Newsletter #411

This issue has news of ticket difficulties and potential deals involving our surplus stars (shurely shome mishtake?). Martin Ford has reported his experiences in Marseille (and no, it wasn’t Martin!); and there’s also some opinion, an evocative Why Blue and the odd David Beckham joke!

Finally, a rumour is doing the rounds that the Club have seriously underestimated the desire of us Blues to persist with our curious habit of buying season tickets to watch a bunch of no-hopers; consequently, although tickets are being sent out, they will soon run out. Apparently, they are around 700 short for the Kippax alone!

Next game, Sunderland at home, Saturday 18th July 1998 (Brightwell)


Paul Howarth has kindly agreed to step in as editor for MCIVTA issues 412 and 413 (6th and 9th of July) as I’m away with work once again.

Please send articles for these issues, i.e. after Thursday 3rd July to Paul at:



MCFC On-Line – New Launch Date: Please note that the new launch date for MCFC’s Official Web Site is now Saturday 18th July in time for live match commentary on the Ian Brightwell testimonial game. More details will follow closer to the date.

Steve Sayer (


I know it’s a while away, but just letting you know… the game at Wrexham on Boxing Day has already been switched to a 12 O’Clock kick off.

Also, even further away… here’s a warning for you. The total allocation of tickets for the last away game of the season at Bristol is just 700 tickets (I think 754 to be precise, but can’t remember for definite). Should be fun huh?

A lot of teams in this Division don’t even have a regular ticket printer and are having to make special arrangements just for games against us. York City for example, sell at the very most, just 60 advance tickets for their home games. Their season ticket holders number just 200 (compared to our 12,500 and counting). Access to the majority of the grounds are pay at the turnstile. This is obviously something that they will look at changing when it comes to matches against us, but how are they going to keep us out really? With the measly allocations they are giving us and the lack of a regular ticket printer, it doesn’t seem feasible to change their games against us to all-ticket does it? Even if they could do it, I don’t think the home fans would be too thrilled.


WBA manager Denis Smith has taken Gerry Creaney on a 1-month trial, and if things work out, City would let him move on a ‘free’. Smith is also reported to be interested in a £600,000 deal for Craig Russell. Apparently these moves have been precipitated by the recent sale of Andy Hunt to Charlton.

Matthew Briggs (Matthew.Briggs@TWR.CO.UK)


July is upon us, and so we’re led to believe, the magnificent Maine Road exodus is about to commence. Georgi Kinkladze, Uwe Rösler, Ian Brightwell and Brian McGlinchey may all have left the club already but there could be as many as fourteen other City players who will be leaving the club this summer.

If you’re sitting comfortably, then I’ll begin:- Craig Russell has been linked with Fulham, as well as a £600,000 move to WBA; Ged Brannan has also been linked with WBA, as well as Tranmere, Stockport and Oxford; Nigel Clough has been linked with Watford; Kit Symons is being connected with moves to Coventry, Southampton,Charlton, Sheffield United, Wolves, Portsmouth and Watford again; Millwall and Bournemouth have been linked with moves for Martyn Margetson; Kakhaber Tskhadadze has been connected with the Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv; Paul Beesley continues to be connected with a move to Blackpool, and Rae Ingram is being linked with moves to Preston, Carlisle and Stoke, as well as a return to Macclesfield. Of the other available players who haven’t been linked with any clubs, you can add Scott Hiley, Eddie McGoldrick, Gerry Creaney, Neil Heaney, Martin (£10 million) Phillips and Ray Kelly. If all of that lot goes, it would bring City’s playing staff down to a more manageable total of around 40 players, still a massive squad for a Second Division club.

Barry Thompson a.k.a. Geordie Blue (


In a recent MCIVTA there was deserved condemnation of the events that unfolded in Marseille prior to the England game. One contributor felt disgusted and ashamed that one of the rioters was a City fan. Surely it shouldn’t matter which club the rioters were associated with, to feel such shame, the fact is that they are disgracing the name of the whole country!

Let’s not be so naïve to think there ain’t Blue hooligans – recent trouble against Boro springs to mind.

I went to the Tunisia game in Marseille. I travelled to Marseille on the Monday morning from Avignon so I had to rely on info gleaned from the news (no first-hand reports) and avoided the riots over the weekend. The only trouble I saw was outside the ground, II certainly don’t condone the actions but not all the trouble was started by the English ‘fans’. In fact the trouble I saw outside the ground was initiated by the Tunisians (French-Africans); a hail of bottles and cans were thrown into the England fans. OK some fans reacted instead of walking away but they were the only ones who were arrested! A group of 60-70 riot police stood 50 yards away and wouldn’t intervene; instead the police seemed happy to wait until the English fans reacted and then snatch squads jumped in and arrested the English. They could have handled the situation better and separated the sides at the first sign of trouble. Could you imagine the English police standing by when bottles started being thrown? No, they would have snuffed out the trouble before it even started!

