Newsletter #380

Two reports from Tuesday night’s reserve game (OK, maybe not a game then!) in this issue but other than that it’s been a quiet week. I’m afraid that the news hasn’t come through, so maybe Steve McNally has had problems. The only thing of note is that we have signed Richard Jobson from Leeds on a free transfer, contract for 2 years. I did wonder why we needed another defender, even though Shelia is out ’til the end of the season with ligament damage after Francis’ awful tackle last Saturday.

Lastly, Tony Hulme, that was you on GMR earlier tonight wasn’t it? I’d recognise those dulcet tones anywhere!

Next game, Port Vale away, Saturday 14th March 1998



Yes I was that sad… so here’s the report.

It rained near the end of the first half.

What? You want more detail than that?

That was about it entertainment wise – that and there only being one stretcher bearer! OK I’ll give it a go. A team of very experienced Blues lining up as follows…

Weaver, Edghill (some youngster 60 min), Beeney, Vaughan, van Blerk, Scully (Buster 60 min), Clough, Brannan (some other youngster 70 min), Heaney, Creaney, Dickov

…were comfortably beaten 1-0 by a team of Coventry players the only one of which I’d heard of was John Salako who was playing a sweeper rôle.

I arrived 10 minutes late so must have missed the Blues’ flying start that left many of them knackered for the rest of the game! If this was to showcase the “on the transfer list” not many did themselves any favours. The defence to be fair, rarely looked troubled as the ball seamed to be aimlessly knocked back and forth across the midfield by both teams. Scully rarely got the ball and Heaney lost it nearly every time he got it. Realised that maybe watching the first team is not that bad after all as Coventry put together a great move that had been coming for a few minutes and slotted the ball home with about 5 minutes left to half time.

With the game often at stroll and punt pace (with the exception of Dickov who ran for everything as usual but still didn’t look like scoring) I was finally impressed by the arrival of Buster Phillips after about an hour. At last someone who looked like he thought he could gain something by impressing the boss. A couple of excellent runs to the byline (yes byline!) and crosses at last provided some chances for Creaney, who although he didn’t score, at least got in the position to stand a chance of doing so. A long-range chip from Buster near the death almost snached an undeserved draw as it was tipped over. But it wasn’t to be and a soggy down-hearted crowd reflected on the fact that the first team was after all a damn sight better than the drivel we’d all just witnessed. Good job it was free!

CTIDSFSM (City ’til I die SO F**KING SHOOT ME!), your on the spot reporter, Col Surrey – alias The Wookie (



City lined up as follows:

Edghill  Beesley  Vaughan  van Blerk
Scully  Brannan  Clough(c)  Heaney
          Dickov    Creaney

(Scully and Heaney swapped wings in the second half)

Subs (all during second half):

Rimmer for Edghill
Mason for Brannan
Phillips for Scully.

As I arrived about 30 minutes after kick off, I will just note a few points on the part of the match I saw!

Judging by the experience of the line up, I guess this game was as much to put players in the shop window as it was to boost the fitness of the first teamers on the way back from injury. There were the usual 20 or 30 scouts sat in the Moss Lane directors’ seats, included in the reasonable crowd of several hundred. Joe Royle was also there.

Presumably the formation was dictated to include all the wingers in the formation, but shouldn’t a club be using the same tactics and formation in the reserves as it is in the first team? Or are we about to see a reversion to 4-4-2 on Saturday?

Richard Edghill looked a sure bet for a first team comeback and looked very comfortable in his full back rôle. However, Brannan and Scully were pretty ordinary, so I hope their substitutions were to give the others a chance rather than having proved themselves. In fact the last 20 minutes with Buster on the left wing was the best period I saw. Buster put in some good crosses and even came close himself with an effort from outside the box which the Coventry ‘keeper (Scott Howie) did well to tip over the bar. He must surely be worth a decent reserve run out at the very least, definitely ahead of Scully or Heaney. Paul Beesley had the back 4 well organised, and obviously must have impressed the WBA scout who was there! Paul Dickov showed his usual 100% commitment, chasing everything and really showed up his striking partner! Dickov must surely make the team on Saturday.

The big difference I noted watching a reserve match (OK apart from the obvious lack of crowd atmosphere etc.) was that the players actually wanted the ball, calling for it etc. Maybe the first team do in fact do this, and it’s just not heard over the crowd.

The Coventry goal was as a result of a goalmouth scramble / failure of the City defence to clear properly.

Next Reserve game at Moss Lane (Altrincham FC): Wednesday 18th March vs. Leicester City Reserves, KO 7 p.m.

Murray Davies (


Read below and you’ll see some details of a proposed footie tournament in Huddersfield. Now once more it’s down to you lot; if you want to play then please let me know and I’ll forward our interest in playing in the tournament. So if you fancy a kick about in Hudders at the end of May then please let me know.

Martin Ford (

Provisional Info

Huddersfield Town IFC would like to celebrate their first birthday by inviting five Internet footy teams to take part in the first ever “Land o’t’ Gods” (pronounced “Land ut Gods” for the benefit of you down sarf) Internet Football tournament at the end of May.

The tournament will be a one-day 6-team event à la Stramash, to be held in Huddersfield on Saturday 30 May from 10am till 5pm (approx). All teams will get a minimum of 3 half-hour games.

We would particularly welcome a team from Barnsley as they were our first ever opposition last May, but the first 5 managers to mail me at and follow up smartish with a cheque to cover the entry fee (estimated at 35 quid per team) will get the nod.

I have one or two other things to sort out in my life at the moment (like a new job and finding a new house) so I want to get the initial details all sorted by the end of this month.

5 cheques by 31 March will mean the tourney is a goer – useful practice for Euronet and 5 vital league points up for grabs – less than that and I will have to call it off. I’ll return any cheques I get tho… 🙂

Go for it!!

Paul Sykes, Huddersfield Town IFC


New edition, new manager. On his accession to the throne, cover star Joe Royle points the way to a better future (please God!) and to an awful lot of gratuitous regal punning. His first day at the club, culminating in the Ipswich defeat, is covered and features some of the trademark witticisms that should make for more entertaining reading than Frank’s mumblings.

Billy McNeill, who initially responded well to Swales’ good housekeeping edict but became disillusioned after achieving promotion, regrets leaving Maine Road for the wealthier pastures of Villa Park. And his heart surgery seems to have affected his memory, claiming that we were a better team in 83-4 than Newcastle, who beat us twice (including 5-0 at St. James’) and whose side included Keegan, McDermott, Beardsley (who he?) and Waddle.

There’s a progress report on the much-hyped and soon-to-be-completed Astrodome at Platt Lane, a look at the two junior teams (including, typically, the ‘A’ team beating Carlisle 5-0 only for the Cumbrians to pull out of the league and for the result to be expunged!), an airborne awayday Blues (“Stand up when you’re one mile up”) and an article on some of the best value for money signings of the last twenty-odd years (it’s not a very long article!). And finally, it had to come. Reach for the Blu-Tac. Your spiritless centrefold this month is Lee Bradbury.

David Butler (


Regarding our new crest. A while ago our new crest was slated by non-other than the great Gallagher himself. “When?” he pondered, “have you ever seen an eagle in Manchester?” Quite true, I thought… until last Sunday.

Whilst enjoying the aromatic mixture of incense and petrol fumes in my chauffeur driven limo (a taxi with, shall we say, an Eastern slant) and listening to the delights of the sitar, some strange formidable force entered my head. No, It wasn’t a hangover from celebrating our 1-0 win over West Brom, and keeping up our One-On-The-Trot sequence of wins. No, it was something more than that. I glanced over to my left and there it was! Perched upon an antique market roof (the roof of a market that sells antiques, that is, not a very old roof!) was the Man City Eagle in all its splendour, correct number of feathers on each wing, beak facing the right way, identical in every way! Unbelievable!

“Halt driver!” I cried, “Let me out!”

“£2.95” came the reply.

“Here’s three quid, keep the change!”

Generous as ever, Eh? After a quick recce of the area, it became clear. Directly opposite the icon is a piece of parkland, not very big, granted, but big enough nonetheless. Right in the middle of this ‘oasis’ is a bench to welcome the weary traveller. Sitting upon this resting place and looking towards the eagle, an eerie glow surrounded it. Climbing up the railway embankment, I could see that this holy glow was coming from the Mecca of Association Football! Yes! Maine Road was in a direct line with the eagle and the travellers’ resting place! Well I ask you! I felt like the bloke off ‘Close Encounters’. Anyway Noel, if you’re reading this, or if anyone else wants to know where it is, it is situated at the junction of Slade Lane and Stockport Road in Longsight.

Dave Pollitt (


City till he dies…?

Good to see Trevor Sinclair scoring for West Ham against the Forces of Darkness (good to see anybody scoring against United…). I’m always wary of rumours concerning footballers and their supposed sympathies, but Trev confessed all in February’s edition of Four Four Two. “When he was a kid, Sinclair was a Manchester City fan (‘It’s a bit gutting to see them down there. I’ve still got a soft spot for City and it really hurts to see how badly they’re doing. Mind you, I do like to get a goal against City.’)”


Having already experienced English football history once this season (the desperately dull 0-0 at Tranmere was apparently their fifth consecutive goalless draw and a new Football League record), I wondered if we would create a new record of our own. But study of the essential Manchester City: A Complete Record reveals that the victory at Huddersfield has ruined our chance of going a whole season without two consecutive wins for the first time ever. The b******s.

David Butler (


An interesting and pertinent article in Monday’s Guardian by Jim White; unfortunately, once again spoilt by his insistence on sniping at Manchester City. Usually the good-natured City fan can ignore his asides – after all, no-one laughs more at Manchester City than the Manchester City fan. However, this time, to write “…an evening with Malcolm Allison and Tony Book, though some might disagree with the description “football-related” in that case”, is not only incorrect, but offensive. I can only presume that Mr White is not old enough to recall the fact that the Manchester City team that Malcolm Allison coached, and Tony Book captained, made a habit of beating his beloved Manchester United for some years. Whilst one cannot dispute that Malcolm Allison was always tempted to mix show biz with football, to tar Tony Book with the same brush is not only unnecessary, but wrong.

Jeremy Poynton (


As a single bloke for the first time in several summers I’ve decided to do something a little different this year while I’m still young and stupid! What I’m canvassing for is a group of Blue Viewers to go to Clive’s (Gio’s Bootlicker’s) Hotel in Saint Lucia in the Caribbean for a fortnight of Man City Heaven between say 22nd or 23rd July and 4th/5th August depending on flight date (i.e., after the Euronet ’98 Internet Tournament and before the start of next season!). I’m not going to kid you it’ll be dirt cheap – ’cause it won’t – but I would guess that we’ll be looking at around £400-£450 for the flight, accomodation and insurance based on the information I’ve picked up from Clive and the travel agent (I’ll be trying to get stuff cheaper but block booking will come into play there so I need some serious numbers for that).

I ain’t prejudiced – this is open to blokes, couples or lasses but you have to bear in mind there will be a degree of room sharing going on (the rooms are priced at three or four sharing!).

Just looking for interest (not give us your cash!) at the moment but if no one wants to go it’ll be a tent in the back garden for me this year – aaaahhhhhh!

Just E-mail me at and you too could be sipping rum & coke in the pool with other mad Blues this summer. It’s that simple. You may never get another chance!

Col Surrey – alias The Wookie (


Countdown for a European football supporters’ protest day…

From the summer of 1998, the European Football Association (UEFA) have decided to ban all standing room on the terraces at football grounds holding European football ties. Standing during a game is totally banned. If the supporters do not start a discussion with the authorities now, it will be inevitable that UEFA’s all seater demand could be extended to the national leagues of all European countries, as is the case with the Premier League in England. It is a fact that the implementation of all-seater stadiums in England together with other amenities have enhanced security, but this has dampened the enthusiastic atmosphere created by the supporters. Football is trendy these days but someday it will turn. If standing fans are being banned, the atmosphere will disappear (as in England), the trendy spectators will disappear, souvenir sales will decrease and the question remains; will the real fans still be there? Most fans agree on this issue and lots of talk is going on, but now it is time for action!

Our goals are:

  • We will fight for the possibility to remain standing throughout the game.
  • We will fight for the right to have a section of the stands with unnumbered seats or terraces, so supporters can stand togetherwith their friends and acquaintances.

We will prove, that:

  • Standing fans are an integral part of football.
  • That when the enthusiasm and atmosphere disappear the fans will disappear, thus affecting the clubs’ economy.
  • Fans have their right to be heard and cannot be ignored if we stand together.

Our point for discussion could be:

  • A 100% peaceful protest weekend in the autumn 1998 (5 and 6 September?!) with the participation of the fans from all Europeanclubs, observing a total silence during the first half of a game, and giving full vocal support during the 2nd half.

The action in details (suggestion):

During the 1st half: All fans will be seated, keeping quiet and will only applause when goals are scored – similar to a tennis match. This will be a symbol of how boring football will become in future. During the 2nd half: All fans will stand up and give full vocal support. This will symbolize how much standing and singing supporters mean for football, and be a symbol on how it ought to be.


  • Copies of this letter have been sent through the Internet to most those European fanclubs. It can also be found on the official homepages, the fanzines, and fan clubs sites.
  • Rumors spread through the Internet, fanzines, pamphlets and verbally.
  • This standard letter can be copied and distributed to every football enthusiast you can think of.

We ask you to distribute this letter to every fan you know, who might be interested in this protest. The success of the action depends on the interest of supporters. We want all clubs in Europe to participate… Responses, comments or any other relevant ideas of support or debate, Website addresses and contact persons: <> The EuroStand98 Homepage.

The present schedule is:

Around March 1st 98This letter to be circulated
March 5th- May 1st 98Gathering ideas and setting up a network
Around June 1st 98Setting the date for our Action
June 1st – September 1st 98Preparing for Action
Around September 1stAction Weekend

There is a good old saying “the customer is always right” – but this apparently does not apply to football fans. When was the last time a business prospered without considering the needs of its customers? Not very often, so let’s not make UEFA the first to do so. It is necessary that this action will be 100% peaceful if we want to be taken seriously.

EuroStand98, Jacob Wittorff (


Hello folks,

I’ve had a request from one of the lads from the County list. He’s trying to contact a couple of Blues he used to know, so is there either a: Dave or Mike Doherty, Wigan and Stockport on the list, did they know a Sandy McKinnon, does anyone know someone called Dave or Mike Doherty (Dave used to live in Wigan and Mike’s last residence was in Stockport), then please get in touch and I’ll forward Sandy’s email address to you.

Martin Ford (


Hopefully without appearing to sound above myself I have never been in a situation where a Sharp product was an alternative. I consider their products to be of a dubious quality anyway.

Hands up all those that own a Brother knitting machine!

Jonathan Tod (


A few comments on the ‘Football Cities’ programme on 5 Live last week:

There’s a great myth amongst the Rags that we are all Rag haters first and Blues second, that we’re all “Bitter Blues”. First off, and this has nothing to do with the programme, personally I think that while there are a few who take their hate for the Rags too far in singing Munich songs etc., this couldn’t be much further from the truth; while I love seeing the Rags lose I can’t really say I hate them, hate’s far too strong a word, and like every other Blue I know I love City far, far more than I “hate” the Rags. But the strongest impression I got from the programme is that the situation is actually reversed – there seem to be Rags out there whose hatred of City seems to be greater than their love of their own club. They derided City fans for being “Bitter Blues” and in the next breath talked about how much they hated City, how they had turned up at the Luton game in 1983 just to see us get relegated (I would never even think of going that far – at the end of the day as much as I cheered when I saw “Sheff. Wed. 2 – Man Utd. 0” on the Maine Road scoreboard on Saturday I don’t actually care that much what happens to the Rags, whilst it’s good to see that they’ve lost City are far more improtant to me) and how they’d love to go and see us play Macc next season and in so doing they gave the impression that they’re actually “Bitter Reds” who take as much pleasure from seeing us lose as from seeing their team win. They are, after all, not taken seriously as real supporters, disliked by most of the rest of us, and I get the impression that some of them feel that if they could experience some of the s**t we’ve had served up for the past two years they could prove themselves as “real fans” and not hangers on.

And I do now have a bit of sympathy (ok not that much) for a few of them. There are some Mancunians amongst them and they do have a few real fans left, and these people have become outnumbered by a huge number of fair-weather supporters and other hangers on, people coming from miles away to see the Rags play who should be supporting their own local teams but are too weak willed and spineless to admit that they support a team that’s not top of the Premier League (apologies to any of you that don’t come from Manchester and support City for reasons other than the traditional one that you were born Blue and had no choice about it – there’s a big distinction between someone that’s supported City ever since they were successful and the current fair-weather Rag in that those City fans have stuck with the Blues and we all know perfectly well that the average Surrey Rag will ditch his/her “beloved club” as soon as they start doing badly – and it will happen sooner or later – or as soon as the player that she (or he) fancies leaves) and people who don’t actually support them but are just there for corporate entertainment. Whilst I’d love to see City enjoy the same level of success I’d hate to find myself at a Maine Road devoid of atmosphere because we’ve been overrun by the sort of people that we deride because they “support” the Rags.

Of course, whilst I do have some limited sympathy for a few of them, there is no group of people sadder or more pathetic than the Rags, after all, even in the case of the Mancunian Rags most of them are Rags for the simple reason that they win too often, and that’s never a good enough reason in my book. And it’s in support of “The World’s Greatest Club” that the media have made us a laughing stock. It seems that just about every time I look in the sports pages of my paper there’s someone having a dig at the Blues, more often than not digging up some ancient jibe that we’ve all heard a thousand times before. And one of the journalists who seems to enjoy this more often than many is none other than Jim White, presenter of the Football Cities programme. His Guardian column has often been used to take the mick out of the Blues in the past, and it’s probably not all that surprising considering he is a self-confessed Rag and has written at least one book on his beloved Reds. So after groaning when I heard his name at the start I was somewhat surprised at the lack of any pro-United bias. Mr. White should be congratulated on his even-handed performance. Maybe he should try it in the Grauniad some time.

Julian Griffiths (


Whilst looking through my CD’s the other day, I came across this superb rendition of Nick Cave’s “The Ballad of…” as sung by The Shirehorses (a.k.a. Mark Radcliffe & The Boy Lard).

It was written last year so it involves Alan Ball, and is called “Dick Cave & The Bad Cheese feat. Alan Bawl (NO RELATION) … The Ballad of Franny Lee.”

AB :- 		Going Down, Going Down, Little Francis Lee
      		Down to Division Three
      		We've Only one lad who isn't half bad,
      		and that's little George Kinkladze
Chorus :- 	And at first the crowd roared
     		But now they're just board
     		La La La La, La La La Lee
AB :-     	This is the ballad of Franny Lee
FL :-     	I can't Go Down, I won't Go Down
     		I've spent 12 million quid on City
     		Of the money I've made in the bog paper trade
AB :-     	Well bloddy hell don't blame me.
AB :-     	Bring me the head of Franny Lee
FL :-    	Call yourself a manager you little t*** pot
     		Your voice hasn't broke and your balls haven't dropped
     		You won the world cup in your stupid white boots
     		And now turn up for work in Flat Caps and Shell Suits
AB :-    	Now here's a home truth you puddin basin haired twonk
     		How deeply ironic it is
     		From that profitable caper of selling bog paper
     		You've landed us deep in the s***
Both :-   	It's the King of The Kippax Franny Lee
Both :-   	King of the s***house Franny Lee.

Well recommended CD is that. It’s entitled “The worst album in the world ever… ever!”

CTICF (City Till I Can Fly), Gareth Foster (


I realise that with City in their biggest mess ever it’s a bit pointless to conduct a debate about a piece of instrumental music but I have to say Hurricane #1, my ar**!

I was amazed to see three different people saying the same thing in MCIVTA 379, so much so that it did give me just a tiny worry that it might be me that is wrong.

But I can guarantee that the tune in question is called “Is This Music?” by Teenage Fanclub. I’m sat here listening to it as I write. This is 100% fact. If anyone is in any doubt they can find it on the “Bandwagonesque” album as I’ve said previously. There is no doubt about it unless that bloke who used to be in Ride has just lifted an entire TFC tune and passed it off as Hurricane #1’s or should that be #2’s.

If anyone still isn’t convinced I’ll send an e-mail to Ceefax music letters page [BBC1 p561] and let them adjudicate. I’ll send it on Thursday so the answer should appear on p561 after 5pm on Friday or Saturday. I’ll certainly look a right divot if they come back with Hurricane #-sodding-1.

All of this serves as a nice diversion to City’s desparate position. Defeat at Vale on Saturday could be the death knell. I can’t bear to think about it, hence the obsession with trivialities like this.

Kevin Casey (


I’ve just read Mike Barnett’s informed comments. Now I read these as one of the masses of uninformed City fans but unfortunately to me they read as a piece of political manoeuvering in favour of Francis Lee. Far from what the author actually says, I think Francis Lee would be quite happy to see those comments published in the City magazine. They generally support his position and attempt to deflect blame away from him. For example, I don’t interfere with management of the team, managers have made all the duff decisions and I don’t have any special contract with Kinky, but hold my hands up in all honesty I’ve made some mistakes etc.

However, saying this I’m not saying Lee should go, I just don’t like people trying to influence me with their so called informed comments. These comments appear genreally to be no more informed than me or my mates and that is how surely they ought to be aired.

Finally, in anticipation of Mike Barnett pulling his hair out, what if Francis Lee does actually own Kinky and successive managers have said:

“right Franny the only way to get out of this is to sell Gio for 5 – 12 million pounds sterling and buy another team (e.g. Bury who as has been pointed out previously beat us).” Franny has replied:

“Sure, you do that but the club will only get a fifth of the sale (1 – 2.4 million) because I own most of him.” What do you do as a manager, sell a top player and buy someone else for less than £3 million?

This may be uninformed and may well be innaccurate but would explain why all managers have shown an interest in selling and then surprise surprise we have kept him again. Anyway Franny Lee himself says he has a gentleman’s agreement that Gio can leave when he likes – it’s all very strange but I for one am glad because Gio has been about the only thing we have been able to feel good about this year. He also answered a lot of my colleagues’ critics who are forever saying “City, s***e team and s***e players” when he obviously isn’t and proved that against Premiership opposition at West ham.

Anyway, we’ve got the best kit in the UK (sorry it’s not Symons though) and next year Big Joe and his Little Willie will do the trick and we’ll get automatic promotion… just ahead of Macc.

Justin Hanson (


To “name witheld” (MCIVTA 379)

First off may I say I have defended any number of people having their say in MCIVTA. This is an open forum and as such people must be able to state their views, but must also be able to take the fallout from that. But I have noticed lately that MCIVTA is turning into the X files – “name witheld/anon” on this and that; if you cannot stand the heat do not enter the kitchen.

So to reply to this “report”.

  • Mickey Francis never reported this book was a “statto special”.It was a book about his life, nothing more, and if you bought it as a bookabout the “beautiful game” then more fool you! The cover tells you all youneed to know and at no time does it say it will cover any games in anydepth at all.
  • At no time does he say what he did was right or wrong! As I saidbefore, he is telling what happened to him and why, not that his waywas right or wrong!
  • You said you followed City since you were 4-years old, going tomatches since 1975 and enjoyed it whether the score was one way or theother. Well, lucky you! I have been p****d off every time we lost a game – I speak for myself not Mickey.
  • MF made a big thing of City this City that, but it could havebeen any team at that time, he is telling us about his life – do weput him down because he followed City?
  • The “rash racist generalisation you (Mickey) make” – well for methis is where you get right under my skin! “Everyone hates scousers,Man U, Leeds, etc”; if you were around football at that time and ranin the circles – you did! I hated everyone else (and I still do!)That is not racist, that, as far as I see, is putting your own teamabove everyone else, e.g., being a fan, (see above), otherwise stay at home andwatch Sky!

The rest of your “coverage” of this book is floored because:-

  1. You missed the point of the book from cover to cover and
  2. I feel you never lived or ran with this type of person, as I did.

So to conclude. Next time you write in MCIVTA:-

  1. Have the guts to put your name to your writing
  2. Read the book/article you are criticising and do not put it downbecause you could not be bothered to read the sleeve notes before youpaid out your money.
  3. If you haven’t been there, talked to people like that, or at thevery least come to the subject with an open mind, then do not bother.As a great man once said “let he who is without sin cast the firststone.”

If you wish to comment please do so through MCIVTA, otherwise I will not reply.

Tony “the tattooed donkey” Hulme (via


On Saturday I’m going to the Port Vale away fixture and will be travelling up from London on my own. If anyone is in a similar situation to me and would like to meet up for a few beers on the train/before the game, please email me.

Thanks and Regards, Hayden Stredwick (


Why, because I was taken to Maine Road by my father and grandfather, the Blues were in our blood I guess. I came from a family of bookmakers in the Ancoats area. I do know that my grandfather played for England boys and I think there were spells with both United and City but it all seems to be encased in family folklore and I can’t ascertain it for fact. It doesn’t really matter, the memories of City in the 1950’s are of getting from Moston to Maine Road on the bus and getting soaked by the rain. I can’t remember the sun shining – perhaps I have selective memory.

So I have watched them for a long, long time, not on the terraces – at 16-years-old I joined the Marines and since then I have travelled the world. Some of the places I have looked for results have been 13,000 miles apart. I soldiered from the Arctic to the Equator and from Canada to Borneo. I even listened to the 1970 World Cup on a military radio deep in the Malayan jungle, and City have always been the same – a real up and down rollercoaster. Take any top team and City can go out and slaughter them on their home ground then back to Maine Road to play the bottom team from all the divisions and they lose.

But I know why, they don’t need a super manager to change it because it’s been happening all these years. It’s the air in the stadium at Maine Road. It needs pumping out. It contains 30% Pathos Gas and 70% Black Comedy Gas and until they get rid of it it will always be the same.

One last thing, I actually went on a tour last year after supporting them for 50 years. I got to go past the door ‘keeper sat in reception and do the grand tour of the pitch – my impressions: well the guide had City logos all over him, chewed gum and told us all about the current news, was negative about the Club and not really interested. When I turned around in reception and looked at the trophy cases (this was last November) they were covered in dust, thick dust. Maybe it’s not the air! “People” in City can’t even keep the display cases clean!

So what do I do now? Well I produce commemorative golf putters so if you want one from City’s foundation date or when they won the Cup, give us a call and we will make you one.

Up the Blues, Alan (


Well, it was about 1977, I was 5 years old and my parents visited England. I had told them not to get back home without a t-shirt of a British football club. They brought me Manchester City’s uniform and since the I’m a Manchester City fan. That’s my story.

Nikos Melas (


I happen to know, courtesy of my esteemed position within the club, that Francis Lee stubbornly refuses to wipe his bot unless trap 3 of the Management toilets is supplied with “FH Lee’s Recycled No.3 Crossply”.

This over-bearing attitude is costing the club, both through the toiletries budget, and by way of the fact that no potential investor is willing to shake hands on a deal with him.

Unfortunately, professional codes of practice prevent me from revealing my true identity. The Institute of Toilet Attendants would strike all the bristles from my bogbrush.

Yours vacantly, Ann Drex


Full-time score for Wednesday, March 11 1998

Middlesbrough  6 - 0 Swindon Town
Branca (16)
Maddison (22, 55)
Armstrong (50, 73)

Tuesday, March 10 1998

Sunderland 0-0 Birmingham City

Up to and including Tuesday, March 10 1998

                             HOME            AWAY
                      P  W  D  L  F  A   W  D  L  F  A   Pts   GS
Middlesbrough        36 13  3  2 38 10   8  5  5 23 26    71   61
Nottm Forest         36 13  2  3 40 19   8  6  4 20 14    71   60
Sunderland           36 10  6  2 38 17  10  3  5 29 21    69   67
Charlton             36 12  4  1 36 14   6  4  9 27 32    62   63
Ipswich              36  9  4  4 33 17   6  9  4 26 21    58   59
Birmingham           37  8  6  4 21 12   7  7  5 29 19    58   50
Sheff Utd            34 12  4  1 30 13   3  9  5 20 24    58   50
Stockport            37 12  5  1 41 16   4  1 14 19 37    54   60
Wolverhampton        34 10  5  3 31 18   5  2  9 13 18    52   44
West Brom            37  8  5  6 19 19   6  4  8 17 23    51   36
Bradford             37  9  7  2 22 15   3  6 10 16 24    49   38
Crewe                37  7  2 10 21 30   7  3  8 24 23    47   45
Swindon              37  9  3  6 25 20   4  4 11 11 37    46   36
Oxford Utd           36  8  5  4 23 15   4  3 12 22 35    44   45
Norwich              37  7  7  5 19 23   4  4 10 17 33    44   36
QPR                  37  8  7  4 26 17   2  6 10 16 34    43   42
Bury                 37  5  9  5 17 19   3  9  6 18 24    42   35
Portsmouth           36  7  4  8 24 28   4  3 10 16 23    40   40
Tranmere             35  6  6  5 21 17   4  4 10 16 25    40   37
Man City             37  5  4 10 22 22   5  5  8 19 22    39   41
Huddersfield         37  6  4  8 21 23   4  5 10 18 34    39   39
Reading              36  7  4  8 25 27   3  5  9 11 32    39   36
Port Vale            37  5  6  8 20 21   5  2 11 22 32    38   42
Stoke                37  5  5  8 22 30   3  8  8 13 22    37   35

Russell Town (
With thanks to Soccernet


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[Valid3.2]Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #380