again it’s being mentioned that the transfer fund has money available. Possible transfer targets are John Moncur to bolster up the midfield and Kit Symons for the defence. Out of contract players will have to talk to AB and if they’re happy to stay new contracts will be offered.

Following the announcement of the three English friendlies, the MEN are specualating that the Blues might finish the friendlies off in Germany on August 8th (no mention of any opponents, Eintracht Frankfurt?)

City’s new first team strip will be unvailed next Tuesday (11th July), this happens to coincide with the new souvenir shop opening in Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre (will this be in addition to a new shop at the ground?)

Martin Ford (


Gordan the Gopher’s No.2 is Asa Hartford. Also, Mike Quigley has gone to Hull City on a free transfer. I’m glad to see Asa back and that we could have a good managerial partnership. I thought that Mike Quigley had some potential, but I suppose it is a good move for him anyway.

Tony Farrar (


Apparently Asa Hartford has joined Ball on the management staff. Asa will be coach. City beat off strong competition from Blackburn for his services. According to the person who told me, Asa is a “crap manager but a brilliant coach.”

Let’s hope he can put an end to City’s annual massive injury crisis!

Coventry’s purchase for £500,000 of that Brazilian chap from Benfica (his name escapes me but he was their top scorer last season) is proof that you don’t have to spend millions on “Mr Average” type players.

Dave C. Bradbury (


Asa Hartford has been appointed City’s Assistant Manager according to this morning’s Electronic Telegraph (10/07/95). He was previously assistant to Lou Macari at Stoke City.

Kevin Hopkins (K.Hopkins@Cs.Nott.AC.UK)


The latest rumour circulating is the departure of Uwe Rösler for £2 million to some German outfit.

This begs the question, who is really managing the club? Alan Ball can’t possibly have had time to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the playing staff let alone allow the sale of the club’s only consistent goalscorer. Therefore it suggests that FL or A.N.Other at the club is responsible for the buying and selling of players and Bally is coming in as coach. If the Uwe sell-off rumours are correct what unearthed gem is about to be purchased for £2 million to replace him? The British transfer market has gone crazy with the likes of Collymore going for £8.5 million; surely we cannot afford to shop there? Even allowing for a massive cash injection can we really afford to let our top goalscorer go so cheaply when we have so little cover at the club in terms of strikers? Hopefully the whole thing is just a bad dream, surely Uwe must be staying? Then again I have said the same thing for 20 years.

Alan Foster (


Latest rumour regarding Ince is that he was booted out for screwing Kanchelskis’ wife. Brian Kidd said either Ince goes or I go.

Also gossip – Kanchelskis is off to Spurs in exchange for Anderton + cash.

Kev Duckworth (


It’s Motty’s 50th birthday today (10th) – I think we should all wish him a very happy Birthday, and hope that whatever he did or said that meant that we had to suffer Barry Davies for the World Cup final & the FA Cup Final has been forgiven!

Jeremy Poynton ( or


So Alan Ball is our new manager. Personally I think it’s a good, if not brilliant, appointment. At least City can start building towards next season without the uncertainty of not having a manager. I must also stress that I think we (the fans) should give the guy a chance. There’s been far too many changes in the managerial situation at Maine Road over the last few years and we need some stability. Alan Ball knows he’s got a big job to do at City, and the fans should give him more than the usual 5 games before jumping on his back if things are going badly.

Remember that Ball’s got a lot more playing pedigree than most of the candidates out there (i.e. a World Cup winner’s medal – there’s not too many of them knocking around!) and he’s certainly no Brian Who? I must admit that I was a little surprised at his appointment but at least he plays the type of football City fans like. I want trophies as much as the next Blue but would you seriously enjoy sitting through a couple of seasons of Graham or Kinnear’s management?

Let’s get behind Ball and the Blues next season, we’ve all got different views on the situation but think what a unified/supportive crowd can do. Just look at the Rugby World Cup where the South African crowd made all the difference against the mighty All Blacks – the bastards Keep smiling,

Roger Sharp – The Blue Kiwi (


TITLE           Match of the Day: Manchester City
PUBLISHER       BBC Enterprises (1993)
NUMBER          BBCV 4898
RUNNING TIME    90 minutes
PRICE           £10.99
NARRATOR        John Motson

This is another video which is basically a melange of goals but this time connected by the fact that they all appeared at one time or another on the BBC TV programme ‘Match of the Day’. The production is slick and the goals are strung together well so that it doesn’t become too monotonous, always a danger with these type of videos. To this end, the tape has a chronological format and each match is accompanied by a little bit of background.

The tape starts with the original ‘Match of the Day’ introduction and theme tune, pretty nostalgic stuff! The very first time City appeared on the programme was when they were in the 2nd Division back in 1966, playing Bristol City. The line up was still 2-3-5 with Glyn Pardoe at centre forward(!) and the substitute is one Mr Bacuzzi; now who the hell was he? City must have forgotten the script as they managed not to lose this match, coming out with a 1-1 draw! The famous (well, for Blues anyway) ‘Ballet on Ice’ match vs. Spurs is next, though many will already have this on the ‘Lee, Bell, Summerbee‘ (LBS) video as well as the next game, the Charity Shield vs. West Brom. The first ever City game shown in colour (BBC at least) is also here, vs. Stoke in 1969. The run to Wembley in the ’69 FA Cup is nicely done with a contemporary piece showing each player in turn (lovely smiling faces) together with a small biography. The FA Cup Final is here and in contrast to the LBS video we just get the goal and then somewhat more of the Cup presentation. One thing I noticed here was that City have a real crest on their shirts, presumably something akin to the City of Manchester one rather than the ship & shield variety; wonder when they stopped wearing that?