When Scholes scored the second goal the Tunisians started throwing bottles into the English section; surprisingly there seemed bugger all Police presence inside the ground!

Yes England have thugs who follow them, yes they’ll cause trouble, they ruin the team’s name around the globe but at least now maybe the authorities will act!

Martin Ford (


One of my favorite moments used to happen before every game started – it involved the walk up to Maine Road from Withington, going with a trickle of blue shirts that with every step increased until the road was flooded with City fans – the mood always seemed to be good – the general banter with the police horses and eventually getting into the ground.

Then one of the best bits, walking down the steps through a full Kippax seeing people you know, hearing your name shouted – and the general buzz, squashing into a position to see and waiting for the tide to start swaying.

Maybe it all seems so special because I rarely get a chance to go any more since moving to Wales but I think it’s more to do with the demise of the Kippax standing.

Another favorite moment was wnen Bryan Robson came over to take a throw in front of the Kippax and 20,000 people shouted in unison – “**ck Off Robson, **ck Off Robson, England reject, England reject…” I think we drew.

Justin Hanson (


A word in response to Peter Brophy’s request re former players etc. of Man City. Does anyone remember the guy who Joe Mercer called “Poetry in Motion”?

One hears a lot about the great players of City’s glory days; Lee, Summerbee and Bell. But what about the greatest uncapped player of all time, Neil Young (another of Joe’s quotes)?

This guy could dribble, shoot and tirelessly run himself all over the park. Where are the videos of “Nellie” as he was affectionately called? Throughout the years quite a lot of City players stick out in the memory; Trautmann, Bill Leivers, Bobby Johnson, The Fab Three, Joe Corrigan and Mike Doyle the City nut, but the elegantly skilful No.10 weaving his way through many an opposition defence and blasting in the goals is the top of my list of City’s past great players.

Let’s hear it for Nellie.

Harry Cooper (


How the South West sees Beckham.

Go to and put your mouse pointer over the picture of the boy wonder.

It’s probably chnaged by the time you read this unfortunately.

Jeremy Poynton (


Is it just me or is anyone else concerned that JR is buying nobody. Has the club closed down? There has been no news for weeks. The squad last season was the worst in the club’s history yet JR seems happy with it.

What happened to the £5 million from Gio?

Mark Braude (


I feel like I have seen this situation a few times before, so this time around I won’t be utterly gutted. City, having managing to convince everyone year in, year out that the corner has been turned, do not surprise their fans any more. So, it must come as an utter shock for other England fans (Rags, Ragpies, Arse) that a complete arrogant puff who mithered his way into the England side fluttered our chances away with his Man Unitedesque actions, which he would have got away with in the Premier League. Don’t get me wrong but I am over the England defeat already (especially after the s**t season we had) and look forward to certain Man Urinal players getting grief all season. Anyway, England will win the World Cup next time with their City players (just after we have won our second Premier League title).

CWSGIMH (City With St. George in My Heart), James Nuttall (


A couple of questions:

  1. Is there still a team called Prestwich Heys? They used to have closeties to City, indeed I remember Bert Trautmann playing an exhibition gamethere in the ’60’s when George Smith (ex-City) was their manager.
  2. When City played Stoke in the last game of the year I was anxious tofind the result of the game. I live in Canada, so I can’t tune in to theradio or TV to get the results of the game, and eventually found the resulton the Internet in the Sunday newspapers. Does anyone know a good web sitewhere the results are posted quickly after the game is finished?

Dave Smith (


Oh dear, I’m sure many will have seen these already, but here we go:

Q: What is the difference between a airfix model without adhesive and David Beckham?
A: One is a glueless kit.

Q: What’s the difference betweeb Posh Spice and David Beckham?
A: Posh Spice doesn’t kick out when taken from behind!

Submitted by many


As a new subscriber to your delightful magazine, I am completely amazed at the the amount of adoration that my fellow subscribers heap on to my beloved Man City. To be perfectly truthful, I thought I was the only masochistic nutcase around but judging by the number of people who subscribe to “McVittee!”, there’s at least 2,000 of us roaming around this planet of ours… all I can say is God help us all… please.

I’ve been reading with great interest ‘Why Blues’, and after some trepidation, I’ve decided to bare my soul to my fellow subscribers. Growing up in the rather sheltered suburb of Withington in South Manchester in the early 1960s, I wasn’t exposed to football until I was almost eleven years old. My parents, who weren’t the swiftest of folks at that time, had forgotten to register me for St.Augustine’s school after my eleven plus exam reults were known. It was now too late to go there and the school was full anyway. It was deemed that I would have to travel all the way across Manchester to Prestwich (where?). This was a good ten-mile bus trip each way. The thought of taking the lethargic No 45 to Albert Square and then changing to the unknown No 75 and heading up Bury Old Road was way over my head but it had to be done so that was that.

