Newsletter #244

Mrs Ed’s little note:

Well I am truly exhausted after compiling this newsletter; all I want to do is sleep, but what have I gained from this nerve-wracking experience? I now know that Trevor Brooking isn’t one of the most popular men on the planet (lots of opinions on old Trev), that City most probably have a new goalie (see news) and that the Maine Road atmosphere needs a good dose of ‘Calpol’ (again lots of opinion).

P.S. for the uninitiated ‘Calpol’ is the pink, very very sticky stuff that mums give their offspring when they complain of bad aches and sore bits i.e. it is a cure-all, pick-me-up and general psychological booster for life’s little intangible ailments). On this vaguely philosophical note I will leave you to read on about the more important things in life such as football.

Next game, Oxford United at home, Wednesday 13th November 1996


SWINDON TOWN vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Saturday 2nd November 1996

I woke up on Saturday morning with a strong feeling of optimism. I was going to Swindon to watch City play and as the last match I had attended was at Reading, I felt that a win was on the cards, as I believed that we had played well against Wolves and had achieved a win at Southend (who?). Thanks to John who drove me to Swindon on a wet, windy afternoon. We had a pint at the White Hart on the way in and after detouring around EMI (I’d been warned not to!), we parked up outside someone’s semi! I was expecting a ground of semi-okness, seeing that Swindon played Premier football three years ago. I was mistaken. Nasty uncovered stand, poxy seating, not enough women’s toilets, dodgy burgers and it was p***ing with rain and I’d worn my sky blue jacket instead of some waterproof plastic thing! Anyway, I found my seat and decided not to sit on it. So I stood in the aisle and got soaked.

Then the match started and I got really excited by the possibility of seeing my team win (not today, sadly). Dibble surprised me by actually playing like he was in goal. Summerbee was the best I’ve seen him for ages, Clough was a t**t (as usual), Dickov worked very hard and I felt sorry for him, Gio had one moment of almost glory and one moment of complete strangeness (the free kick that shimmied into the Sir-Windon family stand), Rösler is big (or so I’ve heard), but that’s no excuse for playing like he did (why, oh why, doesn’t Kave get to start a game for once?), the guy with the interesting haircut played OK too, until he went off and donkey boy (Frontzeck) came on. How another MCIVTA subscriber can say he played well, I don’t know. He just hung around the ball waiting for it to go out of play so he could take a poxy throw in and give the ball away to the opposition. He also quite liked elbowing a Swindon player in the head. Dibble saved a penalty. Very good! Who was the irritating man in the glasses who kept slagging Dibble off even after he’d saved the penalty and kept asking the fans around him “where were you at Southend?” Stupid git.

The ‘highlight’ came just before the final whistle when Clough caught the fans’ attention for fighting! The whistle blew and the teams took it as the beginning of a free for all – quite exciting really, apart from the fact that I was bundled into oblivion by an aggressive, drunk City fan who ran down the steps to the front and tried to join in! Oh, the result was 2-0. No surprises there. My depression lasted about five minutes then it was onwards and upwards, looking forward to the game at Portsmouth! Pubs to meet up in appreciated.

P.S. Hello to Andy Holgate

Alison Prior (


SWINDON TOWN vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Saturday 2nd November 1996

This is a bit late but I’ve had no access to the computer recently. It’s hard to know where to start but the beginning sounds the best place. I met up with Alison Prior and Chris (?) at the start of the game at a pub called the White Hart about 1.5 miles from the ground. Got in the ground and lo and behold no sodding roof! That, combined with lots of rain and lots of wind, set the tone for the afternoon. Still I had a good seat right behind the goal.

First half was not too bad, bit of slack defending but no-one seemed to deserve to be winning at the interval. I wish Dibble would learn to kick straight rather than sending it into touch or straight down the left. Got a bit predictable after a bit. The route one football does not work as we have no tall guy at the front to win the ball in the air, oh why did we sell the mighty Quinn? Summerbee sort of got the ball and then quickly lost it and in my mind wished he had stayed at S-win-dun, as the home fans gladly called it. Gio came in and out of the game as usual but when he did get the ball the rest of the team seemed quite happy to stand back and watch the Georgian genius play. Then the inevitable happened and he lost it cos no-one would help him. Being right behind the goal I saw the penalty incident and he dived for it, the ref being s**t gave it. Some idiot in the stand was shouting “Dibble you’re s**t” all the game even though he saved the penalty and kept the score down to 2. Two minutes after the penalty the ball crossed the line and Dibs scooped it out, luckily we got away with it.

Second half we just seemed to go to s**t. I went and stood with alison cos I was p**s wet through and sitting down was now a no no. Summerbee was getting worse and everyone else lost it after the goal went in. Swindon were lucky not to have at least one player sent off but as i said the ref. was s**t. The last thing I’ll say about the second half is the punch up at the end was quite cool, I wanted to join in but there was a rather large Bobby stood in front of me. The rest is now history.

Somehow Coppell has to get us out of this mire and FHL has to provide the money for that. I looked in the FA rule book and I couldn’t find a rule about giving all the s**t refs the City games, must be an unwritten one.

Finally, what do you get when you cross the Rags and the half way line? Several goals.

Stay Blue, Andy Holgate.(


City are set to sign Aussie international goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer from Dynamo Dresden for £250,000. The fee has been agreed with the cash-strapped German club and he has already played twice for City, first of all in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Wrexham last week, and secondly with a clean sheet in the reserves’ 1-0 win at Bradford City on Tuesday night. Schwarzer is currently keeping Mark Bosnich out of the Australian national team, but he holds a German passport so there will be no problem getting a work permit for him. The MEN reports that both Eike Immel and Martyn Margetson will now be allowed to move on to new clubs.

The Mole


I hope the news on GMR of City signing Mark Schwarzer are untrue. Mark played for Australia a couple of times in Bosnich’s absence. I vividly remember his efforts against Canada in World Cup qualifiers in ’93. Honestly, the guy’s heart attack material. Every time the ball went near him the crowd went deathly quiet, praying that he wouldn’t drop the ball or do something else stupid. Sure, he proved good at saving penalties and has been playing in stiffer competition in Germany, but he’s not a goalkeeper I would rate that highly. To me he’s no better than reports on Dibble. Why waste the £350,000? I’d be interested to hear what other Aussies think of him.

Still Blue. George Larcos (


There has been quite a lot of comment in MCIVTA recently about Eike Immel, so I was interested when I arrived at Platt Lane on Tuesday to see Eike and Dibble training with a newcomer. The newcomer was the Australian international ‘keeper named Mark Schwarzer. Eike did not look fully fit and left early for treatment so I decided to have a word with Alex Stepney about the new boy. Stepney told me that Schwarzer was on trial from Dynamo Dresden where he is the third choice ‘keeper, and that City were hoping to give him a game in the reserves that evening. As I watched him he really did look good leaping around his area like a gymnast. It remains to be seen if he can also come out for crosses. I was within a few feet of the ‘keepers as they trained and Alex was trying his best to explain to Dibble how to kick a moving ball. It is eight years since Dibble joined City and Alex regularly does this session so at the age of 32 it seems doubtful whether he will ever learn to clear a moving ball now. Despite the interest in Schwarzer, Eike does still appear to be part of the first team squad. Apart from any other reasons, such as Coppell actually choosing to play Dibble, he could not play at the moment due to injury.

The rest of the squad and several reserves were working with Neal, Bond and Book. Neal is the one who does all the shouting and looks firmly in charge, Coppell was not around and neither was Asa.

From your Platt Lane Correspondent

NEWS – Taken from the Sunday Express 3/11/96

For Georgi Kinkladze the fulfilment of a lifetime’s ambition turned into a harsh lesson on the devastating consequences of war. His chance to play alongside his boyhood idol Grigory Taava, the man on whom he had based his precocious talent and the war hero who had returned to Dinamo Tbilisi after two years of fighting, was ended unceremoniously after only two games.

Witnessing death and destruction at close hand in the vicious Georgian civil war had taken its toll on Tsaava. Psychologically unprepared to recapture the former glory that had made him a legend in these parts, his comeback alongside his disciple lasted only 180 minutes. It was a bitter and moving experience for Kinkladze and is typical of the one that he and many of his Dinamo compatriates carry into Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against England.

But the Manchester City star has turned such traumatic events to the advantage of his friends and colleagues in Tbilisi. From the ashes of anonimity he and his father Robizon have raised one of Georgia’s former great clubs, Locomotivi, fifteen years after its extinction. “Kinky” or “Gio”, as he is known affectionately, is now one of the few players in world football to become a club owner. “Many of the players from Georgia who have gone abroad have not helped the people at home like this,” said Robizon. “but these are Gio’s friends that he grew up with, and some are former teammates so he wants to help them.” In the Boris Paichadze stadium on Saturday night will be the entire playing and backroom staff of Locomotivi, whom their boss has not seen since the club was reborn five months ago. Without the lucrative opportunities a career in England has offered, the creation of Team Kinky would have been impossible. The monthly outgoings of the railway club are £10.000 a month. Of that Kinkladze contributes at least £5,000 a month from his City wages – whereas the average pay packet in Georgia is £15 a month. He has also sent kit, balls and other equipment.

Graham Smith (


In response to Paul Howarth’s news item about the demise of Pro Sport Media I can offer the following. Steve Angelsey the editor is an old friend and was drowning his sorrows at our house last week. They have indeed gone bust. The Manchester Evening News are interested in picking up the City title through City Life, and would probably keep him on, but pay him peanuts. The MUEN recently did the Georgi Kinkladze special much in the style of City Life though it wasn’t really a patch on the CITY mag itself. Watch this space.

Paul Monaghan (


Last Friday I went to the Prestwich and Whitefield City Supporters’ Club for the monthly meeting. Guests were Mick McCarthy, Chris Greenacre, Kevin Kennedy (Curly Watts in Coronation Street) and Frank Sidebottom (beyond description if you don’t know who he is!).

I would love to be able to give you a word-by-word account of the evening. Alas, we met very early and drank many bottles of Pils and Stella so my recollections of the night are not quite as clear as they could be. However, I will try to give you the gist.

People started off by asking Mick McCarthy about City: how he felt about the club’s recent decline, etc. He said he had very fond memories of playing there and still thought a great deal about the club (obvious, as he had come a long way to be there). Interestingly, he also said he would have loved to have managed the club but an offer was never made. So there, gutter press! Mick didn’t turn us down! There were various other questions in the same vein and others which I can’t remember. He also spoke about what he’s been doing for the last 6 months: not a lot, by the sounds of it! There have only been a couple of Ireland games so he’s had rather a lot of free time. He said (smugly) that his garden was looking lovely and he has a golf handicap of 8 … get the picture?

On to Curly/Kevin. I asked him if he had any influence over his character being a City fan. He said yes, definitely. He wanted Curly to be a Blue as he is the only Blue on the set! He and his wife have season tickets in the Kippax and he came across as being a really nice, genuine bloke, not an affected tosser like some actors can be. He, in contrast to Mick, works horrendously long hours but tries to go to as many games as possible.

Finally, after quite a while, someone said they had a question for Chris, who had up until then not said a word. A great cheer went up and someone shouted “Have you done your homework?” and “have you got a paper round?” He looked suitably embarrassed, poor lad! He was then asked if morale had picked up since the arrival of Coppell/Neal. He said it definitely had: he’d noticed that people were just sort of sloping around unenthusiastically at Platt Lane (and on the pitch at Maine Road, he should have added!) but people had really responded well to the arrival of the new management team. He was also asked about his future at Maine Road. He obviously wants to break through to playing in the first team but acknowledges that there is a lot of competition, what with Brown, Phillips, Whitley, Crooks etc. all vying for places too. He then said he wants to stay at Maine Road but if no chances look likely then he’ll have to consider his future and maybe consider looking round for something else. He got a bit of a round of applause there for his honesty. Makes a change from the bullshit you expect from some players/managers. I’m sure a lot of other stuff was asked as well but I can’t remember, Friday seems a long time ago now! Frank Sidebottom came on and did his stuff and was as wonderful and bizarre as ever.

Christine with Frank Sidebottom

And to top the night off, I won first prize in the raffle! I won 2 VIP tickets for the Huddersfield game on the 19th. Shall I rub it in and gloat? …. oh, Ok then. The prize includes a champagne reception, tour of the ground (including dressing rooms, apparently! With or without players, I wonder?), 4-course meal, meeting “club celebrities”, helping choose man of the match and more booze after the match! The evening is going to be held in the Brother Suite in the Main Stand (so no jeans). I’ll wave my champagne glass at you all in the Kippax! I’ll write and let you all know what happens (if anything interesting happens!). In the meantime, I’ll be slumming it in the Kippax for the Oxford match!

Finally, I will be E-Mailing the BBC to complain about Trevor Bloody Brooking calling the Rags “Manchester”. We should all do it so they’ll have to take notice!

Christine (


Radical Media are the production company who made the Nike ‘Good vs. Evil’ commercial. We have been commissioned by a well-known soft drinks company to make a series of documentary style ads for TV, again about football, but this time focusing on the experience of the fans. We want to hear from people who love football with a passion and think they have an interesting story to tell. It might be about a family conflict with a brother and sister who support a rival team, a girl who’s more interested in tactics than Uwe Röler’s legs, the man who wears the mascot suit every week, or just how it feels to lose a game. Beverly Keogh is dealing with clubs in the North West and wants to talk to anyone who feels they’d like to have a go. You can contact her on telephone and fax: 0161 224 2226. There will be some money involved, but at this point we can’t disclose how much. We’d be grateful if you could contact Beverly, if you are, or know someone who might fit the bill.

Many thanks, Jason Kemp (c/o Robby Fernandez,


I really am fed up with this bunch of s***e. Coppell has got to start making some changes starting with Rösler or Clough, preferably both. Maybe Buzzer has woken up but somehow I doubt it. He was our best player in the first half; he seemed to lose heart after the first goal. Probably only fired up because it was Swindon.

Dibble made some good saves but any decent ‘keeper would have done the same. Any decent ‘keeper would not have fired the ball from four goal kicks in succession straight to the other end of the ground either to their ‘keeper or out of play. Any decent ‘keeper would not have had his defence yelling at him “Concentrate! Concentrate!” And their ‘keeper really was worse. I know it’s hard to believe but it’s true.

I’m hoping to make it up for the Tranmere game, which will be my first home match of the season. I now cannot remember the last game I saw City win (Exeter pre-season doesn’t count). Possibly QPR away 2 seasons ago. So make sure to bet on Tranmere. :}

I was half tempted by Portsmouth but reading KotK, I see that’s another uncovered stand. More importantly, we will lose the game. So, b*****ks to that.

There was a nice touch from the Swindon announcer on Saturday which I don’t think anyone else mentioned. We’d heard at half-time that the Rags were 1-0 down and at full-time, we heard “Manchester United 3 Chelsea 1” followed by a groan from us and a pause from him. “Sorry, that’s a mistake… Manchester United 1 Chelsea 2.” Huge cheer. It was a crumb of comfort, 1% comfort. I’d far far rather see us win and them win than us both lose.

Mr. Lee is beginning to annoy me.

James Nash (


I hope I am not the only one horrified by the thought that we might sell Lomas. If the rumours are true that we are not buying any players because there is a serious lack of quality on the market, how do we reckon we could replace the lad? OK, he’s by no means the best player on earth, or even in the City team, but I think he is the sort of player who we need to support Gio in midfield. We need a fighter to tackle back on those rare occasions Gio loses the ball 😉

I’ve not been ‘lucky’ enough to make it to any matches yet this season, but what I have seen on Sky and what I’ve read in MCIVTA, it seems we need to keep hold of our battling players as we seem to be suffering all too often from a definite lack of commitment. Don’t sell Lomas!

As for all this Brooking nonsense, I don’t see what all the fuss is about. Surely everybody knows by now that the Rags have the right to all associations with the word Manchester and the word United. It’s not just the BBC; any mention of Manchester or United in the press refers to the scum, even since Newcastle’s reemergence. In fact, I’m expecting a press release any day now saying that Manchester Council should pay the Rags to use the name as it’s a privilege to be associated with the club…

Well, stay blue, plum and white folks… Andy Lamb (


Well what can we do, the team is even now showing the new boss the usual inconsistancies that we’ve all come to expect! The worrying feature is the fact that it’s taken only a short time to surface, after all shouldn’t a new manager be instilling more confidence in the team? SC’s given the players a chance to impress; surely now with the inconsistancies creeping in something has got to be changed? How much longer is SC going to give the same old players a chance to impress, surely it’s time for the chop? However, the major problem, who would come to Maine Road and how much would they cost; have City got sufficient funds to mount a major transer market assault?

I can’t believe it, I’m sat here working away but unfortunately there’s a couple of workmen in laying some new carpet and they’ve got a radio on. Which is fair dues, they need something to keep them occupied (ooops did that come out right?). But what’s on, no not music, but Radio 5 (live) and guess what, there a big telephone call in discussing why the Rags have lost so many games (Tues 5/11). I just can’t believe it, even in a bad patch (what, just four games lost) the media insist on keeping the Rags in the limelight. Oh Gawd, am I gonna have to sit here and listen to all the whingeing Red gits whining on? Try facing the fact that every team has its bad stretches and grow up, ooops sorry forgot, Man U have the God given right to win everything! Gawd help them if they ever got relegated, feel so sorry for them!

Ahh that’s better.

Martin Ford (


Just reading the discussion regarding the lack of atmosphere at Maine Road – why don’t the club organise a singing area (I’ve heard they have tried to do this at Arsenal) then all the fans who want to sing could be seated in this area of the ground – it seems that this would concentrate the singers in one part of the ground and whip up some atmosphere – who knows it might even get the Main Stand singing!

Alternatively we can rip down the Kippax and go back to the “old shed” Kippax which I think everyone would agree provided a great atmosphere!

Richard Fenton (


In response to Paul Howarth’s response to Tony Hulme’s remarks about that d**khead! (sorry! I’m not normally that direct!) Trevor Brooking – or should that be Brookin ‘cos he can’t finish any words ending in the letter G! – MCIVTA 243 and MCIVTA 242 respectively, I think (and I’m making an assumption here) that the main point of Tony’s argument was that, given the various boundaries that make up Greater Manchester, Manchester City are the only club that play in Manchester! At this point I would like to say that I am in fact Tony’s girlfriend, but on no occasion has he offered me any money (or bungs!) to agree with him…

On to something else now which has cropped up in a few “mcvittees!” recently – the atmosphere at Maine Road. Myself and Tony are only fortunate enough to attend home matches at present, but after every game we are so hoarse we have to stop off for “yet another” pint on the way home – Oh yes we do, dear! Despite our, and a couple of supporters behind us, concerted efforts to get a song going, even our beloved “Blue Moon”, we end up feeling like that character on The Fast Show“I’ll just get my coat”! Come on people – sing your hearts out for the lads – another we’ve tried to get going but to no avail…

I read, with great astonishment, Bryan Brett’s report of the referee’s actions (or non-actions) at the Swindon game! That’s what you get when ex-players get to become referees – as in their playing days they either get stuck in or s**t out of it!

Remember, remember when Rösler was rested, first to the ball, dribbled and scored? (against the Rags!). I say rest him, give Kav a decent run instead of 2 minutes here, 10 minutes there, when he can’t really get into the game. My ideal team?… please, we don’t have that much money! OK, here goes…

          A decent goalie
Symons      McGoldrick      Whitley
Lomas        Clough         Phillips
        Dickov      Kinkladze
   Kavelashvili           Rösler

I’m not a technical whizz-kid when it comes to formations – I thought the “Christmas Tree” formation was a new design idea for the Arndale Centre! So if anyone wants to pick faults in my idea go ahead – not you Tony! What I do know, however, is that we can’t keep punting the long ball up there to Paul “small but neatly formed” Dickov when there are 6ft+ defenders ready to take the ball away from him.

Well, I think that’s enough inane rantings from me. Stay Blue, Stay True!

Helen Murtagh (


Here is a copy of the letter I have e-mailed to the BBC about Trevor “Manchester” Brooking. I hope you have all done the same! If not, do it now! (mail to:

7 November 1996

Dear Sir or Madam

I am writing to register a complaint about last Saturday’s (2 November) Match of the Day, namely the Manchester United vs. Chelsea match. Trevor Brooking frequently referred to Manchester United as “Manchester” and this annoyed me so much it prompted me to write this letter.

As a supporter of Manchester City, I resent the implication that Manchester United are the only team from Manchester. You may say, in your defence, that Manchester United were the only team from Manchester who were playing. In response, I would say that Chelsea were the only London team playing, but I don’t think that fans of Arsenal, Tottenham, Milwall, etc, would be too happy to hear Trevor refer to Chelsea as “London”.

You may dismiss this complaint as bitter rantings from someone whose team currently lives in the shadow of its near neighbours; however, I am writing as someone who understands the sometimes hateful rivalry between the two Manchester teams and I do not think it wise to generalise about their names; this is sloppy football coverage. You would surely be inundated with complaints from Manchester United fans if Manchester City were referred to as “Manchester”. You should not underestimate the strength of feeling people have about their football teams, particularly in Manchester.

Finally, please do not insult my intelligence by trying to tell me that I am the only one who has complained about this as I know that I am not. In addition, you should know that there are many other people who are equally annoyed but haven’t got round to writing or phoning to complain.

I sincerely hope this will not happen again in the future. I am sure I will be able to check as Manchester United appear to be a regular team featured on this programme!

Yours faithfully, Christine Haynes


Mr. Mellor,

I think it about time that someone at the Beeb gave Brooking the Red Card. The point I am trying to make is he keeps referring to Manchester United as “The Manchester”.

Now, with him being a London Lad I would have thought The Scum, Rags, or just plain old Fergies Wa****s would have been suitable.

There are two teams in Manchester, and I support the other one, the true Manchester team. It is exceptionally upsetting for those of us who are from Manchester hearing that some team that is only just in Manchester gets referred to in that manner. Surely if any team were to claim that prize it would be City?

Could you, as someone who, I hope, has some clout in the Beeb, and also another hater of Red!, please inform Mr. Brooking, or those above him, to stop.

i don’t pay my TV licence to have my home town and club insulted every week by him. How would he like it if Chelsea were referred to as the London, completely forgetting West Ham, although everyone does now anyway.

Please help all us Manchester City fans!

Kind Regards

James Talbot (


I have supported the Blues for more than sixty years and I think that Coppell has inherited the poorest, weakest squad I have ever seen, perhaps apart from Poyser’s team, but Poyser led to Mercer and looked what happened then! I cannot see us gaining promotion this season, or for many other seasons unless there is an influx of new players. It all revolves around a chronic lack of money, the five million pounds that we are supposed to have wouldn’t even buy Shearer’s left leg. In my opinion Coppell is a good manager and we are fortunate to have him in charge of the club. He is an articulate and intelligent man, why he took the job I don’t know, but he needs our support despite the bleak outlook. I still wonder why Chairman Lee allowed all those players to be sold cheaply with no replacements: Quinn, Flitcroft, Coton, and dare I say Phelan and Curle.

Hope springs eternally blue.


In one of last week’s issues there was a question about Barry Silkman. I remember him as one of the players that Allison brought in around 1978-79. He came from Crystal Palace. Silkman was a talented ball player who often set off on mazy dribbles, beating six or seven players and scoring the odd memorable goal. He may have been Scottish but I doubt it as he spoke with a cockney accent and was one of the few Jewish players in the football league. He disappeared when Bond came and I have no idea what happened to him after he left.

Neale Hayward-Shott (


Thanks to Tim Perry, Dave Bennett and Ashley for the following info re Barry Silkman, as mentioned by David Lacey in the Guardian, in reference to the silky skills of the hairy Rag, Poborsky …

Tim checked Rothmans for his info … note that Silkman does not get a mention in the recently (re?)published “Manchester City A-Z”, which I guess sums up his career at the Academy. Anyway, here’s the scam …

Guess you’ll get lots of mails about Silkman… don’t remember much about seeing him play (think i saw one or two of his “performances”) but sad thing is he would probably make the team these days… i think we signed him in 1979 and he lasted for barely over a season.

According to Rothmans his illustrious pre-City career was:
Hereford 18 apps + 19 sub (2 goals)
Palace 40 + 8 (7 goals)
Plymouth 14 + 0 (2 goals)
Luton (loan) 3 + 0 (0)
City 19 + 0 (3 goals)

He started the 79/80m season in the team that read:
Corrigan, Ranson, Stepanovic, Caton, Booth, Power, MacKenzie, Silkman, Robinson, Deyna, Henry. sub Viljoen

Silkman lasted 6 games before the truth was realized and he went somewhere else. That was a grim team… even grimmer when you realise that his replacement was Steve Daley.

Tim Perry

Can just recall Barry Silkman: small and dark. He did a lot of running around in forward positions. His arrival from an Israeli club was a much publicised event. He only played a few games and as far as I can remember he moved on to another British club. I think he was around for a couple of seasons: a Malcolm Allison “discovery”, perhaps.

Dave Bennett

I remember Silkman only too well, he was a dark-haired guy from Palace or some other hotbed of footballing talent. He ran around a lot in midfield but did little else. Needless to say, Allison promised us that he would do the biz 8-((

From this you will have gathered that he was one of the great players brought in by Allison to replace the crap we had: Owen, Barnes, Tueart, Kidd etc. 8-((((((


Jeremy Poynton (


In answer to Jeremy Poynton’s question about Barry Silkman (without going back through old programmes etc, and straight off the top of my head) I remember seeing him play quite a few times (mainly at Maine Road) in the late 70’s. To my knowledge he wasn’t a jock (Scottish for American readers), and he played prior to McNeill’s Scottish Reserves side (Tolmie, Dalziel, Parlane, Smith etc.).

Silkman was definitely a star, in the maverick mould, and was something of a Rodney Marsh play-a-like (socks down to his ankles, smile on his face, flamboyent etc.), and maybe City signed him after MacFarlane the clown (and his wimpy sidekick Book) hounded one of the best players (if not the best) we ever had, out of Maine Road. I can’t recall where Silky came from (or where he went), but it probably doesn’t matter anyway. All I remember were fantastic skills, a desire to please the crowd (something the present incumbents of the holy sky blue shirts wouldn’t know anything about), and a tremendous `Jimi Hendrix’ Afro.

Wherever you are Bazza, thanks for the memories. Incidentally, getting back to King Rodney, no one out there really believes Marsh lost us the title do they?, and even if he did it was worth it for the sheer magic and romance that he brought to Maine Road. Oh for another Marshy.

Steve Maddox (

BLUE HUMOUR – Man U****d for the Treble…

  1. They get relegated.
  2. Fergie gets the sack.
  3. Cantona leaves after another player/fan ‘kung-fu’ attack.

Nice thought though, eh?

Tair M. Bashir (

BLUE HUMOUR – Goalie Chants

I’ve noticed a few comments about the chants at goal kicks noted at Southend. Having watched the bulk of my football over the past 10 years on divisions 1 and 2, at Ashton Gate, I can confirm that this is a long-standing tradition down among the dead men.

The main variants on the theme, all preceded by a roar brought to a crescendo as the goalie kicks the ball are …

  1. aaaaaAAAAAAGGGHHHHH … BullSH*T …aaghhhhh … now largely superceded by …
  2. aaaaaAAAAAAGGGHHHHH … You fat B*STARD … or, given suitable circumstances …

Rest assured that if I hear any new variations during the rest of the season, I’ll keep you all posted …

As an aside, I was down at Ashton Gate the Saturday before last, as the Rags were being marmalised by the Saints. When the half-time score of 3-1 was read out, the main singing end broke out into “If you all hate Man Utd clap your hands”, and “When the Saints …”. So, whilst the South West is a hotbed of swamp life, I am pleased to note that Ashton Gate does not confirm to this stereotype.

Jeremy Poynton (


Steve Coppell and Alex Ferguson are getting interviewed and the interviewer turns to Alex:

“So Alex, after a few disastrous results in the last couple of weeks where do you see Utd’s season going from here?”

“Well, as I said at the start of the season, our main aim is to win the European Champions Cup and I still think we’re in with a good chance!”

Interviewer turns to Coppell:

“So then Steve, what do you think of City’s prospects then?”

“Well I’m hoping that we’ll go up as champions and probably win the FA Cup, then take the Premiership by storm next year with a possible Grand Slam of all major domestic trophies!”

The interviewer is a bit shocked and turns round to Coppell and says:

“You’re not serious, surely?”

“Well Alex bloody started it!!”

Jason Hart (


Well, I became a City supporter in a not very straightforward way. When I started to take an interest in English football, I just knew the big clubs, like Liverpool, United, Arsenal – and strangely enough Torquay United (sadly not a big club, I know). After seeing a TV-report about United on German telly and learning that they are called ‘Red Devils’ (my club Kaiserslautern are ‘Die Roten Teufel’) I decided to support Man Utd (I hate to admit it). But pretty soon that started to change. Following them I couldn’t help but notice how very similar that club is to my most hated team Bayern: arrogant, blaming defeat on the colour of their away strip of all things, the referee and everything but their own performance, their glory-hunting fans who start whining whenever their team doesn’t win every single trophy around and in addition to all that a berserk player like kung-fu-man.

To make it short, I stopped supporting ‘Moan U’ and started wondering whether there wasn’t any other team around in Manchester and only then I found out about City (no e-mail access then, and no TV coverage on English football in Germany, mind you). But my interest was really awakened when Gio Kinkladze, who used to play for my hometown’s 1.FC Saarbrucken – now Division 3 – signed for City, and when Rösler, Frontzeck and Immel went to Manchester as well I started to follow the club more intensely. Oh, and of course there was Oasis, one of my favourite groups.

But I really came to support the Blues last season, because of all the similarities between my club and City: both playing decent enough football, both being let down by their strikers, both being threatened by relegation, both teams ‘too good to go down’ (the usual TV-commentary) and both teams having the chance to stay in Premier football if only they could have won their final game, Kaiserslautern drawing 1-1 after being 1-0 up in Leverkusen, Man City drawing 2-2 with Liverpool, after being 0-2 down.

So unfortunately both teams went down and I became a City supporter, because I could relate to the feelings of the fans and because we had a common cause: winning instant promotion. Besides, I got a feeling City fans support their team because they love the club and football in general, and not (only) because of fame and glory and success.

Anyway, if your Nationwide Division One is only half as gruesome as our Bundesliga 2, you’ve got my deepest sympathy and one word to cheer you up: in a crap division like that it’s never impossible to win a play-off place, even if you are 6 points behind, a series of 5 wins in a row will take you right up to the top again, and the season really has just started.

Keep smiling, and up the Blues.

Thomas Colnot (


As long as I can remember I have always been a Manchester City fan. I’ve followed them nearly all of my life (I’m 21!), through the ups (have there been any??) and the downs.

The thing I enjoy the most is that everyone knows who you are when you tell them you’re a Man City fan. They won’t remember your name but they will say, “look there’s the sad bloke that supports Manchester City FC.” I enjoy it, when you find out that they support them, and yet they have never even set foot in Manchester.

I asked one bloke at university (who was a fan of them), and asked him where Manchester was, and he said “Oh it’s near Newcastle”! (that’s true).

My dad’s family is from Manchester (Blackley), and I’m the only Blue! So you can imagine the arguments that happen when I go up there to go to the Academy. But you can’t beat the sound of a home game at the Academy in full song, and my family are jealous!

Living in Huntingdon (near Cambridge), you don’t find many City fans, but at least this year, some of the away games are a lot closer!

Rob Knapper (


Blue Irony — A City Fan Who’s Not From Manchester

Why Blue? Damned good question isn’t it? And a hard one to answer. Let’s start from my childhood in that county of footballing tradition … Lincolnshire. No – I’m not and never have been a Lincoln City fan, OK! I’ve not even a passing interest in how they get on. As a child, I was a Peterborough United fan. There we go … I said it. The Cambridgeshire Blues … The Posh … Barry Fry’s Blue and White Army. PUFC is probably the only club in Britain where they arrange for an old man in dodgy top hat and tails to go around giving sweeties to little children. The fooball was never spectacular, and the highlight of all my years there was seeing Mr Blobby ambushed and kidnapped by the away fans from Oxford United.

So what changed my tenuous allegiance to the club of my youth? Simple, really. I went to see City play. I was fortunate enough to get a place at Manchester Poly (as it was then) in 1989 … when things were buzzing in Manchester, and you only got burgled four times a year on average. Ah! The good ole days! My girlfriend lived down Claremont Road, so the cheers from the Academy used to rouse me whenever I stayed over the night … OK, so I like my lie-ins!

Eventually, I got up the guts to go see a game. Don’t remember the opposition, don’t remember the score … I just remeber seeing quality football live for the first time in my life. Amazing to think how much has changed in just seven years. There was also the intense loyalty of the City fans, the pride when we finished above United that year, and the determination to never let them think that they’re better than us. The lack of violence surprised me too. In Rusholme and Withington pubs, a red shirt would produce a momentary silence and a few nervous glances, but no more. Great! You’d be surprised hoe Peterborough and Cambridge fans go at each other!

Wherever I’ve travelled and lived over the past four years, I’ve met few City fans and many United ones. The trend seems to increase the further you go from Manchester! But most United fans have been gracious. Some good Rag friends have always teased me, but always wanted City to do well. At the end of last season, several United fans came up to me in the pub to say how sorry they were, before going on to celebrate their Championship triumph. I wonder how many other derby towns you can say that for. Admittedly, most of those Rag fans were from the South Coast!

I’m proud to be a City fan, even when we lose to Barnsley. I hold my head up high. On the 16th of November, I’m going to go and see City play for the first time in over four years. When the tickets arrived I was ecstatic. It only reconfirmed by devotion to the Blues. And I’ll be dragging along an Ajax and a Newcastle fan – we need the extra revenue!

P.S. Does anyone on the list know of a good pub near Fratton Park that welcomes away fans? Are any McVitee subscribers going along? If so, then please let me know … and here’s to a rare away win (the Blues won the last time I saw them in 1992 — perhaps they’re missing me?! :-)).

Matt Dye (


At the time of writing (way past my bedtime) I hadn’t received the results mail.

Apologies from Mrs Ed.


Contributions: Ashley –
Subscriptions: Adam –
Club Questions: Stephen –

Thanks to Thomas, Alison, Andy, Andy L.,Christine, The Mole, George,Graham, Paul, James, Jason, Jeremy, Steve, Tair, Rob, Matt, Neale, Helen,Richard, Martin and the Platt Lane Correspondent.

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.

Linda Birch,

Newsletter #244