There is really quite a lot of overlap in this period with the LBS video, with the Bell volley (vs. Chelsea), the Gornik game and lots of Nellie Young goals. The latter set me thinking of Peter Gibson’s Why Blue where it was stated that Young seemed to come in for a lot of stick at the time (for fluffing chances). Marsh is shown in several clips which clearly illustrate what a class player he was. There are also some long-forgotten faces: Barney Daniels, remember him? He burned brightly for a time, moved onto Stockport where he was a sensation for a while before once again disappearing.

Another kit variation I’d forgotten was the black shorts in ’75. I’m glad they didn’t last; they look like a school team who forgot their shorts and the headmaster found some old black P.E. ones which they’d been forced to wear. There are some nice goals from Joe Royle which brings me back to Nellie Young. The situation with Royle was just the same; here we have him blasting them home with gay abandon but I was at all these home games and I swear he missed 10 for every one that went in! Try as we might, we just couldn’t drum up any enthusiasm for Royle, the main reason being that he was overweight, slow and to cap it all, plain crap! In my humble opinion of course! This video tells a different story but I tell you it’s all damned lies! Another one is Asa Hartford, here shown scoring with some lovely shots. We used to reckon if you stood him opposite the Kippax with a machine gun then he’d probably kill everybody in the North Stand and Platt Lane End whilst leaving the entire Kippax untouched. He was an accomplished midfielder but his shooting was absolutely dire! For me this video is at its best during these years and this is almost certainly because it’s the period when I was there week in, week out. There’s Kiddo’s four against Leicester City (5-0), Tueart doing some neat dancing vs. Aston Villa in ’77 and one of the most unnerving moments of my teenage years, at Elland Road in the FA Cup in ’78, riot and all.

Times change with the advent of Allison but there are still some gems, including Mr Headache man himself, Mick Robinson, scoring a beauty in the derby in November ’79, curling the ball around Nicholl and Bailey from the edge of the box. We get an embarrassing (must have been an outtake at the time?) clip of David Coleman interrogating Allison as to the team’s failings and how these were slightly at odds with Allison’s extravagant claims of impending greatness! Power’s semi-final free kick is here and probably one of the greatest goals ever scored at Wembley, MacKenzie vs. Spurs in the replay plus of course, Tommy Hutch’s brace in the first game.

There are some downers in here as well: David Pleat and that effete little skip of his as he ran over to hug one Brian Horton when City went down in May `83. Then it’s on to the average years with Tolmie, Parlane, Phillips etc., some good strikes though. These latter years up to ’92 are rather skipped over, probably because we just weren’t covered much by the BBC.

The problem with these cassettes is that the more you buy the less you get. I only have one other real goals tape but 25% of those on this tape are also on that. It also pays to think when buying these kind of tapes that this is a ‘Match of the Day’ tape not an ‘All Time City Great Goals’ video, so many famous strikes aren’t here: Law’s backheel vs. the Rags or Tueart’s overhead kick for example. Still, if you’re a City fan then you’ll probably want to own a couple of these tapes and this is as good as any and very professional. I’ll finish by giving my three favourite goals, in reverse order:

Kevin Reeves’ exquisite back flick past the bemused Grobbelaar againstLiverpool (3-1) in ’81, rare style.
Charity Shield vs. West Brom in ’69. Lee takes a free kick on the corner ofthe box, passes it inside to Summerbee, runs round the wall, receives theball back from Summerbee and hammers it home. Simple!
Tueart’s magic freekick on the edge of the goal area (very rare to getone there) with the Swansea wall virtually on the line. The ball wasflicked up by Hartford and hammered over the wall into the top corner byTueart, sheer class from my favourite player.

Ashley Birch


I started watching the Blues in about 1952, but sadly cannot remember the game. My father was a policeman and was often on match duty, so he passed me in free to the Main Stand, where I caught the fever. In those days I remember the visitors included players such as Finney (Tom not Steve), Matthews and Shackleton. On the City side I particularly remember Ivor Broadis for great skills. At my Wythenshawe primary school I recall a City full-back visiting us with his loser’s medal from the ’55 Cup Final (Roy Little was it? – I wish I’d retained my programmes to aid memory, I might have written ‘Fever Pitch’!). If I had to pick my real hero from those days, it would have to be Bert Trautmann. I also remember when McDowell started experimenting with the Revie Plan and I think we lost 2 games 9-2 (at West Brom?) and 5-1.

In time I progressed to standing on the Kippax, although sometimes I would walk through at half-time to the scoreboard end (you could do that then), depending on which way the Blues were playing.

The crowds in those times could be huge and scary; some I was in were of the 70,000-80,000 kind, particularly for derbies, although the biggest were when U****d ‘borrowed’ Maine Road for their big European games when Old Trafford was being renovated – it was inferior in those days!

I continued watching regularly until 1969 when I left Manchester for Luton and a job, so I guess I saw the best times really. Since then I’ve been rationed to occasional visits to Maine Road – the Newcastle game this year and some aways such as Barnet (not a lot of fun). I also have to admit to watching Luton very occasionally – they gave some pleasure the year they won the Littlewoods Cup and at least I had a team to watch at Wembley again. But… all my loyalties and emotions are in Moss Side!

With the present trends in the Premier I am beginning to have doubts about City’s capability to survive as a big club. I really hope I’m wrong but without a multi-millionaire behind you I can see the ‘Cities’ falling away and a European league developing for a handful of teams. As I say I hope I’m wrong – maybe the bubble will burst for some of these big spenders this year…

Peter Kewley (


Thanks to Peter, Alan, Martin, Roger, Kev, Tony, John, David & Kevin.

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 #103