After a one-hour bus ride from hell I finally arrived at my new school. I was told to sit down next to a guy called Paul Edge, who was a thin wiry looking chap even at the age of eleven. My first thought was “how come this kid is sitting on his own right in the middle of the class?” My initial thought was that maybe he had bad B.O. (every class in those day’s had a kid they called smelly or some other name, and I was sure this was the kid in our class). No such thing though with Paul I found out. After a couple of rather disapproving glances thrown in my direction, he then asked me in a rather mocking, sneering tone of voice, as if he already knew the answer, if I was a Red or a Blue. At first I just sat there staring at this kid wondering what the hell he was talking about. Then it came to me, the reason noone was sitting next to him was because he was Red … a communist, a Russian of some sort, someone to be avoided at all cost in the future. Then I began to think “who are the Blues then?” Maybe they were the good guys. So after some careful deliberation I pronounced myself a Blue, whoever they were, and that I’d just come ten miles on two buses from Withington and that I intended to return there as soon as the No 75 and 45 could get me back there; this school with its communists and two buses to get there were not for me!

After this declaration of independance, Paul’s eyes lit up and said “great, another City fan, that makes four of us out of an enrollment or 130 kids.” At first I played dumb, not knowing what Paul was talking about. Then I started to put things together, Paul was talking about football teams and I had just declared my allegiance to Man City, a team that was rooted in Division Two but who had just got themselves a new manager called Joe Mercer, who painted a rosy future for City that nobody really believed.

And so my love for City was born. Paul and I never went to a game together but I quickly found some City fans who lived in Withington. Off to the home games we would go,then we progressed to some of the close away games. In the early days of my life there was no greater disappointment than to hear on a Saturday morning that the Fingland’s coach had been cancelled because they couldn’t get enough people to go to the game. As City progressed up the league to Division 1, fans started to flock back to Maine Road; there was no greater sight to see than the old stadium filling up with lots of smiling, happy faces. To go to the away games you now had to book your coach tickets a week in advance, there was that much interest in following the Blues away. Even the football specials out of Piccadilly were running full and instead of hiding in some dark corner of the opposing team’s ground trying not to get beaten up, we were now thousands strong and ready to be seen and heard by all. Indeed these were truly magical days to be a Man City fan, trophies and worldwide recognition were being heaped on my beloved City; great days indeed.

After Joe Mercer left I felt that some of the heart and soul had also left with him (if you haven’t read “Football With A Smile” by Gary James I heartily recommend that you do so to get an idea of what it was like to be a City supporter in those days). As I said, I felt things were beginning to change… after much deliberation I decided I to had to move on. So one night after a large number of Marston’s Pedigrees, I announced to my friends I was going to move to the U.S.A. I’ve lived here in northern California for almost twenty years now. I’ve been back to Maine Road twice in all of that time. The last time was the beginning of last season, we saw the Portsmouth and Blackpool games and did the ground tour; we were with Francis Lee and had a wonderful chat with about some of the wonderful good old days. I hardly recognized the old place now with the new Kippax Stand where I spent so much of my early life. The Platt Lane end with its luxury boxes are a far-sight better color-coordinated than the purple, green and I think yellow seats that used to exist there in the old days. And of course the North Stand, I remember standing in it after we got Rodney Marsh for our season finale push to win the League Championship, great player just very poor timing… without him we would have the won the league that year.

After sitting there in the grandstand seats for what seamed an eternity, my son who is five years old and was born over here in the U.S.A brought me back to reality with his American twang, by announcing it was time to go and look at the trophy room. In the three weeks we spent in England I don’t think he took his new City shirt off for more than a couple of hours, and that was because he couldn’t climb in to the washing machine with it! It’s good to know that the future of City is in such good hands… the fans have had tremendously loyal throughout the last twenty five years and I really do believe that City will soon return to where they so rightly deserve at the top of the Premier Division and once again playing with the best in the world.

I know my or my son’s love for City will never die, all I have to do is go into his bedroom and check out all the pennants, scarves, pins and other memorabilia that adorns the four walls in there, to know that here lives a true City fan. Joe Mercer once said about football, and I quote: “The greatest thing in football is loyalty. The best thing to do is to rally around the club once more. We are part of a big family and success in football is brought about by everyone pulling together.” I think this just about sums up the City fans… we are family, we’re loyal and we are not Rags!

C.U.T.P.M.I.A.B.A.T.M.B.T.E.T.H.M.A.S.A.M.R. – City Until They Put Me In A Box And Take Me Back To England To Have My Ashes Scattered At Maine Road.

Best Derby match of all time? How about March 27 1968 at OT, City 3 Rags 1, City went on to win the League. Who went on to score his first goal for City in that game? Big George Heslop, off a cross by the bad boy himself, Tony Coleman.

Keep up the good work, Liam Doyle (


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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.

[Valid3.2]Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #411