Newsletter #299

There was very little news of any description over the holiday weekend here in the UK, so I decided to hold what there was over ’til Thursday’s issue. In fact, I’ll probably issue MCIVTA twice-weekly during the summer only if there is enough to fill it.

This issue has more transfer news, but as yet, no finalisations. There is a request from supporters in Holland to start a Supporters’ Club, a last call for players for EuroNet ’97, and a sighting of Le Eric! I’ve also included a review of Peter Doherty’s autobiography (1947); if anyone getting MCIVTA saw him and would like to comment on how he compares to more recent players who we might have actually seen in action, then please write in and let us know your views and opinions of the man and player. I’m sure many would be interested in these; I once saw Mercer say that he thought Bell might become City’s greatest ever player, even better than Doherty! To me this intimates that he was very highly regarded.

The next issue is number 300; if anyone cares to write anything for this issue, both people who have seen MCIVTA develop over the last couple of years, and from new subscribers, then please don’t hesitate. Also, I’m out of Why Blues so please send more in.

Next game, to be announced.


Frank Clark is reported to be holding talks with Paul Vaughan, the Ipswich central defender who’s contract runs out shortly. He’s a Mancunian and is keen to return North. A fee of £1 million has been mentioned but City would probably offer less than that, with the case going before a tribunal.

GMR today (Tuesday) said that Lambert, the Borussia Dortmund midfielder would probably sign a new contract and that City’s interest was therefore at an end.



City have appointed 50-year-old Jim Cassell as their new Youth Development Officer, to replace the sacked Colin Bell and Terry Farrell. Cassell was previously Chief Scout at Oldham Athletic before resigning his post to join Paul Power’s team at Maine Road.

Season ticket sales are reported to be very healthy, with the Blues taking £20,000 worth of business every day since the announcement that Gio Kinkladze would be staying with City.

The Mole


From the Press Association..

Manchester City’s lucrative new deal for their brilliant Georgian international midfielder Georgi Knikladze is already paying off. City have been taking over £20,000 a day in new season ticket sales since Kinkladze signed a new three-year deal nine days ago. More than 500 season tickets were sold during the week after the Georgian pledged his immediate future to the club. Chairman Francis Lee who clinched the Kinkladze deal after personally conducting the negotiations with the player said “We are all absolutely delighted Gio’s staying with us. He is very happy at Manchester City, loves the people and loves the area, and our fans think he is the greatest.”

Jim Simmons (


Swindon Town manager Steve McMahon is reported to be interested in signing Peter Beagrie, but it seems that he has only £200,000 to offer for the City wing-man. Beagrie has only just recovered his fitness after being out for the best part of two years with tendonitis, but is surely worth more than this.

Paul Howarth (


City look almost certain to sign Ipswich Town left back Tony Vaughan after being given permission to offer terms to him. He was born in Stretford but was a big City fan (and ball boy) in his younger days. Alan Hill said that Frank Clark would be back from watching the European Cup Final on Friday morning and “I am sure he will be making arrangements to bring the player to Maine Road as quickly as possible.” Derek Lomas, the Ipswich scout who secured his services said “He was City mad and I’m sure he would have preferred to sign for them.”

One player who won’t be joining City is Dortmund’s Paul Lambert. He quashed rumours that he was unsettled in Germany, saying “I keep hearing all these stories that I might be leaving Dortmund but nothing could be further from the truth. I’m happy here.”

Paul Howarth (


From the Nationwide Home Page (29th May 1997) – anyone know anything about this guy?

Manchester City boss Frank Clark returns from holiday tomorrow and looks set to open talks with Ipswich Town defender Tony Vaughan. Vaughan has been on Clark’s wanted list since the end of the season when he made his initial enquiry. Ipswich boss George Burley is reported to have offered Vaughan a big money new deal to stay at Portman Road but the Manchester-born player refused the deal so Burley has reluctantly given Manchester City permission to speak to him. Vaughan played a key rôle in Ipswich’s run into the First Division play-offs but he now wants to return to the North West where as a boy he was a City fan. Ipswich are likely to rate Vaughan in the £1 million plus class but Clark will bargain hard for a player he believes could help City’s promotion push next season.

Jeremy Poynton (


Peter Beagrie is still being linked with a move to Swindon Town, having refused to sign the new two-year deal City are offering him. However, Swindon appear not to be able to get anywhere near City’s valuation of Beagrie (anywhere between £200k and £500k depending on which report you read), so a move doesn’t seem to be imminent.

Alan Kernaghan has also refused to sign the new deal being offered to him (a three-year deal, this one), given that he clearly doesn’t figure in Frank Clark’s plans. I think it’s very unlikely that City will recoup much of the £1.5 million or so fee that Brian Horton paid for him three years ago.

City are still rumoured to be interested in Borussia Dortmund’s unsettled Scottish midfielder Paul Lambert, but with a European Cup winner’s medal in his pocket following his excellent performance against Juventus on Wednesday night, his sights are probably set somewhat higher than the Nationwide League.

Andy Dibble could be joining Sheffield United following his brief stint with Glasgow Rangers. It’s still not clear whether Dibble was just on loan to Rangers or if the move was permanent but with a short-term contract (ending in July) – can anyone give a definitive answer? Dibble made 8 appearances for the Scottish Champions this season.

Kit Symons was in the Welsh side for their first international victory for a year, the 1-0 friendly win against Scotland at Kilmarnock. Symons played the full 90 minutes, the winner coming from West Ham’s John Hartson.

Here are the dates and kick-off times of the pre-season games, which have now been officially confirmed by the club:

Wed 16 July    Blackpool (A)             7:30pm
Sat 19 July    Paul Lake testimonial (H) 3:00pm
Tue 22 July    Livingstone (A)           7:30pm
Thu 24 July    Stirling Albion (A)       7:30pm
Sat 26 July    Kilmarnock (A)            3:00pm
Mon 28 July    Falkirk (A)               7:30pm
Wed 30 July    Mansfield Town (A)        7:30pm
Sat  2 August  Burnley (A)               3:00pm

The reserve and youth teams will also be playing pre-season games, but the only date so far confirmed is Wrexham at home for the youth team on Tuesday 15th July.

Paul Howarth (


Last year an Internet football event was held in Nottingham to correspond with the Euro 96 Championships. The idea was that various teams would be represented by their internet fans. The event took place and Middlesbrough duly won the event; as it was deemed a success another event has been planned for this year. This time the event is being held in Middlesbrough over the weekend of 28/29 June. A MCVITA team has been accepted into the event along with another 31 teams.

The format is a eight groups consisting of 4 teams each. These group matches will be played on the Saturday with the final stages being held on the Sunday. Each match is only 30 mins long (15 mins a half), and rolling substitutions are allowed. The event is a fun event with hopefully nothing being taken too seriously.

So far MCVITA has got a squad of 14 players with a promise of three others; as each squad is allowed a maximum of 22 players there is still room for more. So if you want to represent the Blues then please forward your name to me ASAP (, men and women accepted (Notts County will have a mixed team).

If you want to look at the details:

Martin Ford (


I don’t know what Mike Brierley was on about in MCIVTA 298 when he said Cantona was working in a chip shop. This is utter crap! Please do not allow a respected publication like MCIVTA to carry such stories. I got off the train in Newcastle the other day and hailed a taxi – and – you’ve guessed, it was Eric driving. It was only a short journey and he muttered a lot in French – from what I could gather it was something about pigeons following his taxi and crapping on it. The guy’s lost it!

Bernard Paton (


We would like to form a branch of City fans here in Holland. Before we can form a branch we need at least 20 persons. We would like to know if there are some Blues interested in forming a branch here in Holland. So if you are interested or have any ideas, please let us know.

Martin Kampherbeek ( and Maarten Ivens (


I would like to thank all the contributors to McVitee this year for their match reports, opinion, rumour and just general waffle about the Blues. Most of which has gone into the Aussie branch newsletter and which, believe me, would not be possible to put out without you. Thanks once again and keep it up.

You might like to know that a Blues supporter is a world champion (of sorts). The Weekly Telegraph, the international version of the Daily Telegraph, held its usual fantasy football competition, and Chris Goldrick of Sydney, cleaned up, winning comfortably, despite the presence of David James in goal.

Bill Chapman (


TITLE          Spotlight on Football
AUTHOR         Peter Doherty
PUBLISHER      Art and Educational Publishers Ltd.
ADDRESS        54 Bloomsbury Street,
               London WC1,
DATE	       December 1947 (Reprinted 1948)
ISBN NUMBER    Not applicable (out of print)
PRICE          £3.00 (secondhand)

This book is the personal story of one of City’s greatest talents and is written by him, rather than ghosted/edited. It takes us up to 1947 when Doherty was still playing, but by that time, with Huddersfield Town.

The book is hardback (dull green), and is missing its duskjacket (yet again!), so I’m afraid I can’t describe what it might once have looked like. Compared to Frank Swift’s autobiography – written at the same time – it’s rather short at 118 pages (16 black and white photos) but has more depth.

The foreword is by Stanley Matthews, a contemporary of Doherty, and it’s quite clear that Matthews rated Doherty very highly indeed – amongst the best inside forwards, and there were plenty. Some of the other pre-war sporting autobiographies that I’ve read have been introduced by peers of the football establishment (as a rubber stamp/blessing?); however, considering the content of this book, it’s no surprise that Doherty elected to have a fellow footballer! Matthews’ foreword warns us that what is to come “pulls no punches”, and I imagine that many of Doherty’s thoughts on the game and particularly the establishment were very controversial at the time this book was written.

Doherty begins with an ‘Introduction’ which is almost a plea to the young hopefuls of his day to beware the bitterness and unhappiness which a career in football can bring. It sets the scene for what is to come, which is the story of Doherty and the injustices he felt he experienced at the hands of the clubs which employed him.

The story starts in Coleraine in Northern Ireland where Doherty grew up, indeed his first break came with Coleraine (the club) but, as a youngster making his début, he was treated so badly by the officials and players that he swore he would never play for them again. He was subsequently signed by Glentoran of Belfast but here again he was to feel bitterness as they tried to pull a fast one on him by agreeing terms (verbally) but giving him much less when the contract turned up! He played for a couple of seasons for Glentoran before catching the eye of Blackpool, for whom he signed in 1933 for £2,000. He seems to have had a relatively happy time there, which culminated with the sad death of Blackpool’s benefactor and Chairman, Sir Lindsay Parkinson. This spelt financial trouble for the club, and in 1936, Doherty was sold to Man City for the sum of £10,000.

At Maine Road, he soon slotted into a team which was destined to become one of the greatest City sides, certainly to that date. Amongst his team mates were the legendary Frank Swift, Eric Brook, Freddie Tilson and Matt Busby. In his first season, City finished 9th but were to win the title the following season (1937), playing much admired football. Doherty describes several of the key games in this campaign and the scenes at the end of the game at Maine Road against Sheffield Wednesday, when the the league was won. Doherty maintains that team spirit was the biggest single factor in this success, though the inate quality of the side must have had something to do with it!

In ‘typical’ City style, the team went on the next season to be relegated, despite scoring more goals than any other team in the first division! The goal average of the team was better than a dozen clubs above City but at the end of the day, the team had simply dropped too many points. Doherty modestly ascribes this disaster to a lack of form and indifferent displays, but this was definitely compounded by a crop of injuries.

Doherty was now in his prime, but was sadly to lose his best years to the war. At the outbreak in 1939, the league clubs scrapped all existing contracts and players were somehow expected to exist on the occasional match fee of 30 shillings; the only alternative was to find a job. Doherty applied in the Manchester area but failed to find work so ended up accepting a job in Greenock, Scotland, which a friend had found him. This would naturally have prevented him making regular appearances for City. Despite having scrapped his contract and having made no effort to help Doherty, the club was put out when he informed them that he couldn’t play, and told him that they would not allow him to play for any club in Scotland, even though this would have been without being paid! This was relayed to Doherty by the Chairman during half-time in a game at Maine Road; Doherty was nothing if not forthright and told the Chairman (Mr Smith) exactly what he thought, tempers became frayed. After things had cooled down, Smith sent for Doherty and told him that he should reconsider going to Scotland as he was due a benefit – a thinly veiled threat! A City director found him a job as a chaffeur but he quickly gave this up and took a job at an ordnance factory in Risley, Warrington.

In 1940 he volunteered for the RAF and this resulted in him being transferred around the country. As with many other footballers, he became a PT (Physical Training) instructor and made guest appearances for numerous clubs during the war.

City however, seemed intent on dictating to Doherty exactly who he would play for and when! He was often approached by clubs who he would agree to turn out for, but would then receive a telegram from City, pre-emptorily telling him to travel to another club! It seems that Doherty was treated as chattle and was not even consulted about whether he could turn out for a particular team. Whatever the reasons for the club’s attitude, all they succeeded in doing was alienating one of their best players.

Doherty was not a man to lie down and kow-tow to the establishment, so it was only a matter of time before he asked for a transfer which he eventually got, but not before more unpleasant exchanges. Just before mobilisation he was transferred to Derby County for £7,000. Doherty obviously felt that the transfer system that prevailed at that time was grossly unfair, the players received £150 for each years service; a player transferred for £10,000 after 2 years service would get £300 (3%). He clearly felt this keenly, and to understand his feelings, we have to remember that players were paid poorly yet were sold for comparatively huge amounts.

Doherty was at first lucky at Derby where he again slotted into a fine side, which lifted the FA Cup in 1946. He wished to settle in Derby and secure his future so, on the advice of the Chairman, applied for a pub licence in Derby. To Doherty’s surprise, he was turned down but, when he asked a magistrate why, he told him that he had no knowledge of refusing his application! On inquiring further, Doherty was informed by the club that there was a clause in his contract that forbade him going into the licensing trade! Clearly the club had secretly and under-handedly sabotaged his application. Doherty was very bitter and after a meeting with the directors, felt that he had no alternative but to leave. There were three clubs interested in him, Blackpool, Huddersfield and City! Huddersfield finally won the day and he was transferred in 1946 for £10,000.

The book then goes on to describe Doherty’s experiences abroad, playing both internationals and tour games. He then discusses outstanding personalities in his life, some of whom are not footballing related, as well as referees. In line with other sporting books of the era, Doherty then spends a couple of chapters teaching his readers how to train, take penalties and play the game. However, his last chapter concerns a scheme he put to the Northern Ireland authorities for introducing a structured coaching scheme with centres of excellence – way before its time. Naturally the powers that be turned it down, but I have to say that it was extremely far-sighted and could have turned Northern Ireland into a real football power.

Doherty was clearly a very talented player and perhaps unusually for his time, thought a lot about the game, and particularly the injustices and exploitation that seemed almost endemic. Bert Trautmann also suffered umpteen petty injustices perpetrated by the club so it certainly was part and parcel of being a footballer around the war years. However, I did get the feeling that Doherty, although principled, might have been quite a difficult character to get on with.

Although Doherty only played for City for a couple of years, there is plenty in this book for City fans who are interested in the Championship team of ’37; not only a good sporting book but a good book full stop, written with conviction.



Can anybody in Canada (or North America) find the City Magazine at their newsagents? I have been pestering mine for about a year now and he claims there is no distributor despite the fact he carries about 6 ‘official’ Rag and 3 Liverpool magazines. He even carries West Ham and Leeds. So if anybody can help with a distributor or anything I would be very grateful.

Stephen Barlow (


I’m Rutger Nieuwold and 24-years old. I live in Veendam and I am a big fan of Veendam. That’s the club where your new player Gerard Wiekens has played for. They have to play only one match before the season is over. Gerard Wiekens played a good season, again. You have bought a lot of quality! Hopefully, Man City including Gerard will play Premier League in the season 1998/1999.

Greetings, Rutger Nieuwold – Veendam, Holland (


I have recently bought a season ticket for the Main Stand at Maine Road. Unfortunately I am now working in London and won’t be able to go to all the games. Is there anybody out there who would be interested in buying selected tickets for the games I can’t get to? I will only charge a calculated amount (approx. £12) for each one. If you email me I can advise you well in advance about which games I can’t get to. This is just an initial inquiry to see if anybody would be interested.

Steve Jeffries (


Contributions: Ashley –
Subscriptions & Club Questions: Steve –
Technical Problems: Paul –

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 